Last modified: June 14, 2021
Filing an Asbestos Claim in Alabama
Alabama courts have issued a few substantial verdicts for asbestos plaintiffs in the past, but state courts have a history of ruling in favor of asbestos defendants. For this reason, many people in Alabama who develop mesothelioma choose to file their claim in another state when they’re able.
Workers in Alabama who develop asbestos-related illnesses may be eligible to file a personal injury claim, and those who lost a loved one to an asbestos disease may qualify to file a wrongful death claim.
Alabama residents have been exposed in cities of all sizes, including Anniston, Athens, Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Tuscaloosa. Veterans in Alabama were exposed at military bases such as Fort McClellan, Fort Rucker and Maxwell Air Force Base.
The statute of limitations to file an asbestos lawsuit in Alabama is two years from the date of diagnosis for both personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. However, Alabama law does have some complexity depending on when a person was exposed to asbestos. This does not mean you cannot file a claim, but it does mean that you want to work with a competent mesothelioma law firm that understands and can overcome these complexities.
You should not rely on any information herein to make a determination about your legal rights. Please speak to an attorney licensed to practice law in your area to best understand your legal options.
Asbestos Exposure in Alabama
There is one primary area of naturally occurring asbestos in Alabama, located around LaFayette, which is north of Auburn, Alabama. The area contains several asbestos mine prospects that were never commercially mined.
Residents were primarily exposed to asbestos in occupational settings and industrial job sites. Shipyard workers, steel workers, factory workers and mill workers faced the greatest risk of exposure in Alabama.
- Aerospace industry
- Cement production
- Chemical production
- Metal works
- Paper milling
- Power generation
- Ship building
Law Firms Practicing in Alabama
Alabama residents should consider working with a national mesothelioma law firm. Few asbestos plaintiffs choose to file their claim in Alabama because of the state’s laws. National firms are licensed to practice throughout the U.S., which means they can file your claim in the best state or jurisdiction for your individual claim.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Law Firms
- Weitz & Luxenberg
- Simmons Hanly Conroy
- Cooney & Conway
- Nemeroff Law
- Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman
One of the benefits of working with a national law firm is their willingness to travel to you. They understand their clients are not in the best position to travel because of a cancer diagnosis, and they usually don’t charge for travel to the initial meeting.
A good mesothelioma firm can also help Alabama residents understand if they qualify to file claims with asbestos trust funds. There are two companies with asbestos trust funds that were headquartered in Alabama: Rock Wool Manufacturing Company and Shook & Fletcher.
Notable Asbestos Verdicts Awarded to Alabama Workers
- $115.6 Million in 1998: A group of 21 Alabama steel workers were awarded $115.6 million by a Texas jury for developing asbestos-related diseases from asbestos exposure while working at a U.S. Steel mill in Birmingham, Alabama. The jury awarded $15.6 million in damages and $100 million in punitive damages.
- $3.5 Million in 2015: An Alabama judge awarded more than $3.5 million to the estate of Barbara Bobo, whose surviving family claimed she developed pleural mesothelioma from washing her husband’s asbestos-contaminated work clothes for 22 years. Bobo’s husband worked at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Athens, Alabama, where he was exposed to asbestos. He died in 1997 of asbestos-related lung cancer and had previously been diagnosed with asbestosis.
- $450,000 in 1995: Four asbestos lawsuits were consolidated for trial involving plaintiffs exposed to Kaylo, an asbestos-containing insulation brand manufactured by Owens Corning. A jury awarded $100,000 in damages to each plaintiff and $25,000 each to two spouses of the plaintiffs for loss of consortium.
- $81,000 in 1995: An Alabama jury awarded $81,000 to a man with asbestosis who claimed he developed the disease from asbestos exposure while working as a machinist at shipyards and mills in Alabama. He was exposed to several asbestos products, including asbestos pipe insulation and asbestos insulation found in ship engine rooms.
Alabama Asbestos Laws and Regulations
Alabama has a mix of state and federal asbestos laws that regulate asbestos and prevent exposure of residents.
Regulations Governing Asbestos in Alabama
- Alabama Code Title 22, Section 22-39-1: Alabama Code Title 22 on Health, Mental Health, and Environmental Control contains the state’s asbestos laws.
State Departments Overseeing Alabama’s Asbestos Laws
- Alabama Department of Environmental Management
- Alabama Department of Environmental Management Air Division
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management oversees and licenses asbestos abatement workers and projects in the state. It also manages the Alabama Asbestos Contractor Accreditation Program. It contains an air division that regulates asbestos air quality in the state.
Alabama Laws Affecting Asbestos Lawsuits
- Alabama Code Section 6-2-1: Defines the statutes of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Alabama.
- Alabama Code Section 6-5-410: Defines Alabama’s negligence laws. Additionally, the ruling in the 1980 Alabama case Golden v. McCurry helped to define the state’s contributory negligence doctrine.
An Alabama mesothelioma attorney at a national law firm has the experience and reach to handle your claim. They have the expertise to help you understand how these laws may apply to your case and whether you should and are able to file your claim in another jurisdiction.
Asbestos Litigation Trends in Alabama
Alabama courts have issued several rulings that set it apart from most other states when it comes to asbestos litigation.
Alabama is among the states that say companies are responsible for asbestos-related diseases that develop through secondhand exposure to asbestos. Commonly referred to as a “take-home duty,” Alabama courts have held companies responsible when workers take asbestos home on their clothes and unintentionally expose those they live with.
Statutes of Limitations
Today, Alabama has a two-year statute of limitations for asbestos claims, including personal injury and wrongful death claims. Depending on the year a person was exposed to asbestos, however, this two-year time frame may not apply. Talk to an experienced mesothelioma attorney to understand how the statute of limitations in Alabama applies to you.
Alabama is also a state that employs a contributory negligence doctrine. This allows asbestos defendants to argue that an asbestos plaintiff was partially responsible for the asbestos exposure and to, potentially, avoid liability for the plaintiff’s disease. Because of these laws and limitations, Alabama residents diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases often choose to file their claim in another state when they are able. National mesothelioma lawyers can help Alabama residents file claims in states and jurisdictions that are better suited for their case.
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