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

Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in New Jersey

New Jersey is a popular state for mesothelioma claims because of its history with asbestos. It was considered a hub of asbestos litigation before the first asbestos bankruptcy was filed by manufacturer Johns Manville in 1982. 

Johns Manville established a major asbestos product manufacturing operation in a borough northwest of New Brunswick, New Jersey, spanning 186 acres that included 11 manufacturing buildings. The borough was named Manville, and today the area reports high rates of asbestos-related diseases. Many people who worked for the Manville operation sued when they developed diseases, as did their family members when they became ill through secondary asbestos exposure. 

New Jersey residents were exposed to asbestos in other locations such as Newark, Millington, Hamilton Township and Trenton. The primary source of asbestos exposure in the state occurred at industrial job sites, including manufacturing plants, power generation facilities, oil refineries and shipyards. Veterans were also exposed at New Jersey military bases such as Naval Weapons Station Earle and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst.

New Jersey’s statute of limitations for asbestos personal injury claims is two years from the date of diagnosis, and two years from the time of death for wrongful death claims. New Jersey ranks seventh in the nation for asbestos-related deaths, which also contributes to the number of asbestos claims in the state. Many residents choose to file their claim with the help of an experienced New Jersey mesothelioma lawyer.

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 New Jersey Known for Asbestos Exposure

  • Chemical production
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Oil refining
  • Power generation
  • Railway maintenance
  • Ship building
  • Textile milling
  • Vermiculite processing

New Jersey workers faced exposure at manufacturing plants, power plants, textile mills, chemical plants and mining operations, which led to many workers developing mesothelioma. The state’s shipyards were a primary source of exposure. A number of oil refineries also exposed New Jersey residents.

Law Firms Practicing in New Jersey

Residents of South Jersey are close to the offices of Weitz & Luxenberg in Cherry Hill. Residents of North Jersey have access to national mesothelioma law firms with offices in New York City, including Simmons Hanly Conroy and the Weitz & Luxenberg New York office.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Law Firms

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

According to an industry report by KCIC, a Washington, D.C., consulting firm that manages asbestos product liabilities, asbestos lawsuit filings were up 19% in Middlesex County, New Jersey, in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year’s first quarter. This increase contrasts with the overall 38% decrease in asbestos claim filings in 2019.

Most of the asbestos cases in New Jersey are heard in Middlesex County, which is one of three counties in the state that handle asbestos litigation and class action-type lawsuits.

It’s important to work with a national mesothelioma law firm that has expertise filing a claim in New Jersey. Not every New Jersey resident chooses to file their claim in the state. It is essential to work with a firm that can file your claim in the best state and jurisdiction for your case.

Notable Asbestos Verdicts Awarded to New Jersey Workers

  • $750 Million in 2020: In April 2020, a New Jersey state jury awarded $750 million in punitive damages to four mesothelioma plaintiffs who claimed they developed the cancer from exposure to asbestos in Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower talcum powder products. The verdict amount will be reduced to about $186.5 million because of a state law that caps punitive damages at five times the compensatory award. The compensatory award of $37.3 million was delivered in September 2019.
  • $117 Million in 2018: A New Jersey jury awarded $117 million to Stephen Lanzo III, who claimed he developed mesothelioma from using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. The jury awarded $37 million in damages and $80 million in punitive damages. Johnson & Johnson was held liable for 70% of the verdict and the company’s talc supplier, Imerys S.A., was liable for the remaining 30%.
  • $90.5 Million in 2014: A New Brunswick judge awarded $90.5 million to 11 families from Manville, a New Jersey town named after asbestos manufacturer Johns Manville. The families lost loved ones to mesothelioma and claimed their deaths were caused by asbestos exposure associated with the Johns Manville plant. Several of those who died of mesothelioma never worked at the plant but had relatives who did. Two of the decedents were a mother and daughter who died several months apart and had relatives who worked at the plant beginning in 1948. The plant manufactured asbestos-containing sheets, paper, pipes and roofing materials. The two defendants in the case, Anova Holding and Becon, are successor companies to the Eternit group, which mined asbestos in South Africa and supplied raw asbestos fibers to Johns Manville from the 1950s through the 1980s.
  • $10 Million in 2005: A jury in Middlesex County awarded $10 million to William Rhodes, who claimed he developed mesothelioma from asbestos products he used as a boiler worker. Rhodes handled parts insulated with asbestos fibers while maintaining and repairing boilers.
  • $2.38 Million in 2019: A New Jersey jury awarded $2.38 million to the estate of Willis Edenfield, who died of mesothelioma in 2010 following exposure to asbestos at a chemical plant in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Edenfield measured and mixed raw asbestos fibers supplied by Union Carbide Company to make asbestos-containing adhesive products. He worked in the mill room connected to an asbestos warehouse where the raw fiber was stored.
  • $1.5 Million in 2015: A Middlesex County jury awarded $1.5 million to Ronald Roe, who claimed he developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure throughout his career as a residential heating and plumbing contractor. Roe was exposed to asbestos cement and asbestos pipe insulation while working on boilers, burners and furnaces.

New Jersey Asbestos Laws and Regulations

 New Jersey employs its own state laws in addition to federal asbestos laws to regulate asbestos and prevent exposure among residents. 

Regulations Governing Asbestos in New Jersey

  • New Jersey Statutes Annotated Sections 34:5A-32: Defines the laws and regulations set forth by the New Jersey Asbestos Control and Licensing Act.

State Departments Overseeing New Jersey’s Asbestos Laws

  • New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
  • New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development
  • New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
  • New Jersey Department of Health

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regulates the management, transportation and disposal of asbestos. New Jersey workers are protected from asbestos exposure by the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs operates an asbestos/lead unit that certifies asbestos safety technicians and enforces asbestos regulations in schools. Site audits are performed by the New Jersey Department of Health. It also oversees the quality control program of asbestos in schools.

New Jersey Laws Affecting Asbestos Lawsuits

  • New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 2A:14-2: Defines the statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in New Jersey.
  • New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 2A:15-5.1: Defines New Jersey’s negligence laws.

A New Jersey mesothelioma attorney at a national law firm has the expertise to handle your claim. They can help you understand how these laws may apply to your case and whether you should file your claim within or outside of the state.

Staying positive is your best medicine. You can take all the pills in the world and still feel terrible. But when you’re positive, you feel better, and you can beat a lot of things. I’m an example of that. I’m a young person, and I still plan to live a long time.
Ron Yutko
Peritoneal mesothelioma survivor from New Jersey
Painting has been my medicine through this, a great diversion for me. It’s a way for me to focus on the future and not the past, which is important when you have this cancer to worry about. It wasn’t until I retired that I had time to discover how much I loved this, and how good I could be at it.
Peter L.
Pleural mesothelioma survivor from New Jersey

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