New Jersey (NJ) Asbestos Information:
New Jersey is a state that has the distinction of being near the center of asbestos history. Not only is there an abundance of naturally-occurring asbestos in the state, but New Jersey was where the legal tide turned against asbestos corporations in a big way.
Lawsuits involving asbestos date back to the late 1920s. However, until 1977 corporations were able to use what was known as a “state of the art” defense: since asbestos disease researcher Dr. Irving Selikoff did not present his findings on the connection between asbestos and respiratory disease until 1964, corporate management had no way of knowing of these hazards and therefore could not be held responsible for such diseases resulting from exposure taking place prior to that date.
Karl Asch, a Springfield New Jersey mesothelioma lawyer, was representing plaintiffs who had been employed by Raybestos-Manhattan at a Passaic asbestos plant. It was his discovery of what came to be known as the “Sumner Simpson Papers” in one of Raybestos’ corporate offices that exposed an egregious conspiracy between Raybestos and Johns-Manville to keep information about the health hazards of asbestos hidden from the public.
New Jersey’s Asbestos Industries
There are at least 60 jobsites at which New Jersey workers have suffered asbestos exposure, many of which have since developed various asbestos related conditions – from the benign such as asbestosis and pleural plaque, to forms of asbestos cancer, such as lung cancer or mesothelioma. Most are operated by companies whose industries are those most commonly associated with asbestos use: shipyards, power generation plants, oil refineries, and chemical plants.
The last includes a New Jersey company, Dupont Chemical. This corporation is arguably one of the worst air polluters on the planet; the Political Economy Research Institute puts it at the top of its “Toxic 100” list. The forms of asbestos typically used at chemical plants are particularly dangerous; amosite (brown asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos) are of the amphibole variety, which are the hard, needle-like fibers primarily implicated in the development of malignant mesothelioma.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry data indicates that oil industry employees are among those who have the highest risk of asbestos exposure. Petroleum and petro-chemicals are highly flammable as well as toxic; it is for these reasons that asbestos-containing insulation and protective gear were frequently used.
New Jersey oil refineries include those run and operated by California Oil, Esso, Halliburton, Hess, Mobile, Standard, Texaco and Tosco.
Numerous power plants operate in New Jersey. Center for Health statistics have long indicated the asbestos danger faced by electricians, pipefitters, boilermakers and other repair and maintenance personnel. In addition to being a flame retardant, asbestos fabric is also an excellent insulator and was used extensively in the manufacture of electric wiring, panel partitions, and electrical cloth. Because of this, workers at the RCA factory were also exposed.
Asbestos was also used extensively in the actual construction of these facilities.
A recent study in Puerto Rico found that 13% of all power plant workers exhibited some “abnormality” in chest x-rays.
Among veterans, former Navy veterans are among those who suffer from the highest rates of asbestos disease; such illnesses may ultimately be responsible for as many deaths as combat injuries during the Second World War. In fact, it was a cruise ship fire off the coast of New Jersey over 70 years ago that led the maritime industry to start using asbestos insulation throughout the construction of sea-going vessels.
A recent study involving 4,700 workers at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, found shipyard workers faced a significantly elevated risk of contracting asbestos disease.
Asbestos Death Rates
Between 1980 and 2000, the population of New Jersey went from 7.36 million to 8.41 million. During that period, there were a total of 2,828 deaths related to asbestos. Those from asbestos outnumbered those from mesothelioma by nearly 740, a statistical ratio of 1.7 to 1.
New Jersey (NJ) Job Sites At Risk From Asbestos Exposure:
Over the course of the last century, hundreds of thousands of workers were exposed to asbestos while on the job – and for the most part, they were not warned. Below is a list of Job sites from the state of New Jersey (NJ) where workers were potentially and unnecessarily put at risk:
Federal Shipbuilding: Kearny, NJ
New York Shipbuilding Corporation: Camden, NJ
New Jersey (NJ) 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.
New Jersey (NJ) 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.
