10 Min Read
Last Updated: 02/02/2024
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Written by Joe Lahav, Esquire | Legally Reviewed By Samuel Meirowitz | Edited By Walter Pacheco

How to File a Mesothelioma Claim in Massachusetts

Many people exposed to asbestos in Massachusetts are workers and residents who have died from asbestos-related diseases because of unnecessary exposure. Help from a Massachusetts mesothelioma attorney can provide compensation for patients and family members that can help with medical costs and other expenses.

The dense populations of Norfolk and Suffolk counties account for many asbestos-related fatalities in the state. Anyone with an asbestos-related diagnosis, or surviving family members of someone who has died from an asbestos-related illness, may be eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit with a Massachusetts mesothelioma attorney.

Asbestos Legal Statistics in Massachusetts
  • Average Verdict: The average mesothelioma trial verdict payout is between $5 million and $11.4 million.
  • Highest Verdict: In 2014, a Boston jury awarded $9.3 million to the Lydon family after John Lyndon, a construction supervisor for T&N Ltd., developed mesothelioma.
  • Number of Claims Filed: Between 1999 and 2018, the latest data available, 1,869 people in Massachusetts had mesothelioma and were potentially eligible to file for compensation.
  • Ranking for Plaintiff Favorability: According to the 2019 State Liability Systems rankings, the most recent survey available, Massachusetts ranks 28 among the best states in which to file a legal claim.
  • Ranking in Mesothelioma Deaths: Between 1999 and 2018, the most recent data available shows that 1,504 people in Massachusetts died from mesothelioma.

Massachusetts courts have a history of favoring mesothelioma patients when there is evidence of asbestos negligence. Current legal policies in Massachusetts also allow unimpaired plaintiffs to file for compensation after asbestos exposure, which guarantees their claim if they develop an illness later.

Mesothelioma patients, their families and anyone with a history of asbestos exposure in Massachusetts may be eligible to seek compensation. However, the Massachusetts statute of limitations and other complex laws can complicate the process.

Deadlines for Filing an Asbestos Claim

Claimants must file a personal injury claim within three years after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Surviving family members of deceased loved ones with an asbestos-related illness have three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. 

Because of the historically high risk of asbestos exposure in Boston and surrounding areas, state law in Massachusetts may place claimants on an inactive docket if their health status is not severe. However, the lawsuit becomes active if their condition worsens. A Massachusetts asbestos attorney can help patients and families understand the best options for filing a mesothelioma claim.

Risk of Asbestos Exposure in Massachusetts

Massachusetts residents and workers faced asbestos exposure risks from industrial jobs in the state. A superfund site in Walpole is polluted with asbestos, arsenic, lead and other toxic chemicals from industrial operations.

The Boston Naval Shipyard was one of the country’s most prominent shipbuilding facilities and played a crucial role in World War II. However, hundreds of materials on each Navy ship, such as insulation panels, epoxies and gaskets, contained asbestos until the 1980s.

W.R. Grace, a chemical manufacturer that used asbestos in its products, operated sites in Acton and Walpole. Asbestos mines in the state were active in Berkshire County, Salem and Pelham.

Massachusetts Industries Known for Asbestos Exposure

Commercial and industrial job sites used asbestos-containing materials to prevent fires, control heat and limit chemical corrosion. Workers who handled or made asbestos-containing products were at risk of developing related diseases much later in life.

Industries include:
  • Asbestos product manufacturing
  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Chemical production
  • Construction
  • General manufacturing
  • Insulation installation
  • Power generation
  • Shipbuilding
  • Textile mills

Exposure to asbestos in these industries was common before the 1980s. The Massachusetts Department of Health reports that the state’s past asbestos exposure is responsible for approximately 100 new mesothelioma cases each year.

Massachusetts State Departments and Asbestos Laws

The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards works with lawmakers and regulatory agencies to control asbestos handling and disposal throughout the state. Legislators have established statewide rules that govern abatement projects and licensure for asbestos removal professionals.

The Massachusetts Asbestos Safety Program coordinates with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and multistate regulatory authorities. Its goal is to protect the public from long-term damage from excessive asbestos exposure.

How to Choose the Best Mesothelioma Attorney in Massachusetts

Choosing the best mesothelioma attorney in Massachusetts involves research and consultation. Start by researching mesothelioma attorneys in Massachusetts. Look for attorneys at nationwide law firms who specialize in mesothelioma cases. Schedule free consultations with potential firms to learn more about them.

Check the mesothelioma law firm’s track record of success in similar cases and ask about the number of mesothelioma cases they’ve handled. Make sure the firm is knowledgeable about asbestos litigation laws in Massachusetts. Ask about prior settlements and verdicts they’ve won. This will give you a sense of their ability to secure favorable outcomes for their clients. 

You want to choose an attorney with whom you feel comfortable, who is responsive to you, and who inspires confidence in their abilities to strongly represent your case. Your attorney should be a legal advocate who guides you through the legal process while fighting for your rights and fair compensation.

Benefits of Working With a Mesothelioma Lawyer

The benefits of working with a mesothelioma lawyer include expertise in asbestos litigation, a team of investigators working on your case, medical experts testifying on your behalf and experience guiding clients through the legal process.

The top mesothelioma law firms understand the complex laws and regulations related to asbestos litigation, including Massachusetts’ regulations and statutes of limitations. The best firms have investigators who gather evidence that documents your past asbestos exposure. They also have medical experts who provide testimony about how asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma.

