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

Filing a Claim in Texas

In 2003, the state legislature created a multidistrict litigation procedure that designated specific courts to handle factually similar asbestos cases. After all of the legislative measures taken in recent years, Texas remains one of the nation’s busiest states for asbestos litigation.

The most comprehensive reform came in 2005 when the state adopted additional measures to manage and reduce the number of pending asbestos cases such as modifying the medical criteria required to file a claim. In 1997, Texas enacted a law to curb the filing of asbestos claims by nonresidents.

A mesothelioma lawyer can explain how these state laws will affect an individual’s case and whether it is in their best interest to file in Texas or another state. A qualified attorney can accurately interpret how Texas’ statute of limitations applies to your case and advise whether you should file a personal injury lawsuit, wrongful death lawsuit or asbestos trust fund claim.

These claims can help patients and families of patients regain money from financial losses from medical bills and lack of income after a mesothelioma diagnosis.

While states such as Texas are trying to slow down the filing of these cases, they may not realize the impact on veterans.

Veterans file approximately 30% of mesothelioma lawsuits because the U.S. armed forces used many types of asbestos products in every branch of the military. Veterans may file a VA claim for benefits, and they have access to VA health care in Texas.

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 Texas

Texas has six naturally occurring asbestos deposits, but the vast majority of exposure in the state took place in occupational settings. Certain industries, especially ones involving high temperatures or dangerous chemicals, are known for using asbestos products.

Texas Industries Known for Asbestos Exposure

  • Shipbuilding
  • Oil refining
  • Power generation
  • Manufacturing
  • Chemical processing
  • Metal works
  • Insulation installation
  • Construction

Law Firms Practicing in Texas

Texas residents with mesothelioma should consider a nationwide mesothelioma law firm because a local firm is unlikely to secure adequate compensation in Texas courts.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Law Firms

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

Two nationwide mesothelioma law firms have office locations in or near Texas:

  • Cooney & Conway has offices in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.
  • Nemeroff Law has offices in Houston and Dallas.

Firms that practice nationwide know the best state in which to file your claim. Their experience and reach can’t be matched.

Texas is among the states where the vast majority of mesothelioma plaintiffs file out-of-state, according to a KCIC industry report. That’s because Texas courts tend to favor asbestos defendants more often than mesothelioma plaintiffs.

One of the benefits of hiring a nationwide firm is that they regularly travel throughout the country to meet with clients, and some pick up the bill for their travel expenses.

If your family is facing a mesothelioma diagnosis, it’s in your best interest to work with a top mesothelioma attorney who can secure the maximum value of your case.

Asbestos Verdicts Awarded to Texas Workers

  • $11 Million in 2013: A Dallas jury awarded $11 million to a painter who developed mesothelioma after working with asbestos products during the construction of malls, skyscrapers and homes.
  • $8.4 Million in 2012: A Dallas County jury awarded $8.4 million to the estate of a Dow Chemical refinery worker who developed mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos-containing pipes.
  • $9 Million in 2011: A Dallas jury awarded $9 million to the widow of a refinery worker who developed mesothelioma after working with asbestos insulation as a contract employee for Dow Chemical.
  • $11.6 Million in 2002: A Texas jury awarded $11.6 million to a man who developed mesothelioma after working with Georgia-Pacific drywall joint compound during his employment at Knox Glass Company.
  • $130 Million in 2001: A jury in Orange, Texas, awarded $130 million to five plaintiffs who developed asbestos-related diseases after exposure to asbestos products made by NARCO and Dresser. All five plaintiffs were exposed during their employment at a U.S. Pipe plant in Birmingham, Alabama.

In addition to jury verdict, nationwide asbestos firms are known to get mesothelioma settlements worth more than $1 million dollars for their clients. They can also secure six-figure payouts from asbestos trust funds.

Texas Asbestos Laws and Regulations

Texas has a mix of federal and state laws that regulate asbestos.

Regulations Governing Asbestos in Texas

  • Texas Occupations Code Section 1954.001: Summarizes the Texas Asbestos Health Protection Act.

State Departments Overseeing Texas’ Asbestos Laws

  • Texas Department of State Health Services — Asbestos Program: Oversees maintenance, renovation and demolition of buildings containing asbestos.

Texas Laws Affecting Asbestos Lawsuits

  • Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Section 16.003(a): Defines the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Texas.
  • Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Section 16.003(b): Defines the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits in Texas.
  • Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Section 41.001: Defines Texas’ negligence laws.

Asbestos Litigation Trends in Texas

Texas courts have created the following procedures to manage asbestos litigation within the state.

  • Case Scheduling: Texas authorizes its trial courts to give scheduling preference to hearings and trials involving claimants with malignant mesothelioma or other asbestos-related cancers.
  • Joinder of Claimants: Some U.S. courts have tried to move cases along faster by joining dissimilar claims, such as mesothelioma claims and claims by people with no impairments, for trial. Texas requires all parties to consent to the joining of multiple claims for a single trial.
  • Medical Criteria: Texas law now limits claims by plaintiffs who do not yet have physical or functional impairments. The law requires claimants to satisfy detailed minimum medical criteria in order to proceed with their lawsuits.
  • Successor Liability: Texas law also limits the liability of a company that buys or merges with — and assumes the asbestos liabilities of — another company.

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