Between 1999 and 2010, nearly 3,000 people died from mesothelioma in California. Asbestosis caused more than 400 deaths.
California is home to the nation’s largest asbestos deposits naturally occurring. It also has a history where significant asbestos exposure has occurred through its naval shipyards. This injustice has plagued many of America’s most heroic veterans.
The Environmental Protection Agency had placed the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, on the “Superfund National Priorities List” in 1991. This list aims to discontinue or rehabilitate hazardous chemicals sites, including asbestos.
The mesothelioma-stricken sailors stationed at this shipyard would have been exposed to asbestos many decades before. However, the latency period for this disease is long.
Asbestos usage at Hunters Point was peaking in the 1940s, just like many other shipyards along the coast.
These settings were exposed to asbestos-containing insulation, gaskets and cables, cement, gaskets and pipe fittings, as well as many other parts of naval ships or submarines.
Similar risks were present at San Diego Naval Base, Alameda Naval Air Station and Concord Naval Weapons Station as well as many other locations.
California Mesothelioma Claims
California has been a leading jurisdiction for asbestos lawsuit filings. This includes personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits.
The laws of this state are generally favorable to asbestos lawsuits. This has led to an increase in the number of claimants from out-of-state and in-state every year.
California courts responded by taking measures to handle large asbestos cases and expedite claims. The ” fast track” schedule, for example, allows mesothelioma lawsuits to be tried within 120 days. California judges encourage parties in California to settle cases quickly.
California’s statute of limitations sets a deadline to file personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. An experienced California mesothelioma lawyer can help you determine if these deadlines are applicable to your particular mesothelioma situation. An attorney can assist you in filing a claim for damages in California or any other state.
This information should not be relied upon to determine your legal rights. To fully understand your legal options, speak with an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the area.
Other areas contaminated by asbestos in California that are on the EPA’s Superfund List in California remain a potential hazard for the public, including South Bay Asbestos Area, Santa Clara County.
Summary based on California Mesothelioma Attorneys
The EPA states that this 550-acre site was used as an asbestos dump ground by a manufacturing plant for almost three decades from the mid- to late 1990s.
People who live near the site at the southern tip San Francisco Bay are at risk from exposure to asbestos fibers in the air.
Glendale’s California Zonolite facility also exposed asbestos. The W.R. Grace Company acquired Zonolite in 1963, which is the commercial name of vermiculite that was collected at the infamous Libby Montana mine.
Vermiculite, a mineral that contains asbestos, poses a serious health risk to employees at W.R. Grace & Company as well as residents who live close to the 2.75-acre facility.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, California Zonolite received over 120,000 tons of asbestos-containing Vermiculite from Libby alone.
California’s Asbestos Exposure is the highest in the US
California ranks No. Number 1 in the U.S., for mesothelioma deaths and asbestosis. It is home to the highest amount of naturally occurring asbestos in the country. California was also the most exposed state to shipyard asbestos in the United States during World War II.
Many mines and processing facilities were built around the many asbestos deposits in California during the peak period of U.S. asbestos consumption. Many of these sites were closed in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Many veterans were exposed to asbestos at California’s military bases and shipyards. Veterans may be eligible for VA benefits if they develop mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.
California Mesothelioma lawyers helped many people get compensation for asbestos exposure. Many cases involve occupational asbestos exposure, or exposure to asbestos that occurred during military service.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was the largest municipality utility in the United States, serving over 4.1 million Southern California residents. It paid $60 million in punitive damages for the wife of an employee who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after laundering her husband’s work clothes.
His work at the LADWP power plant containing asbestos eventually contaminated his uniform with dangerous asbestos particles. This was also what his wife inhaled as she did the laundry. Many who care for a loved one in the asbestos trade have experienced this secondary exposure.
An LADWP employee cut pipes to manipulate asbestos particles. However, asbestos was also found in power plant generators and wires. LADWP paid $60 million to the victim in 2010. This was 30% of the $200 million total received by the victim. The jury found LADWP 30 percent responsible for her mesothelioma.
