New York is home to approximately 20 million residents, working in diverse industries statewide. With such an expansive reach, New York state has always been a welcoming home for people willing to work hard. Yet, many hard workers are learning later in life that their sacrifice came at a price due to their time spent working around asbestos.
Mesothelioma Cases in New York
Asbestos was used heavily throughout The Empire State and is now impacting the health and well-being of thousands of citizens. Because mesothelioma takes decades to manifest, people who were exposed to asbestos between 10 and 50 years ago are only just discovering they have cancer, often years into their retirement.
More than 780 people in New York die every year from mesothelioma, and that number is expected to rise in the coming years.
New York has been an epicenter of lawsuits against asbestos exposure and mesothelioma for approximately 4 decades, as savvy legal professionals from the big city attempt to bring justice to victims. Many of the country’s most experienced and passionate mesothelioma lawyers live in New York state.
Some mesothelioma payouts have been in the millions of dollars, and it’s not uncommon for New York lawyers to settle out of court. Settling is a strategy commonly used within the state, often providing victims with quicker closure than they would receive if their case went to trial. However, many cases do end up before a judge.
Because of the high volume of mesothelioma cases, New York has developed systems that prioritize trials for victims who have impairments as a result of asbestos exposure. Terminally ill victims may see their cases accelerated, while people with similar cases from the same law firm may cluster their cases together, enabling a judge to review several cases at once.
Asbestos Use in New York
New York has always been at the forefront of development and industry. As a result, tens of thousands of people worked in occupations that put them at risk of inhaling asbestos fibers and developing mesothelioma later in life.
Brooklyn Navy Yard
The Brooklyn Navy Yard has been recognized as a significant exposure site for asbestos-containing materials, as asbestos was heavily used in ship manufacturing. Any individual who worked in a shipyard before 1980 is at an increased risk of having health issues.
Manufacturing and Industrial Work
New York also recognizes construction and insulation workers to be at a greater risk of deadly asbestos exposure, as buildings were insulated and fireproofed with it.
Occupations that put workers at risk include:
- Chemical plant and power plant workers
- Construction workers, including carpenters, bricklayers, drywallers, electricians, and masons
- Demolition and renovation experts
- Mechanics, machinists, and metalworkers
- Shipyard workers
The unfortunate reality is that many occupations put hard-working Americans at risk of developing mesothelioma later in life. Almost every building in the New York skyline used asbestos, and therefore anyone who worked in an industry where the material was handled or disturbed—even just nearby—may be diagnosed with a related illness.
New York Asbestos Laws & Regulations
New York has numerous laws and regulations to protect its citizens from asbestos and is currently one of the most regulated states.
In fact, seven different agencies help monitor and control asbestos use in New York:
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Occupational Safety & Health Committee
- New York State Department of Health
- New York State Department of Labor
- New York State Department of Environmental Protection
- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Together, these federal and state agencies help ensure the safety of people work with asbestos, as well as those in surrounding vicinities.
In New York, 7 different statutes and several more regulations dictate how asbestos is controlled, handled and disposed. They also mandate training and certification for any person who works with asbestos.
Unfortunately, these laws and regulations only came into effect after the 1980s, when public awareness of the dangers of asbestos increased. People who worked or lived around disturbed asbestos prior to this time are at risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related conditions.
New York Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Claims
New York’s statute of limitations for mesothelioma lawsuits is 3 years after the initial diagnosis. Family members who want to pursue a wrongful death charge have only 2 years after their loved one’s death to do so and may need to act quickly to receive justice.
Retaining A New York Mesothelioma Lawyer
New York has an abundance of lawyers specializing in mesothelioma, but not all are equal in quality. In fact, the sheer number of mesothelioma lawyers in New York can be overwhelming, and you may not know where to start. Don’t let this discourage you from getting the help you deserve.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s critical you seek legal counsel from a qualified lawyer who specializes in these cases. Contact our Justice Support Team today for more information on seeking mesothelioma justice in New York.