01. California Law Firms
Top Mesothelioma Law Firms in California
Mesothelioma law firms in California can help asbestos victims seek financial compensation. Lawyers at these firms focus their legal practice on helping mesothelioma patients and their families hold companies responsible for exposing people to asbestos. An asbestos victim can decide whether to hire a firm after a free consultation.
During the 20th century, California’s large natural asbestos deposits and diverse industries led to high rates of asbestos use. Many companies put California workers at risk of asbestos exposure at jobsites like shipyards and oil refineries. Asbestos is also present in many older homes, schools and other buildings.
As a result of past asbestos use, California continues to have a high rate of mesothelioma lawsuits. For example, the following areas saw significant increases in mesothelioma filings between 2021 and 2022:
- 14% filing increase in Alameda
- 55% increase in Los Angeles
San Francisco also remains a top jurisdiction for asbestos-related filings. In 2022 alone, these three jurisdictions had nearly 230 asbestos filings.
California-based law firms are available to help mesothelioma patients and their families. They provide comprehensive services, including filing and negotiating settlements. These firms have some of the most experienced mesothelioma attorneys in the country.
The following law firms can help people living in California receive compensation:
Mesothelioma cases are complex. Working with experienced asbestos attorneys comes with several advantages. For example, they have specialized knowledge of the asbestos liability landscape. This helps them build, file and resolve cases with the highest chance of success.
Asbestos attorneys can also help identify potential sources of exposure. Patients sometimes do not know when or where exposure occurred because of mesothelioma’s long latency period. Attorneys’ knowledge of the industry helps them identify potentially responsible asbestos companies.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
02. Filing Lawsuits in California
Filing Mesothelioma Lawsuits in California
California residents have filed hundreds of mesothelioma lawsuits in recent years. Patients and family members have received millions of dollars from verdicts and settlements. Asbestos victims have also received additional compensation from filing asbestos trust fund claims.
Residents living in over 170 cities in California have filed mesothelioma lawsuits. In 2022, Los Angeles and Alameda were among the top 10 filing locations in the country. San Francisco also saw a high number of asbestos filings that included lawsuits for other asbestos diseases.
Attorneys can file a lawsuit or trust fund claim on behalf of asbestos victims. They can also help gather documents and other evidence to help build a strong case.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in California?
People exposed to asbestos in California may be able to file lawsuits if they develop an asbestos disease. Family members may be eligible to file a lawsuit after the death of a loved one from mesothelioma.
Many Californians experienced exposure at asbestos jobsites. Naturally occurring asbestos is present in 42 of 58 counties in the state. Asbestos miners were employed at many of these deposits to extract the mineral. For example, the Coalinga Asbestos Mine employed many Californians before the EPA declared it a Superfund Site.
California is also home to a number of shipyards, including Mare Island Naval Shipyard and Naval Base San Diego. Shipyard workers and Navy veterans often experienced exposure while working on ships docked at shipyards.
Californians may also have experienced exposure at any number of other jobsites. Asbestos was common in many industries during the twentieth century.
