Written by Joe Lahav, Esquire | Legally Reviewed By Samuel Meirowitz | Edited By Walter Pacheco

Filing a Claim in Montana

For decades, Montana courts have dealt with thousands of asbestos claims pending against dozens of defendants. Most of the claims are the result of an asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine that operated in Libby, Montana.

Hundreds of the town’s residents have died of asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, and thousands have been diagnosed.

In November 2017, the Montana Supreme Court established a special Asbestos Claims Court to oversee its backlog of asbestos lawsuits. At the time, more than 500 asbestos lawsuits were pending in Montana courts.

In January 2019, facing thousands of claims, the Montana Supreme Court appointed six additional judges to handle the caseload within the special court.

The state sets time limits for filing a claim known as the statute of limitations. A qualified mesothelioma lawyer can review your case to interpret how these laws impact your claim.

Some veterans in Montana were exposed to asbestos materials on military bases. Those who develop a related disease may file VA claims for benefits, and they may access VA health care in Montana.

Asbestos Exposure in Montana

From 1919 to 1990, operations at an asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana, distributed asbestos dust throughout the town, even spreading into nearby towns. Hundreds of residents have died, and thousands have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.

The site was placed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List in 2002 because of high levels of asbestos spread throughout the communities of Libby and Troy, Montana, and decontamination efforts began. In 2009, a public health emergency was declared in Libby.

In 2023, W.R. Grace agreed to an $18.5 million settlement to restore damaged lands in and around the Superfund site.

Almost 20 years later, the project is nearing completion. In 2021, the EPA announced yet another segment had been completely restored. The EPA continues to clean and monitor parts of the town for asbestos contamination.

In other areas of the state, workers have been exposed to asbestos products at job sites such as processing plants, lumber yards, paper mills, manufacturing plants, power plants and oil refineries.

Montana Industries Known for Asbestos Exposure

  • Vermiculite mining
  • Forestry
  • Construction
  • Farming operations
  • Manufacturing
  • Power generation
  • Oil refining
  • Chemical production
  • Paper mills
  • Teaching

Asbestos Law Firms Practicing in Montana

Montana courts deal with so many asbestos lawsuits that the state had to create a special court just for asbestos claims.

Residents of Montana with asbestos-related diseases should consider a nationwide mesothelioma law firm because they have success securing compensation with many different types of cases. If your case is unique, they will know the best jurisdiction in which to file your claim.

Approximately 54% of mesothelioma plaintiffs in the U.S. submit their claim in a jurisdiction outside of the state they live in, according to a 2019 KCIC industry report.

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

One of the benefits of choosing a nationwide mesothelioma firm is that you won’t have to drive to their offices.

Representatives with nationwide firms regularly travel to meet mesothelioma clients across the country. They know mesothelioma patients are coping with debilitating cancer and they make it easier on your family by traveling to you.

It is in your and your family’s best interest to work with one of the nation’s best mesothelioma lawyers who can get the compensation you deserve. In 2022, Weitz & Luxenburg secured $43 million for a mesothelioma patient after a jury found Algoma Hardwoods Inc. responsible for asbestos exposure.

Holding negligent corporations accountable is what they do best, and they can do it for your family.

Major Montana Cities with Asbestos Law Firms Include:
  • Anaconda
  • Billings
  • Bozeman
  • Butte
  • Great Falls
  • Havre
  • Helena
  • Kalispell
  • Miles City
  • Missoula

Asbestos Compensation Awarded to Montana Workers

  • $43 Million in 2011: In September 2011, a $43 million mesothelioma settlement was reached between the state and nearly 1,200 plaintiffs from Libby, Montana. The state’s insurance provider was ordered to pay the total settlement, which is traditionally kept private when a single plaintiff files suit.
  • $3 Billion in 2014: W.R. Grace, which owned and operated the contaminated mine in Libby, Montana, established a $3 billion asbestos trust fund to compensate future claimants.

In addition to settlements from lawsuits, Montana mesothelioma lawyers are known to recover six-figure payouts from asbestos trust funds.

It is important to work with an attorney who is familiar with the legal steps of filing lawsuits within Montana courts and claims with asbestos trust funds.

Montana Asbestos Laws and Regulations

A combination of federal and state laws regulates asbestos throughout Montana.

Regulations Governing Asbestos in Montana

  • Montana Code Section 75-2-501: Defines the Asbestos Control Act of Montana.

Departments Overseeing Montana’s Asbestos Laws

  • Montana Department of Environmental Quality: Administers the regulatory requirements set forth at the federal and state level for asbestos abatement.

Montana Laws Affecting Asbestos Lawsuits

  • Montana Code Section 27-1-703: Defines Montana’s negligence laws.
  • Montana Code Section 27-2-204: Defines Montana’s statutes of limitations.

Asbestos Litigation Trends in Montana

In addition to establishing the special Asbestos Claims Court, Montana lawmakers and state courts have enforced certain rules and procedures to manage asbestos claims.

Comparative Negligence

In Montana, a plaintiff asking for compensation in a lawsuit has to be less responsible for the injury than the company that allegedly caused the accident.

51% Bar Rule

Montana is among several states that bar a plaintiff from recovery if they are 51% or more at fault for the injury. A plaintiff can recover if they are 50% or less at fault, but the recovery is reduced by the degree of fault.

Court Exposure Standard

Montana plaintiffs are required to link the patient’s illness to an asbestos defendant’s product or conduct. For example, plaintiffs must present evidence of their asbestos exposure and evidence linking it to a diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease.

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