Pennsylvania Asbestos Lawyers

Our Pennsylvania asbestos lawyers represent victims of asbestos exposure  who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease. We givea sbestos victims and their families the skills and resources to get maximum compensation. This page will look at mesothelioma lawsuits in Pennsylvania and their average settlement value.

About Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is type of cancer that is unique and extremely deadly. Mesothelioma cancer cells originate in the “meso” lining surrounding the lungs and other organs inside the body. What makes mesothelioma very unique in the world of cancer is that it is only caused by one thing: asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma only develops after an individual has been exposed to asbestos.

Mesothelioma comes in several different types, depending on where it originates, but the most common is pleural mesothelioma (which originates in the lining around the lungs). This type accounts for over 80% of all mesothelioma cases.

Mesothelioma is an exceedingly rare form of cancer, with just over 3,000 cases diagnosed annually. That is less than 1% of all cancer cases. Mesothelioma is also the deadliest of all types of cancer, with a 5-year survival rate of under 12% and a 7-year survival rate of less than 1%.

Mesothelioma is caused ONLY from exposure to asbestos, one of the most toxic carcinogens in the world. Asbestos infiltrates the body when its particles are inhaled, lodging themselves in the tissue surrounding vital organs like the lungs. Over time, these fibers persist, never disintegrating, eventually forming scar tissue that leads to mesothelioma. Remarkably, the onset of this cancer is marked by a lengthy latency period, spanning 15 to 40 years from the initial exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos Exposure in Pennsylvania

Asbestos was a very widely used material in the United States for most of the 20th century. It was a very common construction material, and a component in various products. It was also frequently used for a variety of industrial applications. It is estimated that over 1 million workers in the U.S. were exposed to asbestos during its heyday.

Over 3,000 commercial and consumer products once contained or were made from asbestos. This included things like automotive brakes and parts, talcum powder, insulation, roofing shingles, tiles, and on boilers. There were specific fields or industries where use of asbestos products was especially common. Industries with high levels of asbestos use and exposure included shipbuilding, steam fitting, manufacturing, railroads, steel working, and more.

Asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania occurred in (a) the construction industry; (b) shipbuilding; and (c) other heavy industry sites.

Shipbuilding Industry

The shipbuilding industry in Pennsylvania is based in and around Philadelphia and the Delaware River. As one of the largest cities in the U.S., and a major port, Philadelphia has had an active shipbuilding industry for many years. Notable shipyards in Philadelphia include William Cramp and Sons, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and Hog Island Shipyard. Asbestos was very widely used in many applications in the shipbuilding process, but particularly for insulating pipes, boilers and other equipment.

Steel Industry

Pittsburgh is nicknamed the Steel City, a name well-deserved due to the significant role the steel industry played in the city’s economic development throughout the 20th century. The steelmaking process required intense heat and flame at exceedingly high temperatures, and asbestos was employed to safeguard both workers and equipment from the harsh conditions. Among the steel mills and foundries known to have utilized asbestos are the Aliquippa Steel Company, National Steel Company, the Pittsburgh Steel Foundry, and the Bethlehem Steel Mill.

Railroad Industry

In the peak era of railroad expansion, Erie, PA, emerged as a significant hub within the Rust Belt, renowned for its locomotive manufacturing. Giants such as General Electric Transportation Systems and Pennsylvania Railroad churned out formidable engines, albeit at the cost of exposing laborers to the hazards of asbestos. This perilous mineral was omnipresent, utilized not only in the locomotives but also in the machinery employed to craft them, posing health risks to countless workers.

Specific Asbestos Exposure Sites in Pennsylvania

Below are some of the known industrial sites in Pennsylvania where workers were exposed to high levels of asbestos.

Philadelphia Naval Yard – Philadelphia, PA

Established in 1801, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard is believed to be one of the oldest shipyards in the nation. It wasn’t until World War I that its operations witnessed substantial growth, marked by the addition of a dry dock, chemical laboratory, barracks, hammerhead crane, and even a POW camp for German ship crews. Further expansion occurred during World War II, with the shipyard playing a crucial role in the construction of numerous aircraft carriers, battleships, and destroyers for the U.S. Navy. Despite continuing operations into the 1990s, the shipyard eventually ceased operations after completing its final project, the USS Kennedy.

Penn Shipbuilding – Chester, PA

Constructed in 1917 in Chester, PA, approximately 15 miles south of Philadelphia along the Delaware River, the Penn Shipbuilding facility played a pivotal role. Initially catering to the oil and gas sector, it rose to prominence as the largest shipyard in the U.S., contributing roughly 40% of the tanker vessels utilized by the U.S. Navy during World War II. Following the war, the shipyard remained active, specializing in the construction and maintenance of medium to large ships until its closure in the late 1980s. Throughout its operational lifespan, asbestos was extensively utilized in marine vessels, particularly those employed by the oil and gas industry, due to the imperative of mitigating shipboard fire hazards.

Ambler Superfund Site

W.R. Grace dispatched vermiculite tainted with asbestos to various locations, including a facility in Ambler, PA, situated approximately 16 miles north of Philadelphia. Due to its involvement with these hazardous materials, the Ambler site gained notoriety as the “asbestos-manufacturing capital of the world,” earning the town the moniker “the town that asbestos built.” In 1986, the EPA designated the Ambler Asbestos Superfund Site, subsequently extending the list to include the nearby BoRit Asbestos Site landfill in Ambler.

Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Settlements & Verdicts

$400,000 Verdict (2023): Decedent claimed she was diagnosed with mesothelioma on or about January 24, 2019 after she was exposed to asbestos and/or asbestiform-containing minerals in cosmetic talcum powder that she applied to her clients as a hairdresser in the 1980s.

$3,822,222 Verdict (2022): Decedent reportedly was employed as a maintenance worker and electrician by defendant Washington Penn Plastic Co. Inc. at a facility maintained by the defendant from July 1986 to May 2015, and was exposed to asbestos during the course of his employment. Lawsuit alleged electrical materials and talc he worked with at the defendant facility contained asbestos.

$2,218,445 Verdict (2022): A man died in May of 2019 due to the development of malignant mesothelioma, allegedly due to his exposure to asbestos and asbestos containing products during his employment with defendant Lenox Instrument Company Inc. between 1972-1981 as a draftsmen designer, working on producing a product for the Navy, ‘Lightsource’, to be used to inspect jet engines. The decedent’s estate contended that the defendant exposed its employees to asbestos and/or asbestos containing products and/or asbestos containing component parts which were carcinogenic, toxic and otherwise hazardous to human health and safety.

$3,150,647 Verdict (2020): This action was brought after the death of 75-year-old man due to mesothelioma after he worked as a computer programmer at defendant Unisys Corp. from 1974 until 2007. The estate alleged the decedent was exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing products on the defendant’s premises and the defendant knew or should have known that such exposure would pose a risk of harm to the decedent. Further, it was argued the defendants negligently maintained the premises and failed to provide the decedent with proper warnings or precautions. The defendant argued the plaintiff failed to produce evidence showing that the decedent was ever exposed to any asbestos-containing products while he worked there.

Contact Our Pennsylvania Asbestos Lawyers

If you (or a family member) have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and want compensation, contact our Pennsylvania asbestos lawyers today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation

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