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If you live in Maine, you are likely aware of the state’s ongoing problems with asbestos. With the highest rate of mesothelioma-related deaths in the nation, Maine is no stranger to the mineral’s dangers.
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An enormous naval shipyard, a massive paper industry employing thousands, tens of thousands of veterans, and one of the oldest housing stocks in the country all combine to make asbestos a serious risk to Maine residents.
Maine is home to two military bases:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists both bases as having been contaminated with asbestos.
A number of commercial shipyards along the coast have also been sources of exposure for victims.
Shipbuilding is one of the most dangerous industries for asbestos exposure, and yet it’s also one of the biggest sources of employment in Maine.
Paper mills have also long been a cause of asbestos contamination, and there are dozens in Maine.
Between the 1930s and 1970s, many were built and fitted with asbestos-containing machinery and insulation. The trend likely exposed thousands of workers to the cancer-causing substance and may still pose a risk at decommissioned mill sites.
With nearly a third of its housing units built before 1950, Maine residents face a high risk of asbestos exposure. Asbestos was not phased out as a construction material until the 1970s, so even homes built in the 1960s and early 70s likely contain asbestos.
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, a Maine mesothelioma lawyer may be able to help you earn the compensation you deserve.
Maine residents who have been exposed to asbestos and have developed mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases may be eligible to pursue compensation through a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Maine mesothelioma lawyers have helped thousands of Americans across the U.S., including Maine, secure valuable resources through mesothelioma lawsuits.
Over 95% of all mesothelioma lawsuits reach out-of-court settlements. In a settlement, the manufacturers of asbestos-based products agree to pay a mesothelioma victim compensation. In exchange, the case does not go to trial.
On average, mesothelioma settlements award victims with $1 Million.
When a settlement cannot be reached, the lawsuit may go to trial before a jury. The jury hears both sides of the case and hands down a verdict.
Mesothelioma verdicts award $2.4 Million on average if the victim wins. There is no way to guarantee a win at a trial, though. Juries may also side with the manufacturer of asbestos-based products, in which case the mesothelioma victim gets nothing.
A Maine mesothelioma lawyer can negotiate settlements and prepare your lawsuit for a trial if needed.
Every state has its own statute of limitations, which determines how much time a person has to file a legal claim. For mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, the laws are especially complicated.
There are two main types of mesothelioma lawsuits:
A personal injury lawsuit is filed when a living person who has mesothelioma sues the company or companies responsible for their exposure to asbestos.
Wrongful death lawsuits occur after a mesothelioma patient has died — they are usually filed by surviving family members.
Maine has a relatively long statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, but every case is different, and many patients do not have a clear answer to the question of when they were diagnosed.
Consult with a Maine mesothelioma lawyer to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Mesothelioma lawsuits cannot be filed after the limits have passed.
If the statute of limitations prevents a lawsuit from being filed, there are other ways to access compensation. Asbestos trust funds, for example, don’t abide by state law. They are set up by federal courts and have their own deadlines to file claims.
There is more than $30 Billion available in asbestos trust funds today.
Learn how to access asbestos trust funds and file lawsuits within the statutes of limitations with the help of a Maine mesothelioma lawyer.
In addition to federal laws and regulations surrounding the use of asbestos, Maine has a number of state laws and regulations.
Most of them govern the proper handling and removal of asbestos, as well as licensing for asbestos abatement professionals.
No one is allowed to engage in any kind of asbestos abatement activity unless licensed or certified to do so by the state of Maine.
Maine has also established a set of rules meant to limit or curtail the presence of asbestos in schools.
The EPA has delegated the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to perform periodic inspections of non-profit schools in the state, with the goal of identifying and protecting against any asbestos hazards.
On the federal level, certain laws and regulations are in place surrounding the use, development, and disposal of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials.
Beginning in the early 1970s, federal laws were enacted to control or phase out the use of asbestos for industrial or commercial purposes — most critically the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and amendments to the Clean Air Act.
With the highest mesothelioma mortality rate in the country, Maine residents have faced — and continue to face — a unique risk of asbestos exposure.
Most mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos at one of a number of shipyards or shipbuilding facilities dotting Maine’s massive coastline.
For decades, asbestos was used in shipbuilding to insulate pipes and boilers and to prevent corrosion of metal parts.
Over time, enough asbestos dust built up to pose an airborne risk to workers. Poor ventilation aboard ships and construction houses would have worsened the threat.
Military bases are another common source of asbestos exposure. The cancer-causing mineral was frequently used for fireproofing and insulation purposes on bases well into the 1970s.
The Brunswick Naval Air Station and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery both have a history of exposing workers and service personnel to asbestos.
The decommissioned Dow Air Force Base in Bangor (now the Bangor Air National Guard Base) was also built with asbestos-containing materials.
Maine has one of the oldest housing stocks in the country, with 31% of homes built before 1950.
That means homes in the state are far more likely to contain asbestos since the use of the mineral in construction materials was not phased out until the 1970s.
Additionally, asbestos has been reported in a number of power plants, paper mills, and iron foundries in Maine. The sheer number of workplaces and residencies that have been found to contain asbestos makes the threat in Maine especially severe.
Some of these workplaces are no longer in operation or have been decommissioned. However, that does not mean they are no longer liable for having exposed workers to asbestos.
According to data compiled by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the state of Maine suffered 381 mesothelioma deaths between 1999 and 2015.
Until asbestos use is completely banned in Maine and other states, it will continue to put people at risk of mesothelioma and other life-threatening diseases.
Shipbuilders, mill workers, and power plant workers are not the only Maine residents who have risked their lives working alongside a substance as dangerous as asbestos. Maine is home to more than 125,000 veterans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Veterans account for around 33% of all mesothelioma cases diagnosed each year, and nearly 12% of Maine’s population is made up of U.S. veterans.
Fortunately, for Maine veterans, help is available through mesothelioma lawsuits and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
If you are a veteran with mesothelioma, you may have questions about whether or not you qualify for VA benefits.
Maine has options for veterans, including:
Veterans can also access treatment from some highly skilled VA mesothelioma doctors, who are among the best in the country.
These VA mesothelioma doctors are:
The Mesothelioma Justice Network has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Robert B. Cameron. The contact information above is listed for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Cameron directly. Visit the UCLA Health website to learn more about Dr. Robert Cameron.
In terms of veteran-specific care facilities, Maine is home to one VA Hospital in Augusta and ten VA Community Clinics.
Other organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion (AML) have service officers available that can help veterans with submitting a claim for VA benefits.
Maine represents a unique threat in the fight against asbestos and mesothelioma. The state is home to more veterans and a higher rate of mesothelioma mortality than most others in the country.
That’s why the top Maine mesothelioma lawyers have devoted their lives to helping the men and women who were wronged by asbestos companies seek justice and compensation for their illnesses.
Mesothelioma is never the fault of the person who has been diagnosed. The responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of the companies who exposed their workers and the public.
Start your free case review today to find out if you may be able to file a mesothelioma claim in Maine.