New Jersey, also known as the Garden State, is the fourth-smallest and the most densely populated state with 9 million residents. With access to over 130 miles of the Atlantic coast, New Jersey has always been an industrial state with a strong shipping industry. During the Industrial Revolution, many residents moved away from agricultural production and found employment in textile production, iron mining and power plants. All of these occupations presented a high risk of asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma Cases in New Jersey
Between 1999 and 2013, New Jersey had the 8th highest number of asbestos-related deaths among all 50 states. According to a report, during this time more than 128,000 people across the United States died from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, with 9,395 of those people living in New Jersey.
The annual death rate of mesothelioma in New Jersey is 11.7 to 20.2 cases per million residents, which is higher than the nationwide death rate of 11.6 to 14 cases. These figures only tell half the story, as more New Jersey residents are diagnosed with mesothelioma annually.
Even though materials containing asbestos are no longer in use, the state of New Jersey has strict laws to ensure citizens are at a low-risk of exposure to airborne forms of this deadly material. The state courts have supported this mesothelioma legislation by recognizing mesothelioma victims’ plight.
Defending Mesothelioma Patient Rights
Courts in New Jersey have substantial experience adjudicating asbestos-related cases, and they are known to quickly advance and prioritize lawsuits put forward by living plaintiffs with mesothelioma.
Large negotiation settlements and lawsuit awards have happened across New Jersey, including punitive damages on top of plaintiff compensation. Settlements have been awarded to living patients for personal injury and the families of deceased mesothelioma victims for wrongful death.
Currently, Middlesex Country is dealing with 92% of the State’s asbestos-related matters and there are over 1,300 claims pending.
Asbestos Use in New Jersey
Individuals working within industrial settings in New Jersey from chemicals, plastics, power plants, construction, oil refinery and shipbuilding were at high-risk of asbestos exposure.
Some high-risk occupations in New Jersey included:
Johns-Manville Company Plant
In the early 1900s, the largest producer of asbestos, Johns-Manville Products Corporation, opened its first plant in Manville, New Jersey. The plant produced roofing materials, insulation, insulating boards and other materials using asbestos fibers imported from mines across the world. The company also dumped asbestos waste from the plant in various locations around the city.
Residents from across New Jersey traveled to Manville to work in the plant. The plant was shut down in 1986, but citizens across New Jersey are still suffering from decades of asbestos manufacturing in Manville.
The National Gypsum Company Plant
The National Gypsum Company, another company responsible for large-scale asbestos exposure, also bought a processing plant in New Jersey. The company produced an asbestos-containing wallboard and used a plant in Millington to manufacture asbestos cement.
The National Gypsum Company improperly disposed of its waste at various locations around Millington, leading to site contamination.
Vermiculite is one of six fibers present in asbestos. There were 7 vermiculite refineries across New Jersey that were responsible for transforming the fibers into its usable form. Hundreds of thousands of tons of Vermiculite were refined at these facilities, causing large amounts of asbestos to be released into the air in the process.
New Jersey Asbestos Laws and Regulations
The Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Labor and the Department of Community Affairs all oversee various aspects of New Jerseys asbestos laws and regulations. Construction materials containing asbestos have been removed from operational use, however, there are still thousands of buildings and materials containing this deadly substance.
Building repairs and demolitions are regularly performed, and New Jersey’s regulatory departments set mandates on management, transportation and disposal of all asbestos containing materials to ensure workers are protected.
Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Claims
New Jersey courts have dealt with hundreds of mesothelioma lawsuits, and have set limitations on asbestos claims. New Jersey citizens diagnosed with mesothelioma have 2 years from the discovery of disease cause to file lawsuits in personal injury. If the individual diagnosed passes away due to mesothelioma, the victim’s family also has 2 years from the date of death to file a lawsuit for wrongful death.
Retaining a New Jersey Mesothelioma Lawyer
As mesothelioma litigation is a specialized and complex process, individuals suffering from the disease should be in contact with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Specialized mesothelioma attorneys have the education and skills needed to ensure you receive the highest settlement in the shortest time period.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure in New Jersey, contact our Justice Support Team now.