Nebraska is home to a variety of Fortune 500 companies and several Fortune 1,000 headquarters, located in Omaha, the largest city in the state. The city itself is located on the Missouri River, and is known to have been the ‘Gateway to the West,’ as it was settled by individuals from surrounding states such as Iowa, before it became a center for transport in the midwest. There are no naturally-occurring deposits of asbestos in Nevada, which makes the state relatively lower-risk for mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Cases in Nebraska
Between 1999 and 2015, there have been 260 resident deaths from mesothelioma in Nebraska. Filled with natural and rural landscapes and home to many farms and ranches, the residents of Nebraska have not come face to face with many asbestos exposure dangers from industrial sites.
The state has a lower-than-average mesothelioma death rate, with approximately 9 deaths per million each year. The highest rates of asbestos-related health issues are in Lancaster, Sarpy and Douglas counties.
Asbestos Use in Nebraska
While compared to the rest of the United States, Nebraska has a relatively lower-rate of mesothelioma cases. There is still a chance of asbestos exposure from specific worksites that have been pillars of the state in the past few decades.
Asbestos has been used heavily in power plants throughout Nebraska. Asbestos was a primary material used in the industry due to its attractive heat-resistant quality. Since power plants often risk fires or internal combustion, asbestos was the material of choice to avoid such issues.
The Hallam Nuclear Power Facility is one site in Nebraska found to have used asbestos in 2007, exposing 13% of just over 1,000 power plant workers to the toxin.
It may come as a surprise that military veterans in many parts of the country have come across a high risk of asbestos exposure. The toxin was employed in many bases and shipyards due to its strong protective quality.
The Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha and the Lincoln Air Force Base are 2 military sites in Nebraska where many individuals and their families may have been exposed to the toxin.
Of course, many manufacturers are known to have used asbestos when constructing their buildings and creating their materials. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and Weaver Potato Chips in Lincoln are popular manufacturers both known to have documented cases of asbestos exposure.
While there are no traces of asbestos in the beer itself, many breweries in Nebraska have been found to contain asbestos in their buildings and equipment. Individuals who worked in these facilities may have been unknowingly exposed to the toxin, risking exposure in their families and communities. Fremont, Fred Krug and Storz are breweries in Nebraska that are known to have had a few instances of asbestos exposure.
Nebraska Asbestos Laws and Regulations
There are federal and state regulations on asbestos handling. The Department of Health and Human Services in Nebraska (DHHS) has instilled specific regulations that apply to every business or person involved in asbestos projects.
These regulations require all asbestos-related projects be reported to the DHHS before any asbestos work begin. The department regulates and monitors training and licensing requirements for asbestos work, as well as correct safety practices for any asbestos projects involving disposal or demolition. Only certified and licensed asbestos workers can seal asbestos materials, and all are required to wear protective gear.
Protecting Nebraskans From Asbestos Exposure
After asbestos materials have been disposed of by a certified asbestos worker, the DHHS requires them to extract samples of the air to ensure that there are no airborne asbestos fibers.
Nebraska has strict rules and regulations regarding asbestos. Failure to meet both Nebraska and federal requirements for any asbestos-related work can result in significant fines and even imprisonment.
The DHHS has the ability to fine unlicensed or uncertified businesses or individuals that take part in asbestos-related work. The fines range from $5,000 to $25,000 for the first offense and $25,000 to $100,000 for each offense that follows.
Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Claims
All states have their own statute of limitations on mesothelioma claims—a timeframe in which patients can file a personal injury lawsuit and family members can file a wrongful death claim.
In Nebraska, patients should be advised that the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 4 years from a mesothelioma diagnosis. Nebraskan family members of patients who passed away from mesothelioma have 2 years from the time of death to file a wrongful death claim.
Retaining a Nebraska Lawyer
Patients suffering from mesothelioma should seek a specialized attorney with experience in mesothelioma cases. An accredited mesothelioma lawyer can help you navigate this complex legal field and thoroughly explain all your available options.
If you have developed mesothelioma and you worked with asbestos in Nebraska, please do not hesitate to contact our Justice Support Team today.