Our Boston mesothelioma lawyers for years have been following the tragic news out of Libby, Montana, where thousands of people have gotten sick and many others have died as a result of heavy exposure to asbestos.
For most of the 21st Century, that city produced a large majority of the vermiculite, which was tainted with asbestos, used in the United States. The natural mineral was mined and shipped to different plants throughout the country, where it was processed and then turned into insulation, coating for pipes and in boiler rooms as well as on common products, such as brake pads and crock pots.
Research has shown that asbestos exposure has been linked to and is the leading cause of mesothelioma in New England. This natural mineral can get into a person’s body and form the cancer over a period of decades. In some cases, the exposure to asbestos occurred 50 years before a person was diagnosed.
Sadly, once a person is diagnosed, the typical time they have left to live is only 12 months. So, mesothelioma is not only incurable, but takes decades to manifest itself and by then the cancer is so advanced it is unstoppable.
And many people in this country have been diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to Libby asbestos. This mine was churning out 70 percent of the country’s asbestos between 1920 and 1990. Books and news articles on the subject have described a dusty film that coated the town, causing everyone around to be exposed.
At the time, people didn’t know the ill effects of asbestos. But as people began getting sick, researchers found that asbestos was the root cause. Lawsuits have claimed that the company that ran the mine, WR Grace & Co., found out about the problems but did nothing to stop them or tell their workers. A federal prosecution was unsuccessful and living workers and their relatives have been trying to get any money they can to try to help with medical bills.
According to a recent article in The Daily Inter Lake, a bankruptcy case between the company and those who got ill as a result of the asbestos in the city could result in a $19.5 million settlement in favor of the victims. Grace filed for bankruptcy in 2001 after being slammed with asbestos-related claims.
The mine has been shut down for more than two decades, but people are still being diagnosed today. Grace set up a medical program in 2000 and has funded it voluntarily, the newspaper reports. The settlement would provide some stability, since the company could fold the medical program at any time.
Grace has been named in more than 110,000 asbestos personal injury claims. The money for the settlement will come from cash, insurance proceeds, common stock and other sources. Asbestos victims have also been receiving checks from the state of Montana, which agreed to a $43 million settlement to compensate victims. The federal government has also earmarked funds.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman provides representation for victims exposed to asbestos who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston and throughout Massachusetts and New England. Call 1-877-617-5333 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Libby Asbestos Back in the News With Tainted Wood Chips That May Have Been Shipped to Massachusetts: November 18, 2011
Bankruptcy deal may help Libby victims, by Lynnette Hintze, The Daily Inter Lake