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Florida Mesothelioma Lawyers

Florida

Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen is a nationally recognized law firm accepting asbestos and mesothelioma cases in Florida. Our lawyers have represented clients in more than fifty Florida cities and towns, from Pensacola to Jacksonville to Miami.

Our attorneys have experience with Florida-specific legislation, liability and litigation, and we understand how to help mesothelioma victims in the Sunshine State receive compensation quickly. Because of our experience, we are familiar with the asbestos companies in Florida and how their operations have led to long-term medical problems, such as mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Filing Mesothelioma Lawsuits in Florida

Generally, mesothelioma victims or their survivors can file a lawsuit in any state where they have lived, worked, or served in the military. Thus, even if you are not currently residing, working, or stationed in a Florida location, you could still potentially file a personal injury or wrongful death claim in Florida if the relevant asbestos exposure occurred in that state.

Our lawyers have experience determining the appropriate venue for mesothelioma lawsuits, and we provide our clients with guidance about the best courts for them to file their claim.

Florida Asbestos Laws

Florida has a number of state laws related to asbestos, including air quality regulations, asbestos removal programs, and asbestos litigation.

Asbestos Litigation in Florida

In 2005, upon feeling pressure due to the number of asbestos-related lawsuits that have been filed in the state, the Florida legislature passed the Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act (ASCFA) with the intention of reducing the amount of litigation being brought into state courts. This is still the primary law regulating asbestos litigation in Florida.

The ASCFA created specific guidelines around several aspects of asbestos litigation in Florida:

Physical Impairment
Only people who have a physical impairment (including the diagnosis of a deadly disease such as mesothelioma) can file a claim. Nonmalignant asbestos lawsuits, which could be brought under Florida common law, would not be allowed in Florida courts after 2005. The ASCFA specifies what evidence can be used to show physical impairment.
Eligibility
The ASCFA also specified that only people who live in Florida or who were exposed to asbestos within the state were eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit in the state courts. In order to make an asbestos claim in Florida, plaintiffs would need to provide evidence of their residence or employment in the state.
Statute of Limitations
In addition, the act specified that the statute of limitations for an asbestos claim does not begin until an asbestos-related disease is discovered (i.e., diagnosed). Given the length of time it can take for mesothelioma to develop, this rule is important for helping mesothelioma victims receive adequate compensation after they receive a diagnosis, which could be decades after the initial exposure occurred.
Two-Disease Rule
The statute also clarified actions for nonmalignant asbestos-related conditions are distinct from asbestos-related cancer legal actions. This means that, if a person previously won an award for a nonmalignant condition resulting from asbestos exposure, they could bring a second suit against the same defendant if they later develop mesothelioma or another cancer due to the same exposure.
Liability Limits
The ASCFA also limited the amount of liability to which a company could be held for asbestos claims, which effectively limits the amount of compensation plaintiffs in Florida can receive. In particular, Florida does not allow punitive damages for asbestos claims. Furthermore, before going to trial, plaintiffs must report any payments they have received already from settlements or judgments for the same claim. Finally, the act also limited the liability of sellers, renters, and lessors in asbestos claims.

Challenge to Florida Asbestos Law

Almost immediately after the ASCFA was passed, it was challenged by lawyers representing clients who had filed claims prior to the law’s enactment on July 1, 2005. According to the act, the new provisions applied to any case that had not yet gone to trial. This included cases where a nonmalignant claim had already been diagnosed and a claim filed, but the lawsuits were still in research, discovery, or other pretrial phases.

Lawyers for the asbestos victims challenged the law arguing that it was unconstitutional to apply the new law retroactively to cases that were already in process, even if those cases had not yet officially reached the trial stage. Initially, the challenge was dismissed, but upon appeal the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal agreed with the challenge, and in 2011 the Florida State Supreme Court ruled that applying the provisions of ASCFA retroactively to cases already in process at the time of the law’s enactment violated the Constitution of the State of Florida.

In particular, the Florida State Supreme court ruled in 2011 that “retroactive legislation that impacts property rights is constitutionally invalid.” As part of its opinion, the Court declared that the new law could be applied only to claims submitted after the effective date of the act.

Asbestos Safety Guidelines in Florida

As with all 50 states, Florida is required follow the federal guidelines provided in the Clean Air Act along with any regulations that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) creates to help prevent airborne contaminants that are known to be hazardous to human health. Among other things, this includes asbestos, which is a friable, naturally occurring mineral that when breathed in can cause a number of medical problems, including a relatively rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma.