California Industries Known For Asbestos Exposure
- Power Generation
Veterans, former construction workers and shipyard workers are especially at risk. If they get mesothelioma from secondary asbestos exposure, their children and spouses might be eligible to file a lawsuit.
Mesothelioma lawsuits have been filed against companies that sell hazardous consumer products. Recent cases involve asbestos-contaminated talcum powder
The insulation materials used to wrap high heat equipment like pipes, generators and wires in the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s nuclear power plants also contained asbestos.
Workers who were responsible for installing, repairing, or removing this equipment were therefore exposed to asbestos. PG&E has been sued by several classes of workers, including electricians, pipefitters, insulators and welders.
In 1998, PG&E was sued by many residents of Pittsburg, CA. Although they were not employees, the asbestos-containing pipes were improperly secured to a boiler at a PG&E site. This contaminated homes and boats throughout the region.
California mesothelioma attorneys at LK have extensive experience and expertise in investigating complex asbestos exposure histories, and representing victims of CA asbestos disease in court.
California workites where asbestos exposure was widespread to include:
- Bethlehem Steel Shipyard San Francisco
- Fibreboard Paper Products, Southgate
- Fibreboard Paper Products, Redwood City
- Frank & Enderle Co., Los Angeles
- La Habra Stucco Co., Los Angeles
- Silver Line Brake Lining Corp. Santa Clara
- American Bitumals and Asphalt Co. (Oakland
- Krasne & Co., Los Angeles
- Riverside Cement, Crestmore
- California Portland Cement Colton
- Raybestos Manhattan, Fullerton
- Marvin Corp. Montebello
- Republic Powdered Metals and Gilroy
- W. Henry, Huntington Park
- Shell Oil Refinery Martinez
- Treasure Island Naval Station San Diego
- Consolidated Gas and Electric Company
- Los Angeles General Hospital
- Los Angeles Gas and Electric
- Los Angeles Lighting Company
- Los Angeles Water Works
- West Valley Construction Company
- Industrial Waste Processing, Fresno
- Purity oil sales, Inc., Fresno
- Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base
- Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield
- Santa Monica Electric Company
- American Ceramics Products, Inc., Santa Monica
- American Consumers Industries. Oakland
- Ashland Chemical Company in Oakland
California Mesothelioma Law Firms
A national mesothelioma lawyer firm such as Simmons Hanly Conroy or Weitz & Luxenberg specializes in asbestos litigation and has offices in California. These mesothelioma lawyers are familiar with both federal and state asbestos regulations.
National Mesothelioma Law Firms
- Weitz & Luxenberg
- Cooney & Conway
- Simmons Hanly Conroy
- Nemeroff Law
- Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman
California residents suffering from asbestos-related diseases are advised to choose a national asbestos law firm. They have the experience and reach that no local law firm can match.
Nationally-based firms have the resources and knowledge to handle large corporations that negligently exposed you or your loved ones to asbestos.
California is home to many national mesothelioma law offices. Weitz & Luxemburg, for example, has a Los Angeles office. Cooney & Conway maintains several offices throughout central and southern California, including Pasadena as well as San Diego.
Simmons Hanly Conroy also has offices in San Francisco, California, and El Segundo.
The advantage of choosing a national firm is that they will travel to you even if you aren’t located near one. They will travel frequently to depose clients and won’t charge for travel expenses.
California Workers Receive Asbestos Verdicts
Although these verdicts represent the most significant amount of compensation that can be awarded in a mesothelioma case, most cases are settled outside of court. Asbestos law firms are well-known for securing mesothelioma settlements in excess of a million dollars for their clients.
- $43 Million in 2022: Weitz & Luxenburg secured $43,000,000 for a Los Angeles mesothelioma victim after a jury found Algoma Hardwoods, Inc. guilty of asbestos exposure.
- $11 million in 2018: In a case against Liberty Utilities Corp., a Los Angeles jury ruled in favor of Alfred Mata (and his wife) in 2018. Mata was exposed to secondary asbestos and developed mesothelioma. His father worked for Liberty’s asbestos-containing pipes, and he brought toxic dust home on to his clothes.
