Hiring a Mesothelioma Lawyer in California

California’s history and geography has made it a leading state for asbestos litigation. An experienced mesothelioma attorney can help patients in California receive the compensation they need.

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California has long been one of the leading jurisdictions for asbestos lawsuit filings. The state ranks No. 1 in the U.S. for mesothelioma and asbestosis deaths.

During the peak of American asbestos use, many mines and processing plants developed around the state’s abundant asbestos deposits. California also led the nation in shipyard asbestos exposure during the WWII years and beyond.

The state is generally considered favorable for asbestos lawsuits. This has led to yearly increases in the number of asbestos claims by both in-state and out-of-state claimants.

In response, the California’s courts have taken measures to manage large asbestos caseloads and expedite claims.

For example, “fast-track” scheduling allows mesothelioma cases to go to trial within 120 days. In addition, some Californian judges encourage parties to resolve cases quickly through settlement.

California Asbestos Laws and Regulations

A mix of federal and state laws regulates asbestos in California. Over the past few decades, California lawmakers responded to asbestos risks with laws, regulations, safety standards and programs aimed at reducing exposure.

Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations requires employers to take specific steps to ensure proper air quality and document all levels of potential exposure. Title 8 also governs registration and certification of asbestos contractors and consultants.

Title 8 Regulations Governing Asbestos in California

  • 8 CCR §1529: Regulates asbestos in construction

  • 8 CCR §5208: Regulates asbestos in general industry

  • 8 CCR §8358: Regulates asbestos in shipyards

  • 8 CCR §341.15: Regulates certification of asbestos consultants and site-surveillance technicians

State Departments Overseeing California’s Asbestos Laws

  • 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

Anyone who needs to remove asbestos from a building in California should contact a Cal/OSHA-Certified Asbestos Consultant. These consultants are the only professionals in the state who are qualified to advise on asbestos abatement.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Filing Deadlines

The statutes of limitations in California set deadlines for filing personal-injury and wrongful-death lawsuits:

  • Mesothelioma patients have one year to file a personal-injury claim after they are diagnosed.

  • If a person passes away from mesothelioma, their family has one year from the time of death to file a wrongful-death claim.

A California mesothelioma attorney can determine how these statutes apply to an individual’s mesothelioma case.

California Job Sites with Documented Asbestos Exposure

Antioch

  • Crown Zellerbach Paper Mill

  • Dupont Chemical Plant

  • Fibreboard Paper Mill

  • Kaiser Gypsum Plant

Atwater

  • Castle Air Force Base

Barstow

  • Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base

Bishop

  • Union Carbide Mine

Coalinga

  • King City Asbestos Company (KCAC)

