Maryland (MD) Asbestos Information:
The state of Maryland is fifth in terms of population density; this state, approximately the size of the E.U. country of Belgium, is home to 5.6 million. Between 1980 and 2000, the state’s population increased by 25%. During that same period, asbestos disease accounted for over 1,000 deaths in that state. Roughly two people in 10,000 succumbed to asbestos disease, over half of whom were in the Baltimore area (city and county).
This figure is somewhat higher than the nation at large. It is also noteworthy that over 60% of these fatalities were due to asbestosis rather than mesothelioma. The latter is a rarer condition, and is invariably fatal; most patients diagnosed with mesothelioma die within 18 month of diagnosis.
Asbestosis, while far more common is also not usually immediately fatal if diagnosed before the disease has reached an advanced stage.
The difference may be due to a number of factors, including the U.S. health care system; a large number of uninsured people without access to health care may go undiagnosed. Another reason may lie in the type of asbestos to which workers are exposed. Chrysotile, which is softer and curly, and amphibole, which is relatively hard and spear-shaped, are equally deadly. The difference between the two lies not in toxicity, but rather in degree; amphibole asbestos tends to act faster in causing the kind of cellular mutation that leads to the development of asbestos cancer.
Bethesda is home to the National Cancer Institute. A study by Institute doctors was carried out on 4,700 people who had worked at the Curtis Bay Coast Guard Shipyard between 1950 and 1963. The results proved what oncologists who see maritime industry employees have long suspected: shipyard workers run a significantly higher risk of contracting asbestos disease than the population at large. The same risks are faced by those employed at civilian shipyards as well, such as Bethlehem Shipbuilding.
The same is true of those who worked at one of Maryland’s power generating facilities. Results of a study by doctors in Puerto Rico, presented in November of 2007, showed that 13% of all chest x-rays taken of power plant workers displayed some type of anomaly. Power plants in Maryland that have been identified as having asbestos problems include the Basco Power Electric, the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant and the Glen Burnie Powerhouse.
Most powerhouses have made use of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) at some point in their history because its usefulness as an electrical insulator. Conduit lagging, electrical cloth tape and even components of turbines and generators are all places where asbestos (particularly of the amphibole type) has been used.
The White House Connection
It is common knowledge that Vice President Richard “Dick” Cheney was formerly CEO of Halliburton: a corporation that has a large number of mesothelioma lawsuits pending against it. Halliburton’s primary interest is petroleum, which is an industry notorious for asbestos exposure. This company has been named in lawsuits filed in the state of Maryland; while this does not mean that Halliburton itself has facilities in the state, it is a large corporation with numerous subsidiaries in virtually every state. According to a company profile:
Halliburton and its subsidiaries had for years manufactured construction products that contained asbestos… in 2003, Halliburton had a net income loss of $820 million because of bankruptcies related to its exposure to asbestos liability. A settlement of Halliburton’s asbestos lawsuits was executed in 2004 and the company subsequently became profitable again.
Supradur Manufacturing was a company that made products from asbestos cement–a substance consisting of Portland cement and various types of asbestos fibers (primarily chrysotile). It is likely that some of these products found their way into the construction of the University of Maryland Stadium, which has been yet another problem location.
Asbestos fatalities were substantially lower in Maryland’s rural areas, but still higher than comparable parts of the nation. The lowest rates of asbestos disease were in Garrett, Kent and Saint Mary’s counties, in which there were only three asbestos-related deaths during the 20-year period prior to 2000.
Maryland (MD) Asbestos Cancer & Mesothelioma Doctors:
The diagnosis and treatment of asbestos-related cancers and other diseases is gradually becoming a sub-specialty in the field of medicine all its own. However, as of the present time, there is no medical degree that is specific to asbestos-related practice. Most doctors focusing on asbestos disease today are trained in oncology, thoracic surgery, respiratory or occupational medicine, or some related field.
Maryland (MD) Asbestos Cancer & Mesothelioma Treatment Centers
Today, between 25 and 30% of all Americans will get some form of cancer during their lifetimes. There are many reasons for this, including the modern lifestyle and the poisons that have been put into the environment – of which asbestos is a prime example. The number of clinics and hospitals that specialize in oncology have increased in response to the growing number of patients.
Maryland (MD) Mesothelioma Lawyer & Legal Resources:
A search through the Maryland Federal District Court Cases for asbestos-related personal injury lawsuits, or mesothelioma lawsuits, brings up a list of one dozen lawsuits from 2006 and 2007. It should be noted that about half of these lawsuits were not individuals suing corporations or companies but rather companies’ petitions for removal from asbestos litigation.
Maryland is ranked 16th in the U.S. for malignant mesothelioma cases. With a mesothelioma mortality rate of 12.52 per million, Maryland has a crude mortality rank of 24th in the country. Among the sites that have been identified as having a high asbestos exposure risk are: Nuclear Power School in Bainbridge; Curtis Bay Coast Guard in Baltimore; Basco Power Electric in Basco; the University of Maryland Stadium in College Park; Glen Burnie Powerhouse in Glen Burnie; Luke Paper Company in Luke; Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby; and Bethlehem Shipbuilding in Sparrows Point. Anyone who has spent time in these areas will want to be checked by a physician and will want to keep track of any unusual symptoms. It is important to keep in mind, however, that these may not be the only sites in the state which may have exposed workers and visitors to asbestos.
In Maryland, lawsuits arising from asbestos exposure are far from rare. In July 2007, three families were awarded $3.97 million in what attorneys predict will be the first of hundreds of like cases. The families of three former Bethlehem Steel workers sued General Electric in Baltimore Circuit Court because the mills used asbestos-lined industrial brakes in equipment. The three men named in the lawsuit passed away fromlung cancer before the case was brought before the courts.
It is important that the patient diagnosed with mesothelioma or their family hire a mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible after this diagnosis. Not doing so could cause this important deadline to be missed and potential compensation no longer available. The plaintiff must have knowledge, either implied or express, of the injury in order to trigger the running of the statute of limitations.
There is no specific statute about asbestos. However, there is a specific ruling related to wrongful death suits. The statute of limitations on all personal injury wrongful death suits is three years from date of death unless caused by occupational disease, in which case the statute of limitations is the shorter of 10 years from death or three years from time the cause of death is discovered. A Maryland appellate court ruled that a widow’s wrongful death action was timely if she was unaware that asbestos exposure was the cause of her late husband’s pleural mesothelioma.