California residents in the following towns and cities have filed mesothelioma lawsuits to seek compensation from manufacturers and distributors of asbestos:
- 29 Palms, CA
- Alta Loma, CA
- Altadena, CA
- Anaheim, CA
- Antioch, CA
- Apple Valley, CA
- Aromas, CA
- Atascadero, CA
- Auburn, CA
- Bakersfield, CA
- Benicia, CA
- Buellton, CA
- Carlsbad, CA
- Carson, CA
- Cazadero, CA
- Ceres, CA
- Cerritos, CA
- Chatsworth, CA
- Chico, CA
- Chula Vista, CA
- Citrus Heights, CA
- Clovis, CA
- Coalinga, CA
- Concord, CA
- Corona, CA
- Coronado, CA
- Costa Mesa, CA
- Covina, CA
- Del Mar, CA
- Diamond Bar, CA
- Discovery Bay, CA
- Dorris, CA
- Duarte, CA
- El Cajon, CA
- El Cerrito, CA
- El Dorado Hills, CA
- El Segundo, CA
- El Sobrante, CA
- Elk Grove, CA
- Escondido, CA
- Fair Oaks, CA
- Fallbrook, CA
- Fontana, CA
- Foresthill, CA
- Fremont, CA
- Fresno, CA
- Garden Grove, CA
- Georgetown, CA
- Glendale, CA
- Glendora, CA
- Grass Valley, CA
- Hayward, CA
- Hemet, CA
- Hesperia, CA
- Hidden Hills, CA
- Huntington Beach, CA
- Igo, CA
- Keyes, CA
- La Mirada, CA
- La Puente, CA
- La Quinta, CA
- Laguna Hills, CA
- Lake Forest, CA
- Lakeside, CA
- Lakewood, CA
- Landers, CA
- Lincoln, CA
- Lodi, CA
- Long Beach, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Madera, CA
- Manhattan Beach, CA
- Maricopa, CA
- McKinleyville, CA
- Meadow Vista, CA
- Menifee, CA
- Merced, CA
- Milpitas, CA
- Mission Viejo, CA
- Modesto, CA
- Montara, CA
- Montebello, CA
- Monterey, CA
- Moreno Valley, CA
- Mountain View, CA
- Murrieta, CA
- Newark, CA
- Newcastle, CA
- Oak Park, CA
- Oakland, CA
- Orange, CA
- Orangeville, CA
- Palm Desert, CA
- Palm Springs, CA
- Pasadena, CA
- Paso Robles, CA
- Penn Valley, CA
- Pioneer, CA
- Pismo Beach, CA
- Pittsburg, CA
- Placentia, CA
- Placerville, CA
- Pleasant Hill, CA
- Pleasanton, CA
- Pomona, CA
- Poway, CA
- Ramona, CA
- Rancho Cucamonga, CA
- Rancho Mirage, CA
- Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
- Redding, CA
- Redwood City, CA
- Rescue, CA
- Richvale, CA
- Ridgecrest, CA
- Riverside, CA
- Roseville, CA
- Sacramento, CA
- Salinas, CA
- San Bernardino, CA
- San Carlos, CA
- San Diego, CA
- San Dimas, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- San Jose, CA
- San Juan Capistrano, CA
- San Marcos, CA
- San Mateo, CA
- San Pedro, CA
- San Rafael, CA
- San Ramon, CA
- Santa Ana, CA
- Santa Barbara, CA
- Santa Clara, CA
- Santa Paula, CA
- Santa Rosa, CA
- Santee, CA
- Sebastopol, CA
- Sierra Madre, CA
- Simi Valley, CA
- Sonoma, CA
- South Lake Tahoe, CA
- South San Francisco, CA
- Stockton, CA
- Studio City, CA
- Sylmar, CA
- Taft, CA
- Tarzana, CA
- Terminal Island, CA
- Torrance, CA
- Tracy, CA
- Trinity Center, CA
- Truckee, CA
- Tulare, CA
- Union City, CA
- Upland, CA
- Vacaville, CA
- Vallejo, CA
- Venice, CA
- Villa Park, CA
- Visalia, CA
- Vista, CA
- Walnut Creek, CA
- Watsonville, CA
- Westlake Village, CA
- Westminster, CA
- Whittier, CA
- Wilmington, CA
- Wilton, CA
- Woodcrest, CA
- Woodland Hills, CA
Deadlines for Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in California
Laws called statutes of limitations create deadlines for filing California mesothelioma lawsuits. Residents may want to reach out to a lawyer soon after a diagnosis or death. Doing so can help ensure they have a full range of options for seeking compensation.
California Statutes of Limitations
Lawsuits must be filed within 1 year after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Lawsuits must be filed within 1 year after death from mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma patients may be able to file personal injury lawsuits. Family members of deceased patients may be able to file wrongful death lawsuits.
California asbestos victims may also have options for additional compensation via mesothelioma claims. For example, many bankrupt asbestos companies have set up trust funds to compensate victims. California has its own law setting a one-year deadline to file against a trust after a death or diagnosis.
Did You Know?
Filing VA Claims in California
California veterans may have been exposed to asbestos during their time serving in the military. Asbestos use was common in all branches of the military during the twentieth century. As a result, veterans have a high rate of mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases, like asbestos lung cancer and asbestosis.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers benefits to veterans with diseases caused by asbestos exposure during service. These benefits may also be available to veterans’ family members. In 2021, California had over a million veterans living in the state.
The VA offers tax-free benefits to eligible veterans. These benefits can help pay for health care, housing and other expenses.
Filing for Benefits With the VA vs. Filing Lawsuits Against Asbestos Companies
The government sets aside VA benefit money to assist veterans in acknowledgement of their service to the country. It is the government’s policy that it owes these benefits to any qualified veteran.
Mesothelioma lawsuits are separate actions that do not involve suing the government. When veterans file mesothelioma lawsuits, they sue asbestos companies that manufactured and distributed asbestos to the U.S. military.
03. California Settlements & Verdicts
Mesothelioma Settlements in California
California asbestos victims have received millions of dollars in mesothelioma compensation. A lawsuit may result in compensation from a settlement or verdict. In general, settlements range from $1 to $1.4 million, but individual cases may result in higher amounts.
Settlements are agreements between parties to end a lawsuit before, during or after trial. They are often private agreements between parties, with the exact details of the agreement kept from the public. Some details from California mesothelioma settlements include:
- $13.5 million for a 55-year-old plumber in San Diego and mechanic who used NAPA parts
- $11.6 million for a 48-year-old Navy worker at Long Beach Shipyard Dry Dock and dry wall sprayer at Hemet Dry Wall Co.
- $9.7 million for a 62-year-old Navy veteran and nuclear plant worker
- $9.6 million for a 75-year-old manager and teacher
- $8.9 million for a 56-year-old maintenance worker at Floway Pumps
- $8.8 million for a 56-year-old Navy veteran serving on USS Bon Homme Richard
- $7.6 million for a 63-year-old carpenter and construction worker
- $7 million for a 58-year-old plant worker at King Bearing Inc.
- $6.7 million for a 66-year-old Navy veteran serving on USS Springfield and USS Paul Revere
- $6.5 million for a 68-year-old Navy veteran and plant worker
- $6.1 million for a 62-year-old household worker and technician
- $6.1 million for a 49-year-old Navy watchman and tile setter
- $5.4 million for a 64-year-old welder/pipefitter in oil refineries and shipyards
- $5.1 million for a 62-year-old Navy veteran and electrician
- $4.8 million for a 68-year-old Navy veteran and aircraft mechanic
- $4.5 million for a 60-year-old union plumber
- $4.4 million for a 80-year-old sheet metal worker
- $4.2 million for a 77-year-old Marine veteran and shipyard worker
Mesothelioma settlements can help pay for treatment costs and provide financial security for families.
Mesothelioma Verdicts in California
California juries have found many asbestos companies liable for causing mesothelioma. These companies manufactured asbestos products and employed people to work with asbestos. Mesothelioma verdicts average $2.4 million, but many victims have received much more.
Examples of mesothelioma verdicts in California include:
- $52 million to a woman who used body and face talc-based products: In 2022, a jury awarded a combined $52 million in actual damages and punitive damages to a 76-year-old woman battling mesothelioma. The jury found Avon executives acted maliciously by hiding the potential dangers of asbestos in their talc-based products. As of June 2023, this case is on appeal.
- $24 million to a construction worker: In 2012, a California jury awarded a construction worker $48 million (later reduced to $24 million). The jury found multiple companies, including Union Carbide and Kaiser Gypsum, responsible for his exposure.