- $18 million in 2016: Philip Depoian won a mesothelioma case against Whittaker Clark & Daniels, a talc supplier. The company sold the asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products used at the barbershop where Depoian’s father worked.
- $13 million in 2015: Colgate-Palmolive, four other companies and their spouse were ordered to compensate Judith Winkel. Asbestos contamination in Cashmere Bouquet Talcum Powder led to Winkel developing mesothelioma.
- $48 million in 2012: Bobbie Izell’s family was awarded damages by the Los Angeles Superior Court. While working as a contractor, he was exposed to asbestos in the construction products. Union Carbide, Riverside Cement and CalPortland were major defendants in the mesothelioma suit.
- $208 million in 2010: Rhoda E Evans won a mesothelioma case based on secondary exposure. Her husband was exposed to asbestos cement pipes manufactured by CertainTeed Corporation.
- Dennis Woodard and his wife sued several companies that sold asbestos-containing products for the U.S Navy. Woodard was exposed as a machinist’s friend and an electrician’s friend. This led to mesothelioma.
California Asbestos Laws and Regulations
Title 8 of California Code of Regulations mandates employers to document potential exposure and ensure air quality. It governs the certification and registration of consultants and contractors who work with asbestos.
Title 8 Regulations for Asbestos in California
- 8 CCR SS1529: Regulates asbestos in construction
- 8 CCR SS5208: Regulates asbestos in general industry
- 8 CCR SS8358: Regulates asbestos in shipyards
- 8 CCRSS341.15 – Regulates certification for asbestos consultants and site surveillance technicians
California asbestos claims are governed by a mix of state and federal laws. California has passed new laws, regulations and safety standards over the last few decades that aim to reduce exposure.
State Departments Overseeing California’s Asbestos Laws
California has many state agencies that uphold the laws and regulations regarding asbestos use, abatement and exposure. These agencies include:
- Department of Public Health
- Department of Industrial Relations
- Division of Occupational Safety and Health
- Cal/OSHA’s Asbestos and Carcinogen Unit
- California Environmental Protection Agency
- Air Resources Board
A Cal/OSHA-Certified Consultant is the best person to contact when you need to remove asbestos from buildings in California. They are the only qualified professionals to provide advice on asbestos abatement.
California Laws Affecting Asbestos Lawsuits
California mesothelioma lawyer with a national firm can explain how California’s laws will affect your case.
- California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 312-266: This article outlines the statutes of limitations for California
- California Civil Code Section1714: Defines California’s negligence laws
California’s best law firms will help you get the most for your case. It is in your best interests to hire a mesothelioma lawyer to represent you against those companies that have caused your loved one mesothelioma.
Asbestos & Mesothelioma FAQ
- How long does asbestos exposure take to cause an effect? Because asbestos can appear harmless for a time after being exposed, it can quickly become dangerous. Many times, mesothelioma is not diagnosed until 10 years after first exposure.
Many people don’t realize they are suffering from asbestos-related illness until years later, or even later.
It is important that you keep in touch with your primary physician and report any health concerns promptly.
- What happens to asbestos if you touch it? It is important to remember that asbestos can be harmful not just by touching it but also by inhaling it into your lungs. It is dangerous to handle asbestos in any way or around it.
No matter who or what the asbestos is being disturbed, asbestos can cause serious health problems.
- If the asbestos is not disturbed, can I still live in an asbestos-containing house or building? It is unlikely that asbestos poses a danger if it is kept clean and unaltered. It is hazardous if it is disturbed in any way that produces dust or releases airborne asbestos fibers.
It is possible to leave asbestos in a home or building’s walls if it is found.
Only professional asbestos removal should be done on a home or building if all OSHA and EPA requirements are met.
- Can mesothelioma be curable if detected early? Although asbestos treatments have improved the life expectancy of mesothelioma patients, there is no cure.
It is impossible to cure terminal cancer even if caught early. This is a terminal form of cancer. Anyone with mesothelioma must seek legal advice immediately to protect any legal rights they might have to claim compensation.
Peritoneal mesothelioma, which is less common than pleural, has a higher survival rate. Many patients live for five years or more. You should seek legal counsel if you have lost someone you love to mesothelioma.