In line with these federal laws and regulations, Florida has passed a law adopting the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) put forth by the EPA. In addition, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) oversees an asbestos abatement program, codified in Chapter 62-257 of the Florida Administrative Code.

In particular, these state regulations apply to renovations and demolitions of certain facilities. When performing such renovations or demolitions, contractors must comply with the standards provided by the Florida Administrative Code. According to the DEP, there is no exclusion date, so even recently constructed buildings must follow the protective asbestos guidelines set forth in the state code.

Jobsites in Florida with Documented Mesothelioma Cases

Perhaps the highest-risk place for asbestos exposure, which may lead to mesothelioma cancer, is on the job. Thousands of major jobsites throughout Florida have put unsuspecting workers at risk for exposure to asbestos.

ELSM mesothelioma lawyers have represented clients who worked at the following major jobsites in Florida:

Cape Canaveral

  • Kennedy Space Center

Crystal River

  • Crystal River Nuclear Plant

Fernandina Beach

  • Rayonier Paper Co.

Fort Myers

  • Florida Pulp and Paper Company

Gainesville

  • University of Florida

Jacksonville

  • Anheuser Busch Co., Inc.
  • Bellinger Shipyard
  • Cecil Field Naval Air Station
  • Jacksonville Naval Air Station
  • Saint Regis Paper Company

Mayport

  • Mayport Naval Air Station

Miami

  • Florida Power and Light Company
  • Miami-Dade Drydock
  • Miami International Airport
  • Miami Beach Convention Center

Orlando

  • Walt Disney World

Panama City

  • International Paper Company

Pensacola

  • Chemstrand Chemical
  • Florida Pulp and Paper Company
  • Florida Power and Light Company
  • Monsanto Company
  • Pensacola Naval Air Station
  • St. Regis Paper Company

Tampa

  • Florida Steel Corporation
  • Florida Power and Light Company
  • Lakeland Power Plant
  • Tampa Shipyards

Asbestos exposure has occurred in many other jobsites in Florida as well. We can work with you or your loved one who was exposed to asbestos while on the job no matter where in Florida you live and work, either currently or in the past.

ELSM Mesothelioma Clients in Florida

Heat Map of ELSM Mesothelioma Clients in Florida

The lawyers of Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen have represented mesothelioma clients all over the state of Florida. We have helped hundreds of Florida residents diagnosed with mesothelioma to secure financial asistance to protect their loved ones. Our clients live in the towns and cities of Florida listed below:

