Wisconsin is home to nearly 6 million inhabitants. Its primary industries are agriculture and manufacturing. In the early 20th Century, Wisconsin experienced the development of its manufacturing industry. This spurred the state's development and growth. Unfortunately at this time, asbestos was prevalent in manufacturing and building materials, and many of the state's inhabitants suffered exposure to this poisonous substance.
Mesothelioma Cases In Wisconsin
Veterans are the largest group of people affected by mesothelioma. But asbestos was not only used by the American Military—hundreds of commercial sites throughout Wisconsin have exposed employees to asbestos.
Some of the most careless employers who have previously found guilty of negligence include:
- A.P. Green Refractory Company
- Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company
- International Paper Company
- Georgia-Pacific Corporation
- Alliant Energy
- University of Wisconsin
- A.O. Smith Corporation
- Acands, Inc.
- Atlantic Refining Company
- Babcock and Wilcox Company
- Cleaver Brooks
- General Motors
- Hotpoint Kitchen Appliances
- Illinois Steel Company
- Sprinkman & Sons Corporation
- Square D. Company
- Kraft Foods Company
- Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company
- Consolidated Papers, Inc.
Asbestos was used profusely in the building and manufacturing industries, and many more companies not listed above thoughtlessly exposed their employees to the toxic material.
Asbestos Use in Wisconsin
Asbestos was widely used in thousands of products, including many products that Wisconsin employees used on a daily basis for their work.
Some of the highest risk occupations for asbestos exposure and the subsequent development of mesothelioma include:
- Metal Fabricators
- Masons and bricklayers
- Boilermakers, pipefitters and steamfitters
- Concrete layers
- Construction workers
- Demolition crews
Wisconsin Asbestos Laws and Regulations
Asbestos was one of the first hazardous air pollutants regulated under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) in 1973. Section 112 of the CAA establishes National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Pollutants. The CAA mandates that any owner or operator of a renovation or demolition company who knowingly fails or causes another employee not to comply can face prosecution.
Those found guilty could face up to 5 years in prison and a fine. A second conviction could result in the doubling of the previous sentence.
Legislation at the state level, however, has recently introduced new barriers for those seeking compensation for asbestos related diseases. In 2014, Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 13 into law with the intention of addressing the supposed systematic fraud in asbestos trust funds.
Senate Bill 13 requires victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases to make their personal information public. Opponents of the bill have argued that this extra barrier could discourage victims from filing for and receiving compensation. Similar legislation has also passed in Ohio and Oklahoma.
Wisconsin Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Claims
It is important that claimants file their claims as quickly as possible due to the statute of limitations that Wisconsin places on asbestos claims.
In Wisconsin, a personal injury claimant has 3 years to file a claim following the date of their initial diagnosis.
A family member may file a wrongful death claim on their loved one’s behalf. In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is 3 years after the individual’s death.
Retaining a Wisconsin Mesothelioma Lawyer
Choosing a law firm experienced in asbestos law helps to ensure the success of a claim. This is especially important in mesothelioma cases, as often by the time a patient is diagnosed, he or she has a limited prognosis. A specialized law firm will be familiar with the process of seeking compensation and be able to do so faster than a less experienced firm.
If you were exposed to asbestos in Wisconsin and have since developed mesothelioma, contact our Justice Support Team today.