The state of Indiana is known for its robust manufacturing and industrial activities. With the gentle, rolling terrain and river valleys, asbestos deposits do not occur naturally in Indiana. However, due to the prominent and long-standing manufacturing powerhouses of the state, companies in such industries used a significant amount of asbestos-containing materials in the past century. Before the end of the 20th century, manufacturing companies placed many workers and their families at risk of mesothelioma and lung cancer without their knowledge.
Mesothelioma Cases in Indiana
Residents of Indiana may have been exposed to asbestos through work, public buildings or through second-hand asbestos contact. In the northeastern part of Indiana, there is a slightly higher rate of mesothelioma due to the higher concentration of manufacturing and industrial factories.
There have been just under 1,000 mortalities from mesothelioma in the state between 1999 and 2015, with a slightly above-average mortality rate of approximately 8.6 people per million each year.
In particular, individuals who have lived or worked in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, Carmel or Bloomington are more likely to have been exposed to asbestos, resulting in higher rates of mesothelioma diagnosis. However, due to the prominence of the disease in such areas, lawyers across the state have recovered considerable compensation and support for mesothelioma clients.
Indiana has undergone a strong legal reaction to the prominence of the toxin within many of their sites.
The state’s Supreme Court has just overruled part of the Indiana Product Liability Act, which now gives mesothelioma patients much more flexibility in filing asbestos-related claims against negligent manufacturers. This is a significant victory for those suffering from the disease, as well as for their loved ones.
The ruling remains to be finalized, but legislators are optimistic. If the ruling is finalized as expected, it will place Indiana at the forefront with other states that are fiercely advocating on behalf of mesothelioma patient claims.
Asbestos Use in Indiana
In the past few decades, many companies in Indiana used asbestos-containing materials in the steel, auto, electrical, chemical, oil and coal industries. For steel mill workers in particular, the risk of exposure to asbestos was the highest as the toxin was used in a multitude of ways due to its characteristic trait of high heat resistance.
Lake County, most well-known for its steel mills, has the highest mesothelioma rate in the state of Indiana.
Many workers and veterans at Indiana’s military sites were exposed to asbestos unknowingly. Much of the construction of military buildings included asbestos—ironically and tragically—used for protection initially.
Though each state is required to follow federally-imposed regulations concerning asbestos, Indiana has a few additional laws it is required to adhere to. The state’s Department of Environmental Management is the main body that determines the laws and regulations regarding the toxin. It acts as the coordinator of the EPA’s NESHAP standards.
Any professionals working with asbestos must be certified by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in their Asbestos Program. The Department is also in charge of inspecting, licensing and any auditing of the necessary training courses undertaken by asbestos professionals.
Any renovation or demolition of a building within Indiana must be inspected by a certified asbestos professional (excluding standalone residential buildings with four or fewer units). If any trace of the toxin is found during the inspection, the transport and disposal must be conducted by a certified asbestos professional, and official notifications are required to be made.
The Indiana Department of Labor monitors asbestos at work locations and relies on the federally imposed asbestos regulations for authority. The state’s Department of Labor provides detailed instructions on protecting workers from the toxin and instructions for monitoring the air quality in worksites. The Department of Labor in Indiana is also responsible for record maintenance and maintaining appropriate asbestos warning notifications.
Indiana Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Claims
Indiana has a 2-year statute of limitations on all personal injury claims filed by those diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. Indiana also regulates the time families have to file wrongful death lawsuits—2 years after death caused by asbestos.
Retaining an Indiana Mesothelioma Lawyer
Mesothelioma litigation is a complicated and emotional journey. Patients suffering from mesothelioma should reach out to an attorney with special experience in asbestos cases.
If you have developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure in Indiana, please do not hesitate to contact our Support Team today.