Georgia, named after King George II while still a colony of Britain, is a thriving state in the southeast United States. Known for its peaches, onions and other flavorful produce, Georgia has a population of over 2.7 million people. During its growth throughout the 1900s, Georgia has been driven by economic activities that exposed workers and their families to asbestos fibers.
Mesothelioma Cases in Georgia
An average of over 150 people from Georgia dies from mesothelioma and asbestos-related deaths each year.
Mesothelioma cases in Georgia are most likely to originate in the counties surrounding Atlanta but have occurred all throughout the state. Hundreds of sites have been identified as containing asbestos, with a significant quantity resulting in lawsuits.
In fact, mesothelioma cases have been filed as the result of exposure in more than 50 Georgia communities, including:
- Cedar Springs
- Fort Benning
- Warner Robins
Georgia lawmakers have put a substantial amount of time and effort into keeping asbestos-related cases out of the courts, despite the need for justice. Patients with mesothelioma are typically able to file suits. But patients with other asbestos-related conditions like asbestosis will have to supply prima facie proof (evidence assumed to be true unless disproved) their impairment was caused by asbestos.
Georgia also doesn’t allow medical reports from doctors who focus on legal consultation, adding an extra hurdle for mesothelioma victims seeking justice. Therefore, it’s recommended that all victims of asbestos-related substances use an experienced lawyer when filing mesothelioma cases in Georgia.
Asbestos Use in Georgia
Georgia has 52 natural asbestos deposits, ranking #3 for highest number of deposits in the United States.
While these natural deposits are typically harmless when undisturbed, individuals who live in the direct vicinity or who have participated in activities that disrupt the natural environment may have been exposed.
Asbestos-Related Industries in Georgia
Georgia is a bustling state with diverse economic endeavors. Fortunately, the large portion of the population who have dedicated their lives to farming and agriculture is at a much lower risk of asbestos exposure resulting in mesothelioma. However, people in the urban centers and those who have participated in mechanical-type activities may be at risk of developing mesothelioma.
Several industries in Georgia have been linked with asbestos use and exposure, including:
During Georgia’s growth throughout the 1900s, numerous paper manufacturers set up shop in Georgia, offering prosperous work to local residents. Paper and pulp mills like the Georgia-Pacific Mill provided families with steady income, but may also inadvertently exposed workers to asbestos. Likewise, power plants including the Georgia Power Company and Western Electric put its employees at risk of developing mesothelioma.
In addition to the state’s ongoing shipbuilding activities, Georgia’s Port Brunswick was a hub of manufacturing and shipbuilding during both World Wars, potentially exposing individuals to asbestos who didn’t otherwise work in an at-risk occupation. Many residents worked in this shipyard temporarily to help their country and may develop mesothelioma as a result.
Today, individuals working in construction and renovation, particularly in older and historic buildings, are still at risk for asbestos exposure. Current laws have resulted in guidelines around direct handling of asbestos, but are unfortunately lacking when it comes to indirect exposure.
Georgia Asbestos Laws and Regulations
Georgia’s asbestos-related laws have changed throughout the years, and not necessarily for the better. The state formerly had regulations administered by the Environmental Protection Division of the Land Protection Branch. However, funding was eliminated for the Georgia Asbestos Program in 2009, at which point the US Environmental Protection Agency took over the asbestos regulation and enforcement.
Georgia addresses asbestos in the Georgia Asbestos Safety Act, formally Georgia Code title 12, chapter 12. This act primarily addresses the need for certification and training before handling asbestos and outlines the fees and penalties that will be incurred for violations.
Relatively speaking, Georgia has some of the lightest enforcement mechanisms for asbestos-management. Contractors are typically required to obtain a license before handling asbestos-containing materials, but it isn’t necessary if there are less than 10 feet of asbestos material.
When enforced, Georgia’s asbestos violations can be quite severe, with penalties and fines of up to $25,000 per day, per violation.
Georgia Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Claims
Georgia residents diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease have 2 years to file a personal injury claim according to the state’s statute of limitations. Family members of deceased mesothelioma patients also have 2 years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Retaining a Georgia Mesothelioma Lawyer
Mesothelioma litigation integrates state and federal laws, making it a relatively complex field of law. However, an experienced Georgia mesothelioma lawyer can navigate these laws with ease and help you get what you deserve. If you have been exposed to asbestos in Georgia, which resulted in mesothelioma, a qualified lawyer can help alleviate the burden of your circumstance with the highest possible settlement.
If your exposure to asbestos in Georgia resulted in mesothelioma, talk to our Justice Support Team now.