South Carolina (SC) Asbestos Information:
The Palmetto State has two major industrial sources of asbestos exposure: ship building and repair, and power generation plants. For many reasons, these two industries have some of the highest rates of asbestos-related disease victims.
South Carolina also has abundant deposits of serpentine, from which comes the common chrysotile variety of asbestos; indeed, serpentine was once mined in the state, and several other sites were prospected. These deposits are heavily concentrated in the northwestern corner of the state in the Foothills region along its common boundary with North Carolina and Georgia.
Additional deposits are located along the eastern slope of the Appalachian Mountain Range and the Piedmont. Two of these are locate along the North Carolina state line within Kings Mountain State Park. The other three are located further south and slightly to the west in lightly-populated that roughly parallel State Route 97.
When the S.S. Morro Castle burned off the New Jersey coast in 1934, it turned the attention the maritime industries to the dangers of fire at sea. Shipboard fires have an unfortunate tendency to start without warning and to burn very fast and hot. Should the fire get out of control, there is no escape except to abandon ship.
This is the reason asbestos insulation was used in great amounts in the construction of sea-going vessels between the mid 1930s and 1980. The insulation was generally applied as slurry, or sprayed on, forming a hard shell as it dried. However, as it was applied, workers were liable to inhale the fibers, which could become incredibly concentrated in the closed environment below decks.
As the insulation in these vessels aged and deteriorated, it became friable – in other words, it began to crumble and release fibers into the air.
These are the main reasons that shipyard workers suffer from a relatively high rate of asbestos disease. A recent study conducted at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, confirms that shipyard workers have “a small but significant excess mortality from all causes, lung cancer and mesothelioma, most of which is probably related to asbestos exposure”.
The Power Plants
Power plant workers face a high level of risk as well, and for many of the same reasons. Depending on how the plant is fuelled, there is usually a risk of fire; in addition, certain types of asbestos – particularly crocidolite, a deadly form of amphibole asbestos – have a high degree of resistance to electrical current.
Machinery found in power plants might have asbestos insulation in any number of places, particularly boilers and turbines. Often, this was in the form of a sprayed-on slurry such as Monokote, a product of the infamous W.R. Grace corporation, the main operation of which was located in Libby, Montana – a small town that gained national attention because of the high rate of asbestos poisoning among workers.
Gaskets that were used in sealing valves, pumps and pipe fittings were also made from asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). To fit these gaskets in place properly required plant maintenance workers to cut, trim and file these components. As a result, these ACMs became friable and asbestos dust was subsequently inhaled by these workers.
South Carolinian Mortality Rates
Over the 20-year period between 1980 and 2000–during which the state’s population grew by nearly a third–634 South Carolinians lost the battle against asbestos disease. Malignant mesothelioma victims outnumbered asbestosis ones slightly. The overwhelming majority of these deaths were in and around Charleston, which is the most populated and industrialized part of the state.
South Carolina (SC) 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 South Carolina (SC) where workers were potentially and unnecessarily put at risk:
Carolina Shipping Company: Charleston, SC
Charleston Naval Shipyard: Charleston, SC
Detyen’s Shipyards: Charleston, SC
South Carolina (SC) 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.
South Carolina (SC) Mesothelioma Lawyer & Legal Resources:
A search through the South Carolina Federal District Court Cases for asbestos-related personal injury product liability lawsuits, particularly South Carolina mesothelioma lawsuits, brings up an extensive list of nearly fifty lawsuits from 2006 and 2007. In a majority of these cases, the defendant is Aqua-Chem Inc.
South Carolina is ranked 29 in the U.S. for mesothelioma cases. With a mesothelioma mortality rate of 8.4 per million, South Carolina has a crude mortality rank of 40 in the country.
South Carolina has a number of known asbestos-exposed areas. These include the Carolina Shipping Company and the Charleston Navy Yard in Charleston, Greenville Computer Processing in Greenville, and Detyen’s Shipyards, Inc., in North Charleston. Individuals living or working near these areas should be checked regularly for a mesothelioma diagnosis in order to file any South Carolina mesothelioma lawsuits within the state’s statute of limitations. Those that have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another form of asbestos disease, such as asbestosis, should be sure to contact a South Carolina mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that these deadlines have not been missed. 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.
One key case in the state involving asbestos was Kershaw County Board. of Education v. U.S. Gypsum Co., in which the school board sued the manufacturer of the ceiling plaster installed in many of Kershaw County’s schools, claiming the plaster contained asbestos. The trial court issued an order requiring the manufacturer be notified prior to any asbestos being removed. In spite of this order, the school board failed to notify U.S. Gypsum before beginning asbestos abatement at one of its schools. The company moved for judgment in its favor on the claims related to that school. The trial court denied the motion.
Another key mesothelioma lawsuit in South Carolina was Murphy v. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. The plaintiff’s father was a chemical engineer at E.I. du Pont between 1951 and 1984. As part of his work, the father was exposed to asbestos. In July 1995, the plaintiff, Janet Murphy, was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Janet and her South Carolina mesothelioma lawyer brought this tort action in South Carolina, and her husband also brought a loss of consortium suit. They alleged that Janet developed mesothelioma because her childhood exposure to asbestos dust and fibers in her father’s clothing and that while her father was subject to asbestos exposure at all of the defendant’s facilities, it was greatest at the South Carolina plant. The defendant moved to dismiss the claims on the grounds in light of South Carolina’s Door Closing Statute, since the plaintiff and her husband no longer lived in South Carolina and since she developed mesothelioma while living elsewhere. The plaintiff died while the case was being tried. The lower court ruled in the defendant’s favor, but the Court of Appeals reversed the decision, ruling that the asbestos exposure occurred while Janet lived in South Carolina and so it was valid for the case to be filed there.
If you are interested in filing a South Carolina mesothelioma lawsuit you should know that South Carolina, like most other states has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Determining when to start the measuring of that time also varies from state to state so you may be best served by contacting a mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible after a diagnosis is made. Wrongful death cases may also have a statute of limitations and the same or different rules for determining when to begin measuring. Whether or not your action is limited by statute, you may still be eligible to present claims to bankruptcy trusts that have billions of dollars for victims of asbestos.