How to File a Mesothelioma Claim in Massachusetts
Many asbestos victims in Massachusetts are workers and residents who have suffered and died from asbestos-related diseases because of unnecessary exposure. Help from a Massachusetts mesothelioma attorney can provide compensation for victims and family members 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 passed away from an asbestos-related illness, may be eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit with a Massachusetts mesothelioma attorney.
- 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.
- Average Verdict: The average mesothelioma trial verdict payout is between $5 million and $11.4 million.
- 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, the most recent survey available, Massachusetts ranks 28 among the best states 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 siding with 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 muddle the process.
Deadlines for Filing an Asbestos Claim
Claimants must file for 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 claim.
Risk of Asbestos Exposure in Massachusetts
Massachusetts residents and workers face asbestos exposure risks from some of the most prominent industries in the state, including shipbuilding, textile mills and automobile production. A superfund site in Walpole, Massachusetts, for example, is polluted with asbestos, arsenic, lead and other toxic chemicals.
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 1970s.
W.R. Grace, a chemical manufacturer that used asbestos in its products, operated sites in Acton and Walpole, Massachusetts. Asbestos mines in the state were active in Berkshire County, Salem and Pelham. The Massachusetts Department of Health reports that the state’s asbestos exposure is responsible for approximately 100 new mesothelioma cases yearly.
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 state-wide rules that govern abatement projects and licensure for asbestos removal professionals.
The Massachusetts Asbestos Program coordinates with OSHA, EPA and multi-state regulatory authorities. Its goal is to protect the public from long-term damage from excessive asbestos exposure.
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 & Luxenberg: After more than 33,000 asbestos cases, Weitz & Luxenberg has secured $8.5 billion through verdicts and settlements for its clients. The firm has more than three decades of experience helping mesothelioma patients and their families.
- Simmons Hanly Conroy: With more than two decades of asbestos experience, Simmons Hanly Conroy has recovered more than $9 billion for victims of asbestos exposure. Their court victories include the highest single plaintiff mesothelioma verdict at $250 million for a steelworker.
- Cooney & Conway: Cooney & Conway has recovered billions of dollars in compensation for its clients. They’ve handled mesothelioma and asbestos cases since 1973, including thousands of million-dollar settlements and multimillion-dollar verdicts.
- Nemeroff Law: Nemeroff Law is one of the most successful national asbestos law firms and has recovered more than $500 million for patients and families suffering from asbestos-related illnesses. The firm has won several verdicts exceeding $10 million each.
- Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman: For more than three decades, Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman has served mesothelioma victims and their families. The firm’s unparalleled evidence database has helped them win cases against numerous asbestos product manufacturers.
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.
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.
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 illness from asbestos exposure caused by insulation products.
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.
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.
Massachusetts Asbestos Litigation and Regulation
Massachusetts law states that non-economic 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 Program sets requirements for abatement contractor licenses. Together with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), these departments set the standards for safe abatement projects, including demolition or renovation projects that may contain asbestos.
In 2021, in breach of 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.