01. Filing Claims and Lawsuits in Alaska
Filing Mesothelioma Claims and Lawsuits in Alaska
Asbestos exposure in Alaska has resulted in a number of mesothelioma cases in the state. Between 2003 and 2008, Alaska ranked in the top 10th percentile of states reporting cases of the disease along with:
The average incidence rate among these states was higher than the U.S. average.
One county in particular, Anchorage Borough, ranked among the top 50 counties in the United States for malignant mesothelioma deaths between 2000 and 2009. Anchorage’s death rate was also higher than the national average.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Claim in Alaska?
Individuals who develop illnesses after asbestos exposure in Alaska may file personal injury claims against the responsible asbestos companies. Family members may file wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of victims who died of asbestos-related illnesses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alaska recorded 103 cases of mesothelioma from 1999 to 2019. Across all counties, Anchorage Borough had the highest number of mesothelioma deaths, with 53 deaths recorded. The CDC also recorded 12 asbestosis deaths across Alaska during the period.
In Alaska, asbestos-related illness impacts a variety of industries and occupations. Residents and non-asbestos workers may have also experienced exposure.
Many instances of asbestos exposure in Alaska took place before the 1980s. However, individuals may still risk exposure from asbestos-containing materials in older homes, schools and commercial buildings.
Examples of recent asbestos exposure in Alaska include:
- In 2015, a management company pleaded guilty to improperly conducting renovations in an old boiler room at the Northern Lights shopping center in Anchorage. Building owners used a contractor who wasn’t certified in asbestos abatement.
- In 2009, Copper River Seafoods began renovation and demolition of two buildings in Anchorage without advising employees of asbestos-containing materials in the walls, ceiling and floors. This work resulted in the release of friable chrysotile asbestos inside and outside the buildings.
As a result of exposure, individuals may be at risk of developing mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease. Alaska residents with mesothelioma may file a lawsuit against companies and organizations responsible for exposure.
Alaska residents living in the following towns and cities have filed mesothelioma lawsuits to protect their rights and seek compensation from manufacturers and distributors of asbestos:
- Anchorage, AK
- Chugiak, AK
- Delta Junction, AK
- Homer, AK
- Palmer, AK
- Ward Cove, AK
Deadlines for Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in Alaska
Alaska state law limits the time asbestos victims and families have to file a claim. Claimants should consult with a mesothelioma attorney in Alaska immediately after a diagnosis or death to provide time to gather evidence. Each state has its own statutes of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
Alaska Statutes of Limitations
Claims must be filed within 2 years after mesothelioma diagnosis.
Claims must be filed within 2 years after death from mesothelioma.
Some companies responsible for multiple cases of asbestos exposure have created trust funds to compensate current and future victims. In those cases, the above statutes of limitations don’t apply.
An Alaska mesothelioma lawyer may help patients and their families determine if the company at fault has an asbestos trust fund. Attorneys may also help claimants determine their eligibility to file a claim.
Did You Know?
02. Alaska Mesothelioma Law Firms
Mesothelioma Law Firms in Alaska
Asbestos victims in Alaska can seek legal support from nationwide mesothelioma law firms, including Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen and The Gori Law Firm. These law firms advocate for victims who have been impacted by asbestos-related diseases.
Mesothelioma attorneys have a proven track record and experience with asbestos litigation. Mesothelioma lawyers also understand the impact of mesothelioma on asbestos victims and have resources to build cases.
Lawyers can provide guidance throughout the claims process. Top mesothelioma law firms equipped to represent Alaskan claimants include:
Choosing a law firm with nationwide reach to handle your mesothelioma lawsuit affords several advantages over choosing a smaller, local firm. Lawyers at national law firms have decades of experience going up against the largest asbestos companies and winning significant settlements for their clients. They are more than willing to come to you so you don’t have to worry about traveling during a difficult time. Their sole aim is to make the process easy and effortless for you and achieve the highest financial outcome for you and your family.
They are also highly skilled in understanding the nuances and intricacies involved with filing an asbestos lawsuit and identifying the most favorable jurisdiction to file your case in based on the unique facts surrounding your work history and exposure. It is not always the state in which you reside.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
03. Alaska Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
Mesothelioma & Asbestos Settlements in Alaska
Alaska mesothelioma attorneys have successfully obtained settlements and jury awards in asbestos lawsuits. This compensation may help cover mesothelioma treatment costs and other expenses. Settlements from asbestos claims also cover lost wages and may provide financial security for surviving family members.
We have listed below a few of the verdicts and settlements compensating victims of asbestos exposure in Alaska:
$2.0 MILLION: Household/Army – 56 years old
$1.2 MILLION: Construction – 51 years old
$700,000: Household – 36 years old
$700,000: Navy/Construction – 79 years old
$600,000: Welder/Mechanic – 76 years old
$600,000: Navy/Electrician – 87 years old
$400,000: Plant Worker/Millwright – 76 years old
$300,000: Electrician – 71 years old
$100,000: Laborer/Shipyard – 77 years old
Note: Each lawsuit is different, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in the future. Contact a reputable Alaska mesothelioma lawyer to understand how much compensation you may be eligible to receive.
04. Asbestos Laws in Alaska
Alaska Asbestos Laws & Regulations
Asbestos poses a health risk when the mineral is moved or disturbed, causing fibers to become airborne. Federal asbestos laws established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency apply in Alaska.
Alaska also has its own regulations for handling asbestos found in buildings, construction materials and naturally occurring deposits.
- The Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Administration (AKOSH) enforces laws regarding the removal of asbestos-containing materials, training of employees involved in abatement and workplace compliance.
- The Alaska Department of Environment Conservation (ADEC) oversees the disposal of asbestos-containing materials.
Before renovation or abatement work is done, certified inspectors must assess sites for hazards. Anyone handling asbestos must be properly trained.
- Contractors and businesses must ensure employees who work with asbestos are informed of the dangers and trained to do the work safely. Alaska’s Asbestos Abatement Statutes and Regulations outlines the requirements for training certification programs and competency tests.
- Specific regulations apply to asbestos-related renovation or construction at Alaska public schools and the University of Alaska. Alaska statutes describe the roles of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the Department of Education and Early Development and school officials.
- Regulations regarding disposal of regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM) waste are outlined in state laws. RACM must be managed to prevent the release of asbestos fibers into the air or surface water and must be disposed of in an approved RACM landfill.
- Construction contractors using gravel or other aggregate material with more than 0.25% of naturally occurring asbestos by mass must follow specific regulations. For example, contractors must prepare a site-specific plan to be approved by the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities before beginning extraction.
Liability Relating to Naturally Occurring Asbestos in Alaska
Alaska is home to several natural asbestos deposits. Many deposits are located in remote areas and are undisturbed. One area, Ing-Ink Mine near Dahl Creek, was actively mined during World War II.
In 2003, authorities found asbestos fibers were airborne in Ambler, Alaska, located in the Northwest Arctic Borough. Chrysotile asbestos was found in concentrations of up to 10% in an Ambler gravel pit used as a source of construction gravel since the 1960s.
ATVs also frequently travel gravel roads throughout the day. Air samples found ATV riders and pedestrians walking along the roads were at increased risk of developing asbestos-induced lung cancer and mesothelioma from airborne dust.
The gravel pit is now closed, but in 2012, Alaska passed legislation allowing continued use of gravel containing naturally occurring asbestos. Mesothelioma attorneys in Alaska can provide guidance to anyone affected by naturally occurring asbestos.