Missouri Mesothelioma Attorneys

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Missouri Mesothelioma Attorneys

Missouri Mesothelioma Attorneys

Missouri’s economy is a mostly industrial one. This of course means thousands of workers and families have been exposed to asbestos, especially those who used to work in the chemical and manufacturing industries. Also, miners, particularly in the Lead Belt, are at high risk. An instructive example is the St. Louis automotive industry, the workers on the sector’s work sites were exposed to asbestos which was found in clutches and breaks. Mesothelioma lawyers in Missouri represent those who have been exposed to asbestos. Asbestos has also been found in nearly all buildings constructed during that period, from firehouses to courthouses, post offices to schools, homes and municipal buildings. So, not all cases of asbestos exposure resulting in the development of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses were due to workplace exposure. The state of Missouri is rich (cursed?) with large deposits of naturally occurring asbestos, specifically in the St. Francois Mountain Range, St. Francois County, and in Iron County. Within the space of 14 years, from 1999 to 2013, not less than 735 people in the state had died as a result of asbestos-related illnesses.

St. Louis and Kansas City were early industrial/commercial centers along a portion of the Mississippi River. St. Louis, in particular, was home to various shipyards, auto plants, McDonnell Douglas Aircraft, and Combustion Engineering companies known for their heavy use of the dangerous mineral. Kansas City was home to one of the most heavily sued asbestos containing product manufacturers in the country, Armstrong Cork. You should speak with your Missouric mesothelioma attorney for a free legal advice. The early aviation products companies like Bendix also used asbestos products for construction of their engines, lightweight aircraft insulation and aircraft brakes. Despite the fact that Missouri is not known as an industry heavyweight, it still ranks twentieth among the fifty states for reported cases of mesothelioma related illness.

A manufacturer of Zonolite Insulation was in operation in Sulphur Avenue in St. Louis through 1989. The company processed asbestos contaminated vermiculite ore it had shipped from the W.R. Grace Inc. mine in Libby, Montana. The processed ore was used to produce asbestos contaminated insulation, and same was installed in homes and other buildings in Missouri by contractors. Contact with asbestos lawyers representing victims of mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Deaths in Missouri

In 2001, the government conducted a survey of death certificates filed between 1979 and 2000. The study produced some statistics on deaths during that period recorded to have been caused by asbestos related diseases. Analysis brought the number of deaths caused by asbestosis during those two decades to 236, while the reported mesothelioma deaths were put at 388, although 640 is a more likely figure due to misdiagnosis of lung cancer during that period. The federal government began tracking mesothelioma deaths in 1999 and in 2005 reported an additional 309 malignant mesothelioma deaths over the preceding five years. The government then set up a formal registry for the record of mesothelioma death. The numbers suddenly skyrocketed, meaning mesothelioma deaths were underreported throughout the last half of the 20th Century.

Hire Missouri Asbestos Attorneys for your Case

The Missouri Department of Environmental Resources (MDER), Division of Environmental Quality now regulates asbestos abatement after the ban. Use of asbestos in any manner is now mostly considered as an air contamination issue. A five years statute of limitations is provided under Missouri state law with respect to a plaintiff filing a personal injury or product liability suit after the wrong has been discovered – in this case, the personal injury being diagnosis of an asbestos related disease. Defendant cannot raise the defense of the plaintiff being partially responsible for the asbestos exposure, the laws protect the plaintiff and he is entitled to claim his compensation and damages. Missouri’s legislation also contains the rule on multiple liability among defendants. The rule is that if the courts find the defendant liable for less than 50% of the responsibility, he will then be responsible for an apportioned share of responsibility; if however, the defendant is liable for over 51% of the burden, the defendant may be responsible for the entire cost of the case.

Asbestos Jobsites in Missouri

Joplin’s Mack Truck assembly plant in Missouri is one of the large work sites where employees were at high risk of asbestos exposure. Missouri also had many power generation plants. Doctors in Puerto Rican did mass chest x-rays of workers from these power plant between 2003 and 2007 and discovered that asbestos disease symptoms were present in 13% of cases.

W.R. Grace & Co., mostly known for the Libby mines in Montana, operated another plant in St. Louis, where zeolite was mined. They also processed the vermiculite ore, which was often contaminated with the asbestos mineral, tremolite. The asbestos fibers which were released into the air when disrupted posed exposure risks to both workers and those living around the area.

Some of the towns and cities in Missouri where asbestos exposure is known to have taken place include:

  • Fredericktown

  • Fulton

  • Hannibal

  • Cape Girardeau

  • Centralia

  • Chamois

  • Chillicothe

  • Clinton

  • Louisiana

  • Marshall

  • Maryland Heights

  • Hazelwood

  • Kirksville

  • Labadie

  • Ladue

  • Lake City

The mining, manufacturing, and chemical industries were the driving sectors in the state of Missouri’s economy for a long time before they were affected by the ban on the use of asbestos. In fact, in 2010 and 2011, they were three of the state’s main exporting sectors, while at the same time being the workplaces where most of the asbestos exposure is known to have taken place.

The GAF Corporation, which is also part of the German company I.G. Dyes, has faced many lawsuits over the years after their acquisition of the assets and liabilities (including mesothelioma related lawsuits) Ruberoid Corporation in 1965. The former Ruberoid Corporation operated a St. Louis manufacturing plant where asbestos was made for roofing products. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which tested the facility in 1967 and in 1969, dangerous concentrations of the toxic mineral were found in air samples. That is not all; the company also owned a mine in Vermont, where many workers were exposed to asbestos and then later developed mesothelioma and asbestosis. Eventually, the mine was shut down in 1975. Some of the contractors responsible for installing the shingles manufactured by Ruberoid were also exposed and have been found to develop mesothelioma.

