Last modified: June 14, 2021
Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in California
California has long been one of the leading jurisdictions for asbestos lawsuit filings, which include personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death lawsuits and asbestos trust fund claims.
The state is generally considered favorable for asbestos lawsuits. This has led to yearly increases in the number of asbestos claims by in-state and out-of-state claimants.
In response, 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. Some California judges encourage parties to resolve cases quickly through settlement.
The statute of limitations in California sets a deadline for filing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. A California mesothelioma attorney can determine how these deadlines apply to your mesothelioma case.
California residents 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, depending upon what is best for your individual case.
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 California Among Highest in US
California ranks No. 1 in the U.S. for mesothelioma and asbestosis deaths. It has the most naturally occurring asbestos of any state in the country. California also led the nation in shipyard asbestos exposure during WWII and beyond.
During the peak of U.S. asbestos use, many mines and processing plants developed around California’s countless asbestos deposits. Most of these locations closed down in the 1990s or early 2000s.
Many veterans have been exposed to asbestos in the California’s shipyards and military bases. Veterans who develop asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, may file a VA claim for benefits and have access to VA health care throughout California.
Mesothelioma lawyers have helped people in California get compensation for many types of asbestos exposure. Most cases are based on occupational asbestos exposure or exposure that happened when veterans served in the armed forces.
California Industries Known for Asbestos Exposure
- Power Generation
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 secondary asbestos exposure.
Companies that sell dangerous consumer products have been held liable for mesothelioma claims. Recent cases involve asbestos-contaminated talcum powder.
Mesothelioma Law Firms Practicing in California
Lawyers at a national mesothelioma law firm like Weitz & Luxenberg or Simmons Hanly Conroy specialize in asbestos litigation and have offices in California. These mesothelioma attorneys understand federal asbestos regulations and California state statutes.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Law Firms
- Weitz & Luxenberg
- Cooney & Conway
- Simmons Hanly Conroy
- Nemeroff Law
- Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman
California residents with asbestos-related diseases should choose a nationwide asbestos law firm because they have the experience and reach that local law firms can’t match. Firms that practice nationwide have the knowledge and resources necessary to take on large corporations that acted negligently in exposing you or a loved one to asbestos.
Most nationwide mesothelioma law firms have office locations in California. For example, Weitz & Luxenberg has an office in Los Angeles. Cooney & Conway has several offices in central and Southern California, including Pasadena and San Diego. Additionally, Simmons Hanly Conroy has offices in San Francisco and El Segundo, California.
A benefit of choosing a nationwide firm is that they will come to you if you don’t happen to live near an office. They travel to their clients regularly to conduct depositions and they won’t charge you for such travel expenses.
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 developed mesothelioma from secondary 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 sold the asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products used at the barbershop where Depoian’s father worked.
- $13 Million in 2015: Colgate-Palmolive and four other companies were ordered to pay damages to Judith Winkel and her husband. Winkel 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 secondary exposure. Her husband 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 sold asbestos-containing products to the U.S. Navy. Woodard developed mesothelioma because of exposure he suffered as a machinist’s mate and electrician’s mate.
- $11 Million in 2006: Asbestos Corporation Limited was ordered to pay damages to Joseph Garza and his wife. Garza used the company’s products to repair ship boilers at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and other shipyards. The asbestos in the products caused Garza to develop asbestosis.
- $33 Million in 2002: A San Francisco jury decided in favor of Alfred Todak, a former shipyard worker. He developed mesothelioma from exposure to several asbestos-containing products.
These verdicts represent some of the highest compensation awarded at trial, but most mesothelioma lawsuits are settled out of court. Law firms specializing in asbestos cases are known to secure mesothelioma settlements worth over a million dollars for clients.
These law firms are also known to secure six-figure payouts from asbestos trust funds.
Certain jurisdictions in California require plaintiffs to disclose trust fund claims when they file a lawsuit. An experienced California mesothelioma lawyer can offer guidance on what trust funds a patient may be eligible for.
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.
California Laws Affecting Asbestos Lawsuits
- California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 312-366: Outlines statutes of limitations in California
- California Civil Code Section 1714: Defines California’s negligence laws
A California mesothelioma attorney with a nationwide firm has the background to explain how these laws affect your case.
They also have the experience necessary to secure the maximum value of your individual case in California. It’s in your best interest to hire a top mesothelioma attorney to stand up to greedy and negligent companies that caused you or your loved one to develop mesothelioma.
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