Florida is a rapidly growing state in the United States and has a long history of asbestos use. Until the 1980s, asbestos-containing products were excessively used in homes, schools, hospitals, and commercial buildings because of its ease of use, low cost, and resistance to heat and fire. Subsequently, numerous people in the state developed asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma.
Florida Asbestos Laws
Due to the hazards associated with asbestos and products containing this mineral, Florida has laws under Chapter 62-257 of the Florida Administrative Code (FAC). The state mandated these laws for protecting employees and other people from the dangers effects of asbestos exposure.
State Asbestos Reform Law
In 1997, Florida passed a law, which is called the Asbestos Reform Law, for helping asbestos victims diagnosed with mesothelioma. According to this law, people diagnosed already with mesothelioma will get priority when making an asbestos claim. The state decided to enact this law after finding that an overwhelming 90 percent of claimants hadn’t exhibited any symptoms of an asbestos-related illness or had no such diagnosis.
Anyway, everyone in the state has the right to hire a mesothelioma lawyer and seek damages if they have a history of asbestos exposure caused by the negligence of another party. This means, a diagnosis is not an essential requirement to seek damages. However, those who have already been diagnosed with asbestos-related ailments like mesothelioma will have the case pushed through much faster than others who don’t have a diagnosis.
Florida Statute of Limitations
Under Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.011 et. seq., the statute of limitations for an asbestos exposure lawsuit is same as that of a personal injury suit. The lawsuit should be filed within 4 years of the diagnosis or within 4 years after the disease should’ve been reasonably detected. A wrongful death lawsuit linked to asbestos exposure should be filed within 4 years following the death of the victim.
Retain a Florida Mesothelioma Lawyer
Discovered mesothelioma or other diseases linked to asbestos exposure, you may be eligible to receive substantial compensation. Right now, asbestos trust funds have more than $30 billion for compensating victims of exposure. We can assist you in finding the best Florida mesothelioma lawyer.
The service of an experienced and compassionate mesothelioma lawyer is vital for the victory. We can help you find the best mesothelioma lawyer in your area. Please call at 1-800-706-5606 or fill our online contact form.
Florida Asbestos Use History
The population in Florida has been quickly growing since the 1940. According to the United States Census Bureau, it is one of the most rapidly growing states in the U.S. for decades. Because of the raising population, construction industry is a major part of the state for more than 50 years.
Apart from construction of commercial buildings and homes, shipbuilding industry was one of the major contributors to the economy of Florida for several decades. Both the shipbuilding and construction industries used asbestos extensively until the 1980s. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), both these industries have the highest rates of employees contracting mesothelioma and other asbestos-related ailments. Thus Florida became a leading state for mesothelioma lawsuits. Following an outpour of claims, the state started limiting asbestos lawsuits. Florida is the first state to limit asbestos exposure suits by introducing strict stipulations prior to a claimant can file an asbestos lawsuit.
Shipbuilding Industry and Asbestos
In Florida, asbestos was heavily used by the shipbuilding industry all through the 20th century. This extensive asbestos use continued until the 1980s when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency started regulating the handling and removal of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). Almost all vessels constructed until the 1980s contained the deadly carcinogen which was literally used everywhere including: insulation; deck covering materials; boilers; packing materials; tubes; valves; grinders; gaskets; hydraulics; engine rooms; fire rooms; bedding materials; paneling; and mess halls.
Construction Industry and Asbestos
Workers in the construction industry suffered heavy asbestos exposure on a regular basis for decades before the 1980s. Asbestos was present in numerous construction materials, including: flooring tiles; roofing shingles; wall tiles; ceiling tiles; textiles; cement; pipe covering; and insulation.
A number of buildings in Florida were created when asbestos was a popular construction material. Though EPA has been regulating asbestos since the 1980s, many buildings constructed prior to that still exist in the state and many of them contain asbestos. These buildings include schools, hospitals, libraries, homes, public buildings, and banks.
Asbestos Processing Plants in Florida
Before the 1980s, there were some vermiculite processing plants in Florida, which processed vermiculite ore contaminated with asbestos. Some of them, including the W.R. Grace Exfoliation Plant (former Zonolite Company) in Tampa, are still functional. However, the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the state Department of Health started inspecting as well as evaluating the Tampa plant after realizing that the vermiculite it processed between the 1950s and 70s came from Libby, Montana and contained large amounts of hazardous asbestos. The Libby, Montana mine was closed in the 1990s. Still there are traces of asbestos vermiculite all across the U.S., including a few vermiculite processing plants in Florida.
Though the DoH and ATSDR determined that the current levels of asbestos at the vermiculite processing plant in Tampa are low, these agencies advise all those worked there before the 1990s to undergo regular medical checkups.
Other Florida Industries Known for Asbestos Problem
In addition to construction and shipyard industries, Florida workers were exposed to asbestos while working for industries including automotive, paper, and oil & gas. Workers were exposed to asbestos while working at various plants including automotive plants, sheet metal plants, paper mills, cement plants, and oil refineries.
Fort Lauderdale (Florida Power & Light)
Georgia E. Turner
American Cyanamid Chemical
Florida Crushed Stone Cement Plant
Georgia Pacific Plywood
Union Camp Chemical
U.S. Phosphoric Plant
WR Grace Phosphate
Naval Air Station
Pensacola Naval Shipyard
Rayonier Paper Mill
St. Regis Paper Mill
Smurfit-Stone Container Pulp & Paper Mill
Tampa Bay Shipbuilding & Repair
University of Florida (UFL)
CPV Cana Limited
Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral