Written By: Joe Lahav, Esquire,
Last modified: October 14, 2021

Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in Oregon

Courts in Oregon have ruled in favor of asbestos plaintiffs in several high-profile cases, which has resulted in substantial multimillion-dollar verdicts for families facing a mesothelioma diagnosis. Oregon has implemented several laws and legal standards that have been interpreted as not requiring extensive burdens of proof on the injured.

Oregon workers diagnosed with mesothelioma may be eligible to file a personal injury claim, and family members who lost a loved one may qualify to file a wrongful death claim. Workers were occupationally exposed to asbestos in small and large cities in Oregon, including Portland, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Springfield, Bend and Beaverton.

Veterans of the U.S. armed forces were exposed to asbestos on military bases in Oregon, including Kingsley Field, Umatilla Army Depot and AIRSTA North Bend Coast Guard base.

In Oregon, the statute of limitations to file an asbestos claim is two years for both personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. An Oregon mesothelioma attorney licensed to practice in the state and throughout the U.S. can file your claim in the best jurisdiction for your 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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Asbestos Exposure in Oregon

Oregon residents have been exposed to asbestos in the environment and in the workplace. Residents have faced environmental exposure from three asbestos mines, including the Mount Vernon deposit in Grant County, the Raspberry Creek deposit in Jackson County and the L.E.J. Asbestos mine in Josephine County. The state is home to nine other asbestos deposits that were never commercially mined.

Occupationally, workers have been exposed to asbestos in Oregon shipyards, mills, mines, factories, power plants and on farms. Maintenance workers who repaired asbestos-containing equipment in these industries often faced the greatest levels of asbestos exposure.

Industries Known for Asbestos Exposure in Oregon

  • Agriculture
  • Lumber production
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Paper production
  • Power generation
  • Shipbuilding

Law Firms Practicing in Oregon

If you’re an Oregon resident diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you should consider a national mesothelioma law firm for your mesothelioma claim. National firms are licensed to practice throughout the U.S., which means they can advise you on the best states and jurisdictions in which to file your claim.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Law Firms

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

A benefit of working with a national mesothelioma law firm is its ability to travel to you. You can interview attorneys working at national firms from the comfort of your own home to determine which firm is the best suited to handle your claim.

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.

Notable Asbestos Verdicts Awarded to Oregon Workers

  • $$8.75 Million in 2016: A Portland jury awarded $8.75 million to David and Patricia Hoff, who claimed David Hoff developed mesothelioma from exposure to Kaiser Gypsum’s asbestos-containing spackle product. Hoff worked as a carpenter on construction sites where the asbestos spackle was applied and sanded, releasing asbestos fibers into the work environment. The verdict is believed to be the largest issued in Oregon for an asbestos-related disease connected to occupational exposure. Two other defendants in the case, Union Carbide and Georgia Pacific, reached confidential mesothelioma settlements with the Hoffs during the trial.
  • $6.2 Million in 2020: An Oregon jury awarded $6.2 million to Donald and Linda Miller, who claimed exposure to one of Kaiser Gypsum Co.’s asbestos-containing products caused Donald Miller to develop mesothelioma.
  • $5.7 Million in 2017: A Multnomah County, Oregon, Circuit Court jury awarded $5.7 million to Robert and Bonnie Sprague. They claimed Robert Sprague developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos products while serving in the U.S. Navy and working as a pipefitter. Months later, an Oregon judge denied asbestos defendant John Crane’s motion to seek a new trial.
  • $5 Million in 2016: Charles and Pat Eastridge were awarded $5 million by a Multnomah County jury. They claimed Charles Eastridge developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos products while working at a mill where he maintained dry kilns and boilers. The products included asbestos gaskets supplied by Mar-Dustrial.
  • $3.95 Million in 2015: A Multnomah County jury awarded $3.95 million to the surviving family of Robert Golik. Golik died of mesothelioma after filing a personal injury lawsuit claiming he developed the cancer from exposure to amosite asbestos while working at paper mills operated by Weyerhaeuser Co., Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products and Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging Inc.

Oregon Asbestos Laws and Regulations

State and federal laws regulate asbestos in Oregon to prevent environmental and occupational exposure among residents.

Regulations Governing Asbestos in Oregon

  • Oregon Statutes Section 468A.700: Defines Oregon’s laws on asbestos abatement projects, training and licensing of abatement professionals and penalties for violating the law.
  • Oregon Statutes Section 468A.755: Defines exemptions for asbestos abatement in private residences in the state of Oregon.
  • Lane Regional Air Protection Agency Code Title 43: Defines the laws and regulations involving asbestos removal projects in Lane County, Oregon.

State Departments Overseeing Oregon’s Asbestos Laws

  • Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
  • Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Lane Regional Air Protection Agency

Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality manages the state’s asbestos laws and abatement licensing. It takes a strong stance that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces exposure limits to protect Oregon workers from asbestos exposure in the workplace. The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency oversees asbestos removal projects in Lane County, Oregon.

Oregon Laws Affecting Asbestos Lawsuits

  • Oregon Revised Statutes Sections 12.110: Defines the statutes of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Oregon.
  • Oregon Revised Statutes Sections 31.600 to 31.620: Defines Oregon’s negligence laws, including the definition of the state’s modified comparative negligence rule.

Asbestos Litigation Trends in Oregon

Oregon has a modified comparative negligence law that states plaintiffs in personal injury claims can only recover compensation if the defendant is found at least 49% at fault. Additionally, when the plaintiff is found partially responsible, the percentage of their responsibility will be subtracted from the verdict amount.

In the 2016 case McKenzie v. A.W. Chesterton Co., the Oregon Court of Appeals departed from most other states when it ruled the “bare metal” defense is not applicable under Oregon law. With the bare metal defense, a company whose product does not contain asbestos is not liable for injuries caused by replacement parts containing asbestos. This defense no longer applies in Oregon, and the state may see an uptick in similar asbestos claims moving forward as a result of the ruling.

Oregon courts have decided to take California’s approach to an asbestos exposure standard rather than use the Lohrmann test that is common in other states. The Lohrmann test requires plaintiffs to prove the regularity, proximity and frequency of use of an asbestos product when claiming it was a substantial factor in causing their disease. In California, plaintiffs are still required to prove an asbestos product was a significant factor in their disease, but they don’t have to provide evidence of the regularity, proximity and frequency of use.

Courts in Oregon have placed limits on whether a defendant may be held liable for asbestos injuries if the defendant was a contractor that did not manufacture asbestos products, but installed asbestos products according to plans or specifications prepared by a project owner. However, a claim can be filed against a contractor that substitutes asbestos products on a project that did not call for their use.

An Oregon mesothelioma lawyer has the expertise to advise whether these laws may affect your claim. Make sure to find a national mesothelioma firm licensed to practice in Oregon to handle your case.


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