Concord

  • Concord Naval Weapons Station

  • Shell Oil Refinery

Eureka

  • Georgia Pacific Pulp

Fairfield

  • Travis Air Force Base

Fresno

  • Industrial Waste Processing

Gilroy

  • Republic Powdered Metals

Lancaster

  • Edwards Air Force Base

Lathrop

  • Sharpe Army Depot

Los Angeles Area

  • American Cement Company

  • American Ceramics Products

  • Amex Aluminum Plant

  • Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) Refinery

  • Bethlehem Steel

  • California Portland Cement

  • California Shipbuilding Company

  • Colton Cement

  • Consolidated Steel Shipyard

  • Douglas Aircraft Company

  • El Toro Marine Corps Air Station

  • Fibreboard Paper Products

  • Ford Assembly Plant

  • Goodyear Plant

  • H. Krasne & Company

  • La Habra Stucco Company

  • Lockheed Martin Aeronautical

  • Long Beach Naval Shipyard

  • Los Angeles Dry Dock and Shipbuilding

  • Los Angeles Gas & Electric

  • March Air Force Base

  • McCloskey Sheet Metal

  • Norton Air Force Base

  • Procter & Gamble Plant

  • Richfield Oil Refinery

  • Riverside Cement

  • Shell Oil Refinery

  • Superior Oil Company

  • Thorpe Insulation Company

  • Todd Shipyard

  • U.S. Gypsum Company

  • U.S. Rubber Tire & Synthetic Rubber Plant

  • Union Oil Refinery

  • W.W. Henry Flooring Adhesives

  • Western Pipe & Steel Company

  • Zonolite/W.R. Grace & Company

Modesto

  • Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant

Red Bluff

  • Diamond National Paper Mill

Sacramento

  • Aerojet General Aerospace Plant

  • Mather Air Force Base

  • McClellan Air Force Base

  • Procter & Gamble Chemical Plant

  • Sacramento Army Depot

Samoa

  • Georgia Pacific Paper Mill

San Diego

  • Asbestos Roofing Company

  • Eberhard Benton Roofing

  • Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base

  • Campbell Shipyard

  • Conair Aircraft Plant

  • General Dynamics (NASSCO)

  • San Diego Gas & Electric

  • San Diego Naval Shipyard

  • Standard Oil Company Mine

San Francisco Area

  • Alameda Naval Air Station

  • American Bitumals and Asphalt Company

  • American Consumers Industries

  • Ashland Chemical Company

  • Bethlehem Steel Shipyard

  • Fibreboard Paper Products

  • Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant

  • General Electric Plant

  • Hunters Point Naval Shipyard

  • Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical

  • Moore Dry Dock Company

  • Southern Pacific Railroad

  • U.S. Steel Shipyard

  • United Engineering Company

  • Western Pipe & Steel Shipyard

San Jose

  • Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant

  • Naval Air Station Moffett Field

  • Owens-Corning Plant

Tracy

  • Tracy Defense Depot

Victorville

  • George Air Force Base

Watson

  • Johns-Manville Plant

California Mesothelioma Lawsuits

People diagnosed with mesothelioma should speak with a qualified mesothelioma attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you file a claim for compensation in California or another state, as appropriate.

Mesothelioma lawyers have helped people in California get compensation for many types of asbestos exposure.

Most cases are based on occupational asbestos exposure. Former construction workers, shipyard workers and veterans are particularly at risk. Children and spouses may also be able to file a lawsuit if they develop mesothelioma because of secondhand asbestos exposure.

Companies that sell dangerous consumer products have been held liable for mesothelioma claims. Recent cases involve asbestos-contaminated talcum powder.

Asbestos Verdicts Awarded to California Workers

  • $11 million: In 2018, a Los Angeles jury decided in favor of Alfred Mata and his wife in a lawsuit against Liberty Utilities Corp. Mata had developed mesothelioma from secondhand asbestos exposure. His father had worked with Liberty’s asbestos-containing pipes and brought toxic dust home on his clothes.

  • $18 million: In 2016, Philip Depoian won a mesothelioma lawsuit against talc supplier Whittaker, Clark & Daniels. The company had sold the asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products used at the barbershop where Depoian’s father had worked.

  • $13 million: In 2015, Colgate-Palmolive and four other companies were ordered to pay damages to Judith Winkel and her husband. Winkel had developed mesothelioma because of asbestos contamination in Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder.

  • $48 million: In 2012, the Los Angeles Superior Court awarded damages to the family of Bobbie Izell. He had been exposed to asbestos in construction products while working as a contractor. Major defendants in the mesothelioma lawsuit included CalPortland, Riverside Cement and Union Carbide.

  • $208 million: In 2010, Rhoda Evans won a mesothelioma lawsuit based on secondhand exposure. Her husband had worked with asbestos cement pipes made by CertainTeed Corporation.

  • $17 million: In 2008, Dennis Woodard and his wife filed a lawsuit against several manufacturers that had sold asbestos-containing products to the U.S. Navy. Woodard had developed mesothelioma because of exposure he suffered as a machinist’s mate and electrician’s mate.