The Certain Teed plant was close to the GAF plant where asbestos cement pipe was produced. Both plants used chrysolite asbestos, in fact Certain Teed also used an even more dangerous mineral known as crocidolite. The company had been well aware of the link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. This was discovered from some confidential memo of the company. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) of the United States has slapped them a fine as a result of their handling asbestos waste improperly. If you were exposed to asbestos at any jobsite, then you should speak with your Missouri asbestos attorneys for best legal help.

Both Certain Teed ad GAF unceremoniously dumped their asbestos waste into the Maline Creek banks. When Certain Teed shut down in 1979, it made an effort to clean up its mess by putting soil on top of their dumping areas, thereby stopping it from being a threat to the community. Unfortunately, the waste and broken asbestos pipes were not relocated, leaving them to contaminate the earth and water. In 1982, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District tried unsuccessfully to clean the bank. They only worked for a short while after which they stopped due to the high cost involved. By 1992 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tested the banks, they found 85% chrysotile and 15% crocidolite. Eventually, Maline Creek burst its banks in 1993, this led to the spread of the contaminated water throughout the state and beyond.

Well, in 1995 EPA made another effort at working on the creek by considering it for a superfund. Certain Teed and GAF got wind of the news and proceeded to do the clean-up themselves to save face and avoid fines. In 2001, both plants successfully completed the clean-up, however asbestos remains in the floodplain to this day.

Over the years, all these activities negatively impacted the workforce in Missouri’s manufacturing industries. But by 2010, employment had stabilized, the workforce even saw some growth. However the worrisome fact about this is there could be a corresponding increase in the diagnosis for asbestos related ailments.

Building Renovations and Mesothelioma in Missouri

Renovations constitute disruptions that can release asbestos fibers into the environment. Not too long ago, a Missouri hotel owner was found guilty of some violations during the renewal of his hotel building in Kansas City. He was found to have worked with untrained employees, while even paying below minimum wage. His fines reached $300,000.

Natural Sources of Asbestos in MI

Missouri has several deposits of naturally occurring asbestos, especially the two amphibole asbestos, they are located in the Ozark Mountain region. These are in Advance and southwest of Poplar Bluff. Advance is also home to a natural chrysolite mine. Though asbestos is quite scarce in the state; the available ones come from St. Francois County and Iron County. Some mines there, including one in Mark Twain National Forest, one in Winona, and one in Arcadia, are known to contain asbestos. Fortunately, asbestos left alone is perfectly harmless.

Municipal Buildings and Asbestos Exposure Cases

Several workers at the municipal buildings in Missouri have bee unduly exposed to asbestos due to the incompetence in the management of the renovation projects that were carried out on the buildings. The courts awarded a Jackson County Courthouse employee $10 million in settlements in November 2011. This is the largest settlement ever awarded to a plaintiff in Missouri. The Springfield Hickory Hills School is believed to be a minefield of asbestos exposure. In fact, some 35 different construction materials used in its building were found to contain chemical asbestos. Other known violations of asbestos standards were recorded at fire district buildings, including Beverly Hills and Hannibal, and at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Joplin Tornado and Mesothelioma in Missouri

The Joplin tornado hit Missouri on May 22, 2011. With the winds at 200 mph, not less than 8,000 buildings were destroyed, killing about 150 people. The EPA, together with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, teamed up to organize and carryout a clean-up, which they did together for at least seven months.

Buildings constructed in the 1990s were built with Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). And most of these asbestos contaminated buildings got destroyed in the 2011 tornado. This caused the EPA and FEMA to be particularly worried about potential asbestos exposure. As a precaution, clean-up workers were mandated to wear specialized protective equipment. The City of Joplin also forced the demolition of some 118 homes that were damaged from the tornado, they were first checked by certified asbestos inspectors before demolishing.

MI Firehouse Illegal Abatement Procedures

Fire Chief Tim Carter in 2010 got involved in an impeachment scandal for his inability to follow orders, dishonesty, and fraud, due to the way he handled the illegal asbestos abatement procedures at the fire district building in Hannibal. He denied knowledge of the procedures, but it was later proven that he had been lying all along. The investigation found that Carter had ordered his firefighters to remove insulation, mastic, and tiles without first training them in proper asbestos removal. Although the move to impeach him was not successful, and Carter was allowed to return to his job, he nevertheless, chose to voluntarily resign instead.

Mesothelioma Statistics

At least 624 people have died within 20 years ( from 1980 to 2000) from asbestos related diseases. About 62% of those deaths were a result of mesothelioma. Although asbestosis is common in Missouri, percentage of fatalities is lower than mesothelioma. Mesothelioma has a prognosis of no more than eighteen months after diagnosis. Around 25% of those deaths occurred in St. Louis. Do contact your Missouri mesothelioma lawyers for best legal advice.

Missouri Laws and Litigation Outcomes

Because asbestos was widely used in many industries in the state, a lot of lawsuits have also taken place. These include:

  • Poage v. Crane Co., where James Poage’s widow was awarded $11.5 million in 2015. Poage had died from mesothelioma in May 2012, after serving as a machinist’s mate in the U.S. Navy. He got infected and exposed to asbestos gaskets made by Crane Co.

  • Goede v. Aerojet, where Stephanie Foster’s family was awarded $5.1 million after she had died of mesothelioma in March 2002. She suffered 2nd hand exposure, as her father used to work for Aerojet, which machined asbestos-containing parts.

  • Samsel v. Certain Teed, where a lady named Mary Samsel developed lung cancer at the age of 47, which was linked with exposure to asbestos from the Certain Teed scraps people used to take for free, which contained 60% crocidolite. Certain Teed agreed to settle after three days of trial, for an undisclosed amount.