Virginia is one of a handful of states across the nation known for its shipbuilding industry. Shipbuilding is notorious for its use of asbestos and a significant number of workers employed at Virginia shipyards have developed mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Shipyard jobs that have led to dangerous asbestos exposure include (but are not limited to):
- Electrical/electronic installation technicians
- Engineering technicians
- Piper coverer/insulators
- Ship fitters
- Aluminum welders
- Pump mechanics
- Maintenance and repairmen
If you or a loved one is a current or former Virginia shipyard worker that has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-caused illness, we may be able to help you recover a significant amount of compensation. Millions of dollars have been set aside in compensation funds to help individuals affected by asbestos exposure and their families. To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact a mesothelioma lawyer in Virginia today.
Cities in Virginia with Asbestos Exposure Problems
Did you live or work in one of these communities for many years? You may have been exposed to dangerous asbestos fibers either on the job or around your home.
Asbestos Jobsites in Virginia
Virginia is the home of many industries that are notorious for using asbestos:
- Oil refineries
- Chemical laboratories
Dow and DuPont Corporations have large facilities in this state. Several types of asbestos are strongly resistant to chemical corrosion, which is the reason these firms’ facilities used asbestos so much. The deadly substance was often used on laboratory surfaces and in protective clothing.
Asbestos is also an outstanding insulator for electrical current. Virginia has several power plants where asbestos exposure has been a serious problem. This dangerous situation has been confirmed in several studies, especially one that was published in 2008 that found that 13% of power plant workers had chest x-rays that showed signs of asbestos disease.
Asbestos insulation usually was used in building power plant buildings and also the turbines and generators. As the material got older, it would crumble and the movement of the machines would blow the deadly fibers into the environment.
Further, shipyards in Virginia that used asbestos to build ships include:
- Lyon Shipyard
- Newport News Shipbuilding
- Norfolk Navy Yard
- Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
Asbestos was used to build Naval vessels until 30 years ago. Some estimates suggest there were as many deaths from asbestos exposure in Naval shipyards as there were among active sailors.
Virginia Asbestos Deposits and Mines
Virginia is home to several naturally-occurring asbestos deposits, scattered throughout the Appalachian Mountains. Asbestos deposits can be found along the Maryland state line and along the Blue Ridge. In addition to the deposits, Virginia was once home to two asbestos mines. The mines have been closed since the discovery of the dangers of asbestos exposure; however, before their closures, they were responsible for numerous deaths and asbestos cancer illnesses such as mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma cancer, a rare and fatal cancer is directly caused by exposure to asbestos. The mineral is comprised of several tiny fibers, and when it is disturbed, the fibers separate and can be easily inhaled through the mouth or nose. When a person inhales the asbestos fibers, they can become lodged in the lining of the chest, and overtime can result in the development of mesothelioma.
Currently there is no cure for mesothelioma, so a diagnosis is especially devastating for patients and their families. Our mesothelioma lawyers have dedicated their practice to helping individuals and families affected by workplace exposure seek and recover compensation for damages including:
- Mesothelioma treatments
- Past, present and future medical bills
- Lost wages if the illness resulted in an inability to work
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of economic and social support in cases of death
Mesothelioma Statistics in Virginia
From 1980 until 2000, there were 1390 deaths from asbestos diseases in Virginia, and most of them were due to asbestosis. The rest were from mesothelioma, which is far deadlier than asbestosis.
Asbestos Abatement Procedures in Virginia
The Virginia DEQ and Department of Labor and Industry are both very important in asbestos abatement in this state. If you are working on a jobsite where asbestos is being removed and disposed of, you should be certain that these departments are overseeing the work. The focus of their work is to make sure that releasing asbestos fibers into the environment does not happen and that the materials are properly disposed of so no workers or citizens are harmed.
The Virginia DEQ regulates the disposal of any materials that contain asbestos that go into landfills. The company or entity must make arrangements through a licensed contractor or directly with the state government to make sure that disposal guidelines are followed. Generally, asbestos materials have to be sealed and double bagged to be transported to a landfill. If there are larger amounts, it must be moved in a sealed container.
Virginia Asbestos Lawsuits
In 2011, a Newport News jury slammed Exxon Mobil with a $25 million verdict in an asbestos lawsuit that was brought by a former worker in a shipyard, which was one of the biggest jury awards ever given in Virginia.
The plaintiff was a repair supervisor on several vessels at Newport News Shipbuilding from 1966 until 1977. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma many years later. Exxon argued that the shipyard was responsible for worker safety, but the jury did not see it that way.
Get the Help You Need: Mesothelioma Lawyer Virginia
Asbestos attorneys and law firms in Virginia help victims of mesothelioma cancer obtain fair settlements from shipyard employers and other negligent parties. Those who are suffering as a result of asbestos exposure deserve justice and an asbestos attorney has the legal skill and knowledge to ensure justice is served.
If you are a Virginia resident or if you used to work in or near an asbestos mine or for the shipyard industry, you should see your physician immediately for a thorough examination. If you are diagnosed with asbestos cancer, you may be eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit and recover physical, psychological and financial damages.
For more information or to schedule a free and confidential case review, please contact us today by calling 1-800-352-0871.