  • Altamonte Springs, FL (1)
  • Anna Maria, FL (1)
  • Auburndale, FL (1)
  • Avon Park, FL (1)
  • Belleview, FL (1)
  • Boca Raton, FL (3)
  • Bonitas Springs, FL (1)
  • Boynton Beach, FL (3)
  • Bradenton, FL (2)
  • Brooksville, FL (2)
  • Bunnell, FL (1)
  • Cape Canaveral, FL (1)
  • Cape Coral, FL (2)
  • Casselberry, FL (2)
  • Clearwater, FL (1)
  • Cocoa, FL (2)
  • Coconut Grove, FL (1)
  • Cortez, FL (1)
  • Crystal River, FL (1)
  • Dade City, FL (1)
  • Davenport, FL (1)
  • Daytona Beach, FL (2)
  • Debary, FL (1)
  • Deerfield Beach, FL (1)
  • Del Ray Beach, FL (1)
  • Deland, FL (2)
  • Delray Beach, FL (2)
  • Deltona, FL (1)
  • Dunedin, FL (2)
  • East Lake Weir, FL (1)
  • Edgewater, FL (1)
  • Englewood, FL (3)
  • Eustis, FL (1)
  • Flagler Beach, FL (1)
  • Floral City, FL (1)
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL (2)
  • Fort Myers, FL (8)
  • Fort Pierce, FL (2)
  • Frostproof, FL (1)
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL (1)
  • Gulf Breeze, FL (1)
  • Gulfport, FL (1)
  • Hernando, FL (1)
  • Hialeah, FL (2)
  • Hobe Sound, FL (1)
  • Homosassa, FL (1)
  • Interlachen, FL (1)
  • Jacksonville, FL (2)
  • Jensen Beach, FL (2)
  • Jupiter, FL (1)
  • Lady Lake, FL (2)
  • Lake Mary, FL (1)
  • Lake Suzy, FL (1)
  • Lake Worth, FL (1)
  • Lakeland, FL (3)
  • Lakeworth, FL (1)
  • Land-o-Lakes, FL (1)
  • Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL (1)
  • Lecanto, FL (1)
  • Leesburg, FL (1)
  • Lutz, FL (1)
  • Melbourne, FL (1)
  • Miami, FL (2)
  • Miami Springs, FL (1)
  • Milton, FL (1)
  • Naples, FL (4)
  • Neptune Beach, FL (1)
  • New Port Richey, FL (2)
  • New Smyrna Beach, FL (1)
  • Niceville, FL (2)
  • Nokomis, FL (1)
  • Ocala, FL (4)
  • Odessa, FL (1)
  • Oldsmar, FL (1)
  • Orange Park, FL (3)
  • Orlando, FL (5)
  • Ormond Beach, FL (2)
  • Palm Beach, FL (1)
  • Palm Beach Gardens, FL (1)
  • Palm City, FL (1)
  • Palm Coast, FL (1)
  • Palm Harbor, FL (2)
  • Panama City, FL (4)
  • Pensacola, FL (1)
  • Perry, FL (1)
  • Plant City, FL (1)
  • Plantation, FL (1)
  • Point Charlotte, FL (1)
  • Pompano Beach, FL (1)
  • Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (2)
  • Port Orange, FL (2)
  • Port Richey, FL (2)
  • Port St. Lucie, FL (3)
  • Punta Gorda, FL (1)
  • Riviera Beach, FL (1)
  • Rockledge, FL (1)
  • Royal Palm Beach, FL (1)
  • Safety Harbor, FL (1)
  • Salem, FL (1)
  • San Antonio, FL (1)
  • Sarasota, FL (3)
  • Satellite Beach, FL (2)
  • Sebastian, FL (4)
  • Sebring, FL (1)
  • Southport, FL (1)
  • Spring Hill, FL (4)
  • St. Augustine, FL (2)
  • St. Petersburg, FL (4)
  • Stuart, FL (2)
  • Sun City Center, FL (4)
  • Tallahassee, FL (2)
  • Tampa, FL (6)
  • Tarpon Springs, FL (1)
  • The Villages, FL (2)
  • Titusville, FL (2)
  • University Park, FL (1)
  • Valrico, FL (1)
  • Wellington, FL (1)
  • Wesley Chapel, FL (1)
  • West Palm Beach, FL (2)
  • Wimauma, FL (1)
  • Winter Park, FL (1)
  • Zephyrhills, FL (3)

Settlements for Mesothelioma Clients Living in Florida

The following table represents some of the types of Florida mesothelioma clients our law firm has had the privilege of helping to receive financial assistance.

State Disease Occupation / Exposure Age ~ Monies to Date
FL Mesothelioma Household 70 ~$3,500,000
FL Mesothelioma Navy / Construction 72 ~$2,100,000
FL Mesothelioma Construction 54 ~$1,800,000
FL Mesothelioma Aircraft Mechanic 78 ~$1,800,000
FL Mesothelioma PLumber 64 ~$1,500,000
FL Mesothelioma Navy / Shipyard Worker 82 ~$1,400,000

Please note that individual cases vary based upon a number of factors, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. If you have any questions about your legal rights, please contact us immediately.

Florida Statute of Limitations for Mesothelioma

In Florida, the statute of limitations for mesothelioma and asbestos claims is 4 years from date of diagnosis. For wrongful death claims, victims’ families have 2 years from the time their loved one passes away to file their claim, according to the statute.

Because there is only a short time to gather evidence and file a claim, mesothelioma victims in Florida and their families must act quickly to find a lawyer who is experienced with asbestos-related claims. Failing to act before the statute of limitations runs out could result in a loss of rights to compensation for you or your family.

Exposed in Florida? Learn About Your Legal Rights

You may be entitled to financial assistance if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. ELSM will offer you a free evaluation. Our attorneys will travel to visit you at your convenience. We understand how difficult a time this is for you and will assist in any way that we can. You can also call us toll-free at 1-844-401-4277.

James F. Early in Newsweek's 2012 Leaders of Asbestos Law Super Lawyers 2013 Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney, & Meisenkothen is a BBB Accredited Business. Click for the BBB Business Review of this Attorneys - Mesothelioma in New Haven CT U.S. News Best Law Firms 2017
Sources

Florida Statutes. Title XLV, Chapter 774.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Asbestos Regulation Frequently Asked Questions.

Florida Supreme Court Briefs and Opinions. American Optical Corporation, et al. vs. Walter R. Spiewak, et al.

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