Connecticut may be one of America’s smallest states in geographical area, but it was one of the largest states when it came to using products with asbestos-containing materials (ACM). Studies show there were over 600 commercial and industrial locations in Connecticut, where workers were routinely exposed to airborne asbestos fibers. This accounts for why the State of Connecticut has one of the biggest per-capita rates of people diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Cases in Connecticut
Connecticut lawyers have had a massive workload in litigating asbestos-related lawsuits in civil court. This caseload isn’t lightening by any means. Mesothelioma cases are unique regarding the time span from when patients were initially exposed to ACM and the time they were diagnosed with the disease. Latency periods for mesothelioma can be anywhere from 10 to over 50 years after asbestos exposure.
Connecticut experienced heavy asbestos use from the 1930s until the early 1980s. Asbestos use came to a stop when medical evidence proved just how dangerous asbestos exposure was. Unfortunately, thousands of Connecticut workers experienced unprotected asbestos exposure. Now, many are becoming seriously ill with malignant mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a difficult disease to manage unless it’s diagnosed at an early stage. However, mesothelioma lawsuits and compensation claims in Connecticut are effectively filed and litigated provided the lawyers handling a mesothelioma case are experienced with the complex investigation techniques required in asbestos-related suits. Normally, that starts with identifying where the claimant suffered asbestos exposure and what ACM products they experienced.
Asbestos in Connecticut
Despite Connecticut being a major asbestos product consumer, the state was a minor player in producing raw asbestos materials. Connecticut had only one small asbestos mine located in the state’s northwest corner near Torrington, which closed in the 1970s. However, the Torrington mine produced anthophyllite asbestos ore, which is one of the most dangerous asbestos ore.
One of Connecticut’s driving economic forces is the shipbuilding industry. Being a coastal state, Connecticut is the ideal spot for building ships of all sizes. One of Connecticut’s prominent shipyard was General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Company, it was the leading manufacturer of submarines. The Electric Boat was also the leading user of asbestos.
Submarines and surface vessels used thousands of tons of ACM for over five decades. Asbestos was thought to be the ideal material to insulate and fire-protect ships. Asbestos products were everywhere from end to end on most ships. That was particularly so for vessels being built for the U.S. Navy. Accordingly, Navy veterans who worked in shipyards and onboard sea-going vessels have the country’s highest rate of developing mesothelioma.
The Electric Boat Company employed over 8,000 civilian workers at the time when asbestos use was at its peak. Every one of these Connecticut shipyard workers experienced some degree of asbestos exposure. Occupations with the highest risk of developing mesothelioma included insulators, pipefitters, boilermakers, welders and electricians.
Other Connecticut industries exposed their workers to asbestos. Connecticut power plants and chemical factories also used vast amounts of ACM, as did the construction industry. Thousands of Connecticut homes, schools, hospitals and offices used dozens of different asbestos-made products. The highest risk building materials were insulation, roofing, cement powder, flooring and ceiling tiles.
Connecticut Asbestos Laws and Regulations
The State of Connecticut doesn’t have individual laws and regulations regarding asbestos exposure. Rather, Connecticut’s Department of Public Health has a designated Asbestos Program that relies on rules and regulations set out by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Connecticut also adopted all of the federal Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) guidelines for safe handling asbestos products.
Connecticut’s Department of Public Health maintains a tight control on handling asbestos. The enforcing agency is their Environmental Practitioner Licensure. It focuses on education, certifying and licensing all workers who consult, contract or carry out asbestos abatement projects.
Retaining a Connecticut Asbestos Lawyer
Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma in Connecticut should immediately contact an attorney who specializes in asbestos litigation. Connecticut has a 3-year statute of limitations law which restricts the time in which a civil action can be filed. That period starts from the time a patient was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you were exposed to asbestos in a Connecticut worksite, contact our Justice Support Team today.