These assets and others help to build a strong case in your favor. Your attorney will represent you in negotiations with defendants, in court if necessary, and during settlement discussions. They will advocate for your best interests at all stages of the legal process. Expert legal representation can result in significant mesothelioma compensation.

Massachusetts and Boston Mesothelioma Law Firms

Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyers with the most experience and best track records of success work for national asbestos law firms. Victims of asbestos exposure and their families in Massachusetts can work with these dedicated firms to easily navigate the legal process and secure compensation.

Weitz and Luxenburg
700 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
  • $8.5 Billion Recovered
  • Serves Clients Nationwide
  • Rated #1 by U.S. News & World Report for 2022
Simmons Hanly Conroy Logo
1 Court Street
Alton, Illinois 62002
  • $8.9 Billion Recovered
  • Serves Clients Nationwide
  • Rated a Tier 1 Law Firm in 2022 by U.S. News & World Report
meirowitz & wasserberg logo
1040 Sixth Avenue 12B
New York, NY 10018
  • $200 Million Recovered
  • Serves Clients Nationwide
  • Rated in the Top 10 Asbestos and Mesothelioma Trial Lawyers
Nemeroff Law Firm Logo
8226 Douglas Avenue Suite 740
Dallas, TX 75225
  • $500 Million Recovered
  • Serves Clients Nationwide
  • Rated a “Hall of Fame” law firm by The Legal 500
Cooney & Conway Logo
120 N Lasalle Street Suite 3000
Chicago, IL 60602
  • $7 Billion Recovered
  • Serves Clients Nationwide
  • Rated a National Tier 1 Firm by U.S. News & World Report in 2022
Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman
820 Mililani Street Suite 505
Honolulu, HI 96813
  • $600 Million Recovered
  • Serves Clients Nationwide
  • 30+ Years Experience

National mesothelioma law firms can travel to Boston or anywhere else in the nation. Their flexibility and expertise are essential for winning asbestos cases in every state. These firms have decades of experience and resources, such as extensive asbestos databases, to fight large corporations.

In some cases, filing a lawsuit outside of your home state could improve your chances of a favorable court verdict or improve the financial outcome. A Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyer ensures that every step of the legal process goes smoothly.

Cities in Massachusetts with Top Mesothelioma Law Firms
  • Boston
  • Brockton
  • Cambridge
  • Lynn
  • Lowell
  • New Bedford
  • Newton
  • Quincy
  • Springfield
  • Worcester

Asbestos Court Verdicts in Massachusetts

Massachusetts residents and their families have won millions of dollars from asbestos lawsuits and mesothelioma settlements. Asbestos-related cancers, such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, are preventable, and Massachusetts asbestos attorneys help those affected secure rightful compensation.

  • $14.4 Million in 2017: In a 2017 trial verdict, the Boston Superior Court awarded $14.4 million to two Massachusetts families affected by asbestos. The court found New England Insulation guilty of negligence after two workers suffered illnesses from asbestos exposure caused by insulation products.
  • $9.3 Million in 2014: T&N, formerly Turner & Newell, which Federal-Mogul Corporation acquired, manufactured products for transportation and industrial businesses. In 2014, John Lyndon, a construction supervisor, won $9.3 million in damages after developing mesothelioma. Lyndon had worked with an asbestos insulation spray for years.
  • $5.6 Million in 2012: One Massachusetts man claimed he experienced occupational asbestos exposure throughout his life’s work. He died at age 52 from an asbestos-related disease. His family filed a wrongful death claim, and in 2012 they received $5.6 million in a mesothelioma settlement.

These verdicts represent some of the highest in Massachusetts. But most parties in mesothelioma lawsuits come to a settlement before trial. The best mesothelioma law firms in the nation often secure settlements around $1 million dollars.

Financial Compensation for Asbestos Exposure Is Available 

Mesothelioma lawsuits typically result in the largest compensation amounts, but other types of compensation are available. The top mesothelioma firms also handle asbestos trust fund claims. Six-figure payouts are common from asbestos trust funds when you work with a top firm.

Veterans with a service-connected mesothelioma diagnosis often qualify for monthly disability compensation. Some veterans also qualify for other benefits, such as pension and aid and attendance compensation.

Mesothelioma patients also qualify for Social Security Disability payments, and many have Medicare or private health insurance that covers some medical costs. 

Connect With a Mesothelioma Law Firm

Massachusetts Asbestos Litigation and Regulation

Massachusetts law states that noneconomic damages for asbestos exposure cannot exceed $500,000. A court may make an exception if the plaintiff can prove significant harm, loss, disfigurement or impairment. There have been exceptions for mesothelioma cases due to the terminal nature of the disease.

The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards Asbestos Safety Program sets requirements for abatement contractor licenses. Together with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, these departments set the standards for safe abatement projects, including demolition or renovation projects that may contain asbestos.

In 2021, citing the Massachusetts Clean Air Act, the Massachusetts attorney general issued $245,000 in penalties for two companies involved in asbestos consulting and abatement for improper removal of asbestos pipe and insulation. The Clean Air Act dictates the safety standards for work on buildings that may contain asbestos.

Massachusetts legislation established the inactive docket for asbestos claims in 1986. The law states that patients who don’t meet the minimum medical threshold to file a personal injury claim can still file a lawsuit for compensation. Individuals who file after the statute of limitations has expired must meet the medical threshold for personal injury.

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