Written By: Joe Lahav, Esquire,
Last modified: June 23, 2021

Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in Michigan

Michigan workers have been exposed to asbestos in large and small cities throughout the state. Many of these workers developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. 

Auto workers in Detroit were exposed while manufacturing cars with asbestos parts. Workers in Ann Arbor, Lansing, Midland and Grand Rapids were exposed to asbestos products in factories, oil refineries, chemical plants and power plants.

Veterans of the U.S. armed forces have been exposed to asbestos at Michigan military bases such as Selfridge ANGB Air Force Base in Harrison and Detroit Arsenal Army Base in Warren.

The statute of limitations in Michigan to file a mesothelioma claim is three years from the date of diagnosis for personal injury claims and three years from the time of death for a wrongful death claim. Because filing a lawsuit is complex, it’s best to hire a national law firm that can find the best jurisdiction for the plaintiff’s 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.

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Industries in Michigan Known for Asbestos Exposure

  • Automobile manufacturing
  • Chemical production
  • Industrial milling
  • Manufacturing
  • Oil refining
  • Power generation
  • Vermiculite processing

With no naturally occurring asbestos in Michigan, the main source of asbestos exposure in the state has been occupational exposure. Many workers were exposed working in automobile factories, including Buick, Ford, Chrysler and General Motors factories.

Workers were also exposed while manufacturing products and chemicals, milling paper and textiles, refining oil, processing vermiculite and generating power. Many workers who developed asbestos-related illnesses from working in these industries have filed asbestos lawsuits seeking compensation to cover medical costs, lost wages and other expenses.

Law Firms Practicing in Michigan 

Lawyers at national mesothelioma law firms are licensed to practice throughout the U.S., and at least one of them has an office in Michigan. The Weitz & Luxenberg firm has an office in Detroit, and has a national reputation for securing some of the highest verdicts and settlements in the nation. 

Nationwide Mesothelioma Law Firms

  • Weitz & Luxenberg
  • Simmons Hanly Conroy
  • Cooney & Conway
  • Nemeroff Law
  • Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman

If you are unable to travel, a representative from a national law firm will travel to you. They understand their clients are dealing with cancer treatment and can’t easily travel. Local firms might be nearby, but they may not have the expertise of a national firm. National firms have representatives who travel frequently throughout the U.S. to meet with clients, and you typically won’t be charged for their travel costs.

Notable Asbestos Verdicts Awarded to Michigan Workers

  • $1.8 Million in 2018: A Michigan jury awarded $1.8 million to the family of James Parrot after a two-week trial. Parrot’s surviving family claimed their loved one died of lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure he endured as a steel worker. It is among the highest lung cancer verdicts in Michigan’s history.
  • $542,000 in 2009: A Michigan jury awarded $542,000 to Reed Avram for developing asbestosis caused by exposure to asbestos components supplied by the McMaster-Carr Supply Company. It was the first asbestos case to make it to a verdict in Michigan since 1992.

Some Michigan residents choose to file a claim in another state because other jurisdictions may be more advantageous. 

In addition to jury verdicts, many Michigan residents have received millions of dollars in mesothelioma settlements. For example, Cooney & Conway secured a multimillion-dollar settlement for Michael Miller, a Michigan man who developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure while working on a ship contaminated with asbestos.

Michigan Asbestos Laws and Regulations

In addition to federal asbestos laws, Michigan sets its own state laws to regulate asbestos and prevent exposure among residents.

Regulations Governing Asbestos in Michigan

  • Michigan Code, Chapter 338, Section 338.3101: Defines the laws and regulations set forth by the state’s Asbestos Abatement Contractors Licensing Act.

State Departments Overseeing Michigan’s Asbestos Laws

  • Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
  • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division
  • Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs oversees the state’s asbestos regulations. This department created an asbestos abatement contractor’s licensing board that administers and enforces abatement regulations. The state’s air quality department has the authority to enforce federal and state asbestos regulations. Michigan’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has an asbestos program that works to prevent asbestos exposure at Michigan job sites.

Michigan Laws Affecting Asbestos Lawsuits

  • Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 600, Section 600.5805(2): Defines the statutes of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Michigan
  • Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 600, Sections 600.2959 and 600.6306: Defines Michigan’s negligence laws
  • House Bill 5456: Amended the Revised Judicature Act by adding the Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims Transparency Act

Filing an asbestos claim in Michigan requires the expertise of a mesothelioma attorney with experience securing compensation in the state. A Michigan mesothelioma attorney is the best resource to help you understand how these laws may apply to your case.

Asbestos Litigation Trends in Michigan

According to an industry report by KCIC, a Washington, D.C., consulting firm that manages asbestos product liabilities, there was a significant decrease in noncancerous asbestos claims in Wayne County, Michigan, in 2020. The county also reported a decrease in asbestos-related lung cancer claims.

In February 2018, the Michigan legislature passed House Bill 5456, which amended the Revised Judicature Act by adding the Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims Transparency Act. The amendment requires asbestos plaintiffs to disclose compensation received from an asbestos trust fund if the plaintiff receives a jury verdict in their favor, and trust funds received by the plaintiff will then, likely, be credited against the issued verdict.

One of the things this journey has taught us is to not put off things. Some of the things we always said we’ll do someday, well, today is someday. We’re going to do those things while we can still enjoy ourselves.
Loretta Wilbur
Pleural mesothelioma survivor from Michigan
The doctor told me I’m cancer-free, and I’ll never have to worry about mesothelioma again. I feel lucky, but I don’t feel like a miracle. I’ll reserve miracles for bigger and better things than me. I’m just a grateful guy today who thinks every day I wake up is a gift.
John Owens
Pleural mesothelioma survivor from Michigan

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