  • $11 million: In 2006, Asbestos Corporation Limited was order to pay damages to Joseph Garza and his wife. Garza had used the company’s products to repair ship boilers at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and other shipyards. The asbestos in the products cause Garza to develop asbestosis.

  • $33 million: In 2002, a San Francisco jury decided in favor of Alfred Todak, a former shipyard worker. He had developed mesothelioma after being exposed to several manufacturers’ asbestos-containing products.

Settlements

Out-of-court settlement amounts for California mesothelioma cases are usually kept undisclosed. This means the information is not publically available.

However, law firms specializing in asbestos cases are known to secure mesothelioma settlements worth over a million dollars for clients.

Trust Funds

Federal asbestos trust funds provide compensation in cases where the company responsible has filed for bankruptcy. Certain jurisdictions in California require plaintiffs to disclose bankruptcy-trust claims when they file a lawsuit.

An experienced mesothelioma lawyer in California can offer guidance on what trust-fund resources a patient may be eligible for.

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Last Modified November 20, 2018

Lawyer and On-Site Legal Advisor

Joe Lahav is a lawyer and legal advisor at The Mesothelioma Center. He graduated with honors from the University of Florida College of Law in 2000, and he's licensed to practice in Washington, D.C., and Florida. Joe lost his mother to cancer, and he understands the emotional toll mesothelioma can have on families.

Walter Pacheco, Managing Editor at Asbestos.com
Edited by

19 Cited Article Sources

  1. Mundy, J. (2018, June 25). Asbestos Mesothelioma Passed from Father to Son, Guilty Verdict for Defendant Liberty Utilities (Park Water) Corp.
    Retrieved from: https://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/asbestos_mesothelioma/asbestos-mesothelioma-passed-from-father-son-guilty-verdict-defe-22939.html
  2. Reynolds, M. (2016, October 28). Cancerous Talc Powder Spurs $18M Jury Verdict.
    Retrieved from: http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/10/28/cancerous-talc-powder-spurs-18m-jury-verdict.htm
  3. Melley, B. (2015, April 29). Jury Awards Woman $13 million for Asbestos Exposure.
    Retrieved from: http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2015/04/29/jury-awards-woman-13m-for-exposure-to-asbestos-in-talcum
  4. Randles, J. (2012, June 21). Calif. Jury Awards $48M In Union Carbide Asbestos Case.
    Retrieved from: https://www.law360.com/articles/352759/calif-jury-awards-48m-in-union-carbide-asbestos-case
  5. Mohan, G. (2011, August 23). California asbestos deposits mapped.
    Retrieved from: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/08/california-asbestos-deposits-mapped.html
  6. Law 360. (July 21, 2010). Asbestos Tort Reform: Where Are We?
    Retrieved from: https://www.law360.com/articles/180148
  7. Redding, B. (2010, April 30). Los Angeles Jury Awards $200 Million in Punitive Damages for Secondhand Asbestos Exposure.
    Retrieved from: https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/litigation/b/litigation-blog/archive/2010/04/30/los-angeles-jury-awards-200-million-in-punitive-damages-for-secondhand-asbestos-exposure.aspx
  8. Public Citizen Congress Watch. (2006).
    Retrieved from: http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/10865.pdf
  9. Carroll, S. et al. (2005). Rand Institute for Civil Justice.
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  11. California Courts. (n.d.). Statute of Limitations.
    Retrieved from: http://www.courts.ca.gov/9618.htm
  12. California Department of Industrial Relations. (n.d.). Asbestos Contractor Registration.
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  13. California Department of Industrial Relations. (n.d.). Asbestos Consultant Certification.
    Retrieved from: https://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/ch3_2sb2a2_6.html
  14. California Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.). Naturally Occurring Asbestos General Information.
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  15. Find Law. (n.d.). California Asbestos Regulations.
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  16. State of California Department of Industrial Relations. (n.d.). Asbestos Information.
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  17. State of California Department of Industrial Relations. (n.d.). Asbestos and Carcinogen Unit.
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