- $10 million to a pipefitter: In 2017, a California jury awarded a pipefitter $10 million. The jury found CertainTeed Corporation, an asbestos-cement pipe manufacturer, responsible for his exposure.
- $7 million to a boilermaker’s spouse: In 2015, a California jury awarded the spouse of a deceased boilermaker almost $7 million. The jury found the boilermaker was exposed to asbestos while working for Southern Pacific Railroad.
A mesothelioma lawyer can educate their clients about the process of pursuing a jury verdict award.
Note: Each lawsuit is different, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in the future. Contact a reputable California mesothelioma lawyer to understand how much compensation you may be eligible to receive.
04. Asbestos Laws in California
California Asbestos Laws & Regulations
California has a number of asbestos laws and regulations. Many of these laws are designed to protect California workers and residents from the ongoing risk of asbestos exposure.
The California Health & Safety Code contains asbestos reporting requirements. According to the code, certain California building owners, contractors and other employers must monitor air quality and notify employees about potential exposure.
California also certifies asbestos consultants to handle asbestos removal projects. In the state, only a Cal/OSHA-Certified Asbestos Consultant can consult on asbestos abatement. The state license board also provides guidance on choosing asbestos removal contractors.
The state is also required to adhere to federal laws and regulations related to asbestos.
State Laws Affecting Asbestos Litigation
Several California laws directly affect asbestos litigation. These include laws related to compensation options, case procedure and taxation. Litigation matters affected by California state law include:
- Expedited trials: California law allows mesothelioma patients to petition courts for expedited trials. If granted, the trial must begin within 120 days. California courts commonly grant motions to expedite mesothelioma trials.
- Pain and suffering damages: In 2022, a California law went into effect allowing families to recover damages for the pain and suffering of deceased loved ones. Pain and suffering damages are compensation for physical discomfort and emotional distress.
- Punitive damages: California law is strict when it comes to allowing juries to award punitive damages. Punitive damages punish a company and are awarded in addition to any compensation for injury or death. California law requires clear evidence of malicious behavior for punitive damages to be awarded.
- Taxation of compensation: In general, California does not tax money given as compensation for a personal injury or wrongful death. This is similar to federal tax policy.
The above is a partial list of California laws and regulations related to asbestos lawsuits. Lawyers can explain all relevant state and federal laws to mesothelioma patients and their families.
Asbestos Litigation Trends in California
California has a long, robust history of asbestos litigation. California courts have made a number of decisions about how asbestos cases operate in the state. They have also been at the forefront of litigation trends, including the increase in talc litigation in recent years.
Talc Exposure in California
Recent years have seen a surge in cases alleging mesothelioma caused by talcum powder. This surge occurred after reports of a cover-up by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to hide asbestos contamination in its talc products. California has seen a large number of cases alleging asbestos exposure from talc. Los Angeles had the third most talc filings in the country between 2018 and 2022, totaling 142 cases.
In 2023, California became the first state to restart litigation against J&J after bankruptcy proceedings halted lawsuits against the company. The company is attempting to avoid asbestos liability using a controversial legal scheme. In April 2023, the company also offered to settle with asbestos victims in an attempt to end the lawsuits against it. This new case suggests California does not wish to allow the company to avoid fairly compensating its victims.
Secondary Asbestos Exposure in California
In 2016, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion on secondary asbestos exposure cases. Secondary exposure occurs when an asbestos worker brings the mineral home on their clothes or in their hair. When this happens, family members may inhale asbestos fibers.
The court in this case found that employers could be held liable for secondary exposure when their workers bring home asbestos. As a result of this case, a lower court in California reversed a previous decision holding that employers could not be held liable for secondary exposure.
In 2022, a California jury awarded $43 million to a woman with mesothelioma who experienced secondary exposure. The jury found Algoma Hardwoods Inc. liable for the woman’s asbestos exposure, which occurred while laundering her husband’s work clothes.