Last modified: April 20, 2021
Filing a Claim in Georgia
In spite of the significant asbestos exposure that occurred in Georgia’s industries and workplaces throughout the 20th century, the state is not popular for filing mesothelioma claims, which include personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death lawsuits and asbestos trust fund claims.
The state is not considered favorable for asbestos lawsuits, which has led many Georgia residents to file their claim in another state.
Georgia entered the asbestos litigation reform movement in 2005 when lawmakers elected to manage the state’s asbestos case docket. Lawmakers adopted bills that formed strict new filing requirements for asbestos cases, and the effect was immediate. Several pending cases were dismissed from Georgia state courts.
Before the new asbestos litigation laws were enacted, Fulton County State Court Judge Henry Newkirk heard a substantial portion of the state’s asbestos lawsuits. After the new laws passed, Newkirk’s asbestos-related caseload fell significantly in a year, from 1,200 to about a dozen.
Many veterans in Georgia were exposed to asbestos products on military bases. Veterans who develop mesothelioma may file VA claims for benefits, and they have access to VA health care in Georgia.
A Georgia mesothelioma lawyer can help you trace your asbestos exposure and determine whether you can file a lawsuit in Georgia or another state. Keep in mind that Georgia and other states limit the amount of time you have to file an asbestos lawsuit, a time period known as the statute of limitations.
Asbestos Exposure in Georgia
Asbestos exposure in Georgia has primarily occurred in occupational settings and near naturally occurring asbestos deposits.
Georgia has a significant amount of naturally occurring asbestos in its mountainous regions. It has 52 asbestos deposits and was once home to 17 asbestos mines, including the Sall Mountain Asbestos mine, the first asbestos mine in the U.S. to produce asbestos on a large scale.
A number of industries in Georgia used asbestos products that exposed many workers to the toxic mineral. Workers were exposed in factories, manufacturing plants, power generation facilities and military bases.
Georgia Industries Known for Asbestos Exposure
- Military operations
- Power generation
Law Firms Practicing in Georgia
More than 50% of mesothelioma plaintiffs in the U.S. file their claims outside of the state they live in, according to a 2019 KCIC industry report. Most mesothelioma plaintiffs in Georgia file out-of-state because Georgia courts have passed laws that tend to favor asbestos defendants.
For this reason, Georgia residents with mesothelioma will want to consider a nationwide mesothelioma law firm because they have the knowledge and experience to file asbestos claims anywhere in the country.
Mesothelioma law firms that practice nationwide have the experience to know the best state in which to file your claim. They’ve handled many different types of cases and they know which jurisdiction is best for your type of claim.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Law Firms
- Weitz & Luxenberg
- Cooney & Conway
- Simmons Hanly Conroy
- Nemeroff Law
- Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman
One of the many benefits of choosing a nationwide mesothelioma law firm is their willingness to travel to their clients. They make it easy on you by conducting interviews and depositions from the comfort of your hometown, and you won’t be charged for their travel costs.
It is in your family’s best interest to hire one the nation’s best mesothelioma attorneys. They have a long track record of standing up to the negligent asbestos manufacturers who knowingly exposed you or your loved one to asbestos.
Asbestos Verdicts Awarded to Georgia Workers
- $4.9 Million in 2016: A Chatham County jury awarded nearly $5 million to a former paper mill employee who developed mesothelioma. He claimed he developed the cancer after exposure to asbestos products used at the mill.
- $4.2 Million in 2016: The Georgia Supreme Court reversed a $4.2 million verdict formerly awarded to a sheet metal worker after he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos yarn and other asbestos-contaminated products. Prior to the verdict, defendant Union Carbide decided to settle.
Multimillion-dollar mesothelioma verdicts are not common in Georgia. Many Georgia residents decide to file their claim in other states that are more favorable to mesothelioma plaintiffs.
The top mesothelioma law firms know the best state to file your claim in based upon the type of case that you have. These firms are known to secure mesothelioma settlements worth more than a million dollars for their clients. They are also known to recover six-figure payouts from asbestos trust funds.
Georgia Asbestos Laws and Regulations
Georgia has a mix of federal and state laws that regulate asbestos and aim to protect the public from exposure.
In 2009, state funding for the Georgia Asbestos Program was cut. By 2011, the program was completely defunded. Control of the program was transferred to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 4, except the state continued to oversee asbestos abatement in residential homes.
Formerly, all asbestos regulations were administrated by the Land Protection Branch of the state’s Environmental Protection Division. In 2017, the branch made headlines for failing to report any asbestos abatement violations in the prior seven years.
Regulations Governing Asbestos in Georgia
- Georgia Code Title 12, Chapter 12, Asbestos Safety Act: Statutes that define the Georgia Asbestos Program.
Departments Overseeing Georgia’s Asbestos Laws
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 4: Oversees and enforces Georgia’s asbestos regulations.
- Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Land Protection Branch: Operates Georgia’s asbestos abatement program in residential homes.
Georgia Laws Affecting Asbestos Lawsuits
- Georgia Code Title 51, Chapter 14, Asbestos and Silica Claims: Outlines laws in Georgia affecting asbestos and silica claims.
- Georgia Code Title 51, Chapter 15, Asbestos Claims: Outlines laws in Georgia affecting asbestos claims.
- Georgia Code Title 51, Chapter 12, Damages: Defines Georgia’s negligence laws
- Georgia Code Title 9, Chapter 3, Limitations of Actions: Defines Georgia’s statutes of limitations.
Asbestos Litigation Trends in Georgia
Georgia enacted a revised version of the Asbestos and Silica Litigation Reform law on May 1, 2007. State law currently includes the following key provisions to regulate asbestos litigation within Georgia courts.
Plaintiffs with nonmalignant conditions and asbestos-related cancers must provide evidence of physical impairment before trial in order to move forward with their lawsuits. Mesothelioma claimants are not required to provide further evidence of physical impairment.
Plaintiffs with asbestos-related cancers other than mesothelioma must provide a medical report by a qualified doctor certifying that asbestos exposure was a substantial contributing factor to the diagnosed cancer.
No discovery can take place until the required evidence has been established. Georgia also attempts to limit the use of information obtained from mass asbestos screenings sponsored by personal injury lawyers to satisfy medical criteria.
Limits on Who Can File Claims
As of May 1, 2007, asbestos lawsuits may only be filed by Georgia residents or people who were residents at the time of exposure.
Georgia state courts may not consolidate the cases of multiple asbestos claimants for trial without the consent of all parties.
Georgia law limits successor liability to the fair market value of the total assets of a predecessor company at the time of merger or consolidation.
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