New Jersey (NJ) Mesothelioma Lawyer & Legal Resources:
A search through the New Jersey Federal District Court Cases for asbestos-related personal injury product liability lawsuits or New Jersey mesothelioma lawsuits brings one recent case: Hampton et al v. Armstrong World Industries, Inc. et al. New Jersey is ranked eighth in the U.S. for mesothelioma cases. With a mesothelioma mortality rate of 17.2 per million, New Jersey has a crude mortality rank of six in the country.
In New Jersey, there are a number of known asbestos-exposed areas. These include the Atlantic City Electric Co., the Atlantic City Power-Deep Water Plant, the Kearney Federal Shipyard, Johns Manville in Manville, the Coastal Oil Refinery in National Park, the Esso Oil and Sunoil Refineries in Newark, the US Army Transportation Corp in Bayonne, Exxon Refinery and Standard Oil in Bayway, the RCA Factory in Broomfield, the Industrial Liquid Chemical Company and NY Shipbuilding in Camden, and Crescent Park Towers in East Orange. Other known asbestos-exposed areas in the state include the Exxon Refinery and Sunoil Co. in Elizabeth, the Oyster Creek Nuclear Station in Forked River, Dupont in Gibstown, and Hope Creek and Salem in Hancocks Bridge. Hoboken has three known asbestos-exposed areas: the Bethlehem Shipyard, the Hoboken Shipyard, and the Todd Shipyard. Linden has a number of known sites, including Esso Oil, the Linden Oil Fields, Standard Oil Refinery, and Tosco Refining. Other known asbestos-exposed areas in New Jersey include the Homedale Telephone Company, IBM in Hopewell, the Mobil Oil Refinery and Valero Energy in Paulsboro, Amerada-Hess in Port Reading, The American Can Company in Red Bank, the Bergen Powerhouse and the Ridgefield Power Station in Ridgefield, the Willow Island Electric Plant, the Hope Creek Nuclear Power Station and Salem Nuclear Powerhouse in Salem, the Duck Island Powerhouse in Trenton, Coastal Eagle Point and American Cyanamide in Wayne, and the Texaco Refinery in Westville.
Individuals living or working near these areas should be checked regularly for signs of mesothelioma, and should contact a New Jersey mesothelioma lawyer as soon as being diagnosed in order to file any lawsuits within the state’s statute of limitations. While many of these sites have been inspected and some have been cleaned up, anyone who worked or lived in these areas before asbestos contamination was reported can still be affected. Also, it is important to keep in mind that these are only known asbestos sites. Other areas in the state may also contain asbestos but may not yet have been reported as such.
An important case involving asbestos was filed in Middlesex County in central New Jersey in June 2007. The case was filed by a New Jersey mesothelioma lawyer on behalf of a woman whose husband’s and children’s brake work exposed her to asbestos. The woman was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2002 and died from her illness shortly after mesothelioma treatments were attempted at Virtua West Jersey Hospital. The lawsuit alleged that she contracted mesothelioma as a result of unknowingly being exposed to asbestos when she laundered the dusty clothes and the rags that were used by her husband and children after they performed the brake work, primarily using asbestos-containing Bendix brakes. This case follows March, 2007, recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency regarding automotive repairs and the importance of reducing or eliminating asbestos exposure from such work. The guideline brochure, entitled “Current Best Practices for Preventing Asbestos Exposure Among Brake and Clutch Repair Workers”, is similar to guidance that the agency has been distributing since 1986. The EPA explains in the brochure that by using the recommended practices, home mechanics can reduce potential asbestos exposure and minimize their potential risk of contracting asbestos-related illnesses.
Those interested in hiring a New Jersey mesothelioma lawyer to file a New Jersey mesothelioma lawsuit should know that the statute of limitations for personal injury law in New Jersey is two years with a discovery rule that states that this amount of time begins when the problem (in this case the mesothelioma) either was discovered or should have been discovered. There is an additional note in the law that counts the date of the occurrence or accident in the computation of the statute of limitations. Wrongful death cases fall under the same statute of limitations and discovery rule as long as the statute of limitations for personal injury has not expired before death. There is no specific statute about asbestos in New Jersey.