Alabama Mesothelioma Lawyers

Summary

Residents of the State of Alabama were not exempt from the massive asbestos exposure disaster occurring during the twentieth century. From the 1920s to the 1980s, asbestos-containing materials (ACM) were used in almost every industrial, commercial and residential Alabaman construction project.

Asbestos Use in Alabama

Hundreds of thousands of Alabama’s workers experienced asbestos exposure on a daily basis. That included many United States military veterans posted in Alabama and the civilians who supported military operations. Some of these innocent victims developed asbestos-related diseases like malignant mesothelioma.

Statistically, Alabama ranks 25th in America for diagnosed mesothelioma cases. There were over 500 mesothelioma deaths reported in Alabama from 1999 to 2015. Thousands more Alabamans are still living with mesothelioma. That’s regardless if this incurable disease has presented symptoms or been accurately diagnosed. Even though most asbestos material use stopped in the 80s, many ACM products still lurk in Alabama’s factories, hospitals, schools and homes.

Asbestos Exposure in Alabama

Certain occupations had higher asbestos-exposure risk due to the amount of ACM they worked with, the duration they were exposed and the specific type of asbestos minerals they experienced. U.S. military veterans were in the high-risk group due to the amount of ACM consumed in military building and equipment.

These were the highest-risk Alabama occupations for developing mesothelioma from asbestos exposure:

Various ACM products contained different amounts and different types of asbestos minerals.

Quantities of asbestos fibers in products ranged from as low as 1% to over 80% depending on the application.

ACM was mainly used in high heat places for fireproofing and insulation. It also added strength when mixed with other materials as well as lightening them.

The main ACM products used in Alabama industries were:

  • Fireproofing in furnaces and steam boilers
  • Pipe and duct wrap
  • Welding rods and protective clothing
  • Bricks and mortar mixes
  • Sheetrock panels and joint compound
  • Roof shingles, siding materials and insulation products
  • Tiles in ceilings and floors
  • Paint, adhesives and caulking
  • Gaskets and sealants
  • Friction plates like clutches and brake pads

Alabama Asbestos Laws and Regulations

The State of Alabama does not have specific laws addressing asbestos products. Rather, Alabama took the approach to endorse tough and comprehensive federal regulations set out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). The primary state regulatory body is the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) Air Division.

They ensure these two safe-handling areas are adhered to:

  • Asbestos removal and abatement
  • Asbestos material disposal

Alabama has a complex history of civil litigation and case precedents concerning mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Historically, it was difficult to file mesothelioma lawsuits in Alabama civil courts as they had a “Last Exposure” rule concerning their statute of limitations. This set the period of when suits could be filed.

“Last Exposure” referred to the time when a mesothelioma victim had asbestos contact.

It was not the time mesothelioma symptoms appeared, or when the disease was diagnosed. Eventually, Alabama courts recognized how unfair this artificial deadline was. Mesothelioma has a length latency period where the disease can manifest anywhere from 10 to 50 years after a person was last exposed to asbestos.

Alabama made several changes to their statute of limitations in filing asbestos-related lawsuits.

1980 Ruling

A significant ruling happened on May 17, 1980, that divided a retroactive period for mesothelioma suits. The current limitation law in Alabama states that mesothelioma cases diagnosed after 1980 have two years to file claims after a diagnosis is confirmed. That limitation also includes wrongful death suits filed after a patient passed away. Otherwise, they’re no longer eligible for lawsuit actions and compensation.

 

Retaining a Mesothelioma Lawyer in Alabama

Beware that there are some exceptions to litigating mesothelioma cases in Alabama. Rules may apply differently to individual circumstances, particularly where jurisdictions cross from exposure and diagnosis location. Some experienced mesothelioma attorneys choose to file lawsuits in other states and by-pass the Alabama legal system.

For this reason alone, it’s vital that every mesothelioma patient should retain a lawyer who specializes in asbestos law and is familiar with Alabama practices. We can connect you with experienced attorneys who are accredited to practice in every state, including Alabama. For more information on mesothelioma legal action, call us today at (888) 360-4215.

View Author and Sources
Sources
  1. BLR Simply Compliance Business, “Alabama Asbestos: What You Need To Know”, Retrieved from https://www.blr.com/Environmental/HazMat-and-Chemicals/Asbestos-in-Alabama Accessed on 11 January 2018
  2. FindLaw, “Alabama Asbestos Regulations”, Retrieved from http://statelaws.findlaw.com/alabama-law/alabama-asbestos-regulations.html Accessed on 11 January 2018
  3. Laws.com, “Alabama Asbestos Laws”, Retrieved from https://asbestos.laws.com/alabama-asbestos-laws Accessed on 11 January 2018

Last modified: June 19, 2018