Mississippi (MS) Asbestos Information:
Outside of the construction trades, most of the occupational exposure to asbestos in Mississippi took place in three industries: oil refining, power generation and shipbuilding.
Petroleum – which is actually the solar energy stored by plants that lived and died over 500 million years ago – is a highly flammable substance, even in its crude form; fires are a constant danger.
Because of this, asbestos insulation was frequently used in structures, on machinery and in pipe fittings. A great deal of the gear meant to protect oil refinery workers themselves was made from asbestos. Asbestos fabric was not in direct contact with the wearer, but was contained in the lining of such clothing. When this clothing became worn or had a tear, asbestos fibers were released.
Oil refineries in Mississippi include Chevron, Ergon, and Southland.
Power Generation Facilities
The Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Plant, Jack Watson Powerhouse and Gulf Power Plant are all locations that have been identified as locations in which asbestos has been used at some point.
Like oil refineries, power plants are job sites at which fire and heat danger is prevalent; likewise, asbestos insulation is used on pipe fittings, as well as within the structures themselves.
A Puerto Rican study presented in 2007 involved the chest x-rays of several hundred power plant workers in that territory. Thirteen percent of these x-rays showed significant abnormalities, suggesting asbestos-related illness, or at least the preconditions of such diseases.
Of the two major asbestos diseases – asbestosis and mesothelioma – most victims died from the former, outnumbering victims of the latter by two to one. Malignant mesothelioma is a relatively rare form of asbestos cancer caused primarily by exposure to amphibole asbestos. Asbestosis is due largely to exposure to chrysotile asbestos, which was much more commonly used in building materials and fire-proofing.
Unlike mesothelioma, asbestosis is not always immediately fatal. It is neither malignant nor progressive; as long as the patient is not further exposed to asbestos and not a tobacco user, the progress of the disease can be stopped, meaning that the prognosis for those whose asbestosis is diagnosed early on is much better.
A key asbestos case in Mississippi was Harold’s Auto Parts, Inc., et al. v. Flower Mangialardi, et al., in the Supreme Court of Mississippi, No. 2004-IA-01308-SCT. In this case, Mississippi mesothelioma lawyers working for 264 plaintiffs filed suit against 137 defendants. The plaintiffs, who were residents of Mississippi and other states, alleged that they were exposed to asbestos products mined, designed, evaluated, produced, packaged, furnished, supplied and/or sold from 1930 to the time of the suit. The court, however, found that the plaintiffs did not provide sufficient information to show that they were affected by the actions of all of the defendants. In fact, the asbestos exposure asserted in the complaints occurred over a 75-year span and involved asbestos products associated with 137 manufacturers in approximately 600 workplaces. The court ordered that each plaintiff must file suit in an appropriate court of venue and jurisdiction. In addition, trial courts were directed to dismiss with prejudice the complaint of any plaintiff who did not provide the defendants and the court with information needed to determine venue and jurisdiction.
While the case did not prohibit mass or class action asbestos-related lawsuits in Mississippi, it did make clear that plaintiffs who wish to file a consolidated suit must be able to show that they have been affected by all the named defendants under similar or related circumstances. The court’s decision resulted in the dismissal of more than 13,000 asbestos claims. The court’s findings continue to affect asbestos cases, especially mass tort cases, in the state.
Those interested in filing Mississippi mesothelioma lawsuits or hiring a Mississippi mesothelioma lawyer should know that the statute of limitations for personal injury law in Mississippi is three 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. Wrongful death cases have the same statute of limitations and follow the same discovery rule. There is no specific statute about asbestos.