01. Filing Claims and Lawsuits in Massachusetts
Filing Mesothelioma Claims and Lawsuits in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has an above-average asbestos-related death rate of about seven deaths per 100,000 people. From 1999 to 2019 the CDC reported:
Densely populated areas, including Norfolk and Suffolk counties, have the highest number of fatalities from asbestos illnesses, with more than 3,000 combined deaths. Barnstable, Plymouth, Norfolk and Berkshire counties reported above-average asbestos fatality rates ranging from approximately eight to 12 fatalities per 100,000 residents.
Due to the high number of asbestos cases, Massachusetts courts developed new policies for the state’s statute of limitations. Massachusetts also created new policies for cases filed by impaired and unimpaired claimants.
For instance, Massachusetts was the first state to implement an inactive docket system that allows claimants to file an initial claim even if they don’t have mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease. This preserves their right to compensation if they develop qualifying medical issues in the future.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Claim in Massachusetts?
Individuals who experienced asbestos exposure and developed a related health problem may be eligible to seek compensation. Asbestos victims may seek compensation through a lawsuit, mesothelioma claim or an asbestos trust fund claim. Family members may also be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their loved one’s estate.
Notable exposure sites in Massachusetts include the W.R. Grace plant in Acton and the Blackburn & Union Privileges site in Walpole. Workers at the factories in Walpole once manufactured brake and clutch linings, among other asbestos products.
Massachusetts also had several asbestos mines located in Berkshire County, Salem and Pelham. Three communities, including Billerica, Cambridge and Easthampton, also received asbestos-contaminated vermiculite from W.R. Grace’s mine in Libby, Montana.
Veterans and shipyard workers were also at high risk of asbestos exposure. Before the 1980s, asbestos products were commonly used in the shipbuilding industry. There are several shipyards in Massachusetts where individuals may have been exposed.
For example, the Boston Navy Yard is located in the Boston Harbor. Operating for nearly 200 years, this facility exposed veterans and workers to asbestos through insulation, electrical wiring, gaskets and other components. These widespread sources of exposure have resulted in approximately 100 new mesothelioma diagnoses annually, according to the Massachusetts Department of Health.
Residents of Massachusetts who lived in the following cities and towns have filed mesothelioma lawsuits to protect their rights and to seek compensation from negligent manufacturers and distributors of asbestos:
- Abington, MA
- Acushnet, MA
- Adams, MA
- Amesbury, MA
- Andover, MA
- Attleboro, MA
- Avon, MA
- Bellingham, MA
- Beverly, MA
- Boston, MA
- Bradford, MA
- Brockton, MA
- Brookfield, MA
- Burlington, MA
- Buzzards Bay, MA
- Carver, MA
- Charlton, MA
- Chelsea, MA
- Dennis, MA
- Dorchester, MA
- Drury, MA
- Dudley, MA
- East Bridgewater, MA
- East Falmouth, MA
- East Hampton, MA
- East Longmeadow, MA
- Fairhaven, MA
- Fall River, MA
- Falmouth, MA
- Framingham, MA
- Granby, MA
- Harwich Port, MA
- Hingham, MA
- Holyoke, MA
- Hull, MA
- Leominster, MA
- Littleton, MA
- Lowell, MA
- Lynnfield, MA
- Malden, MA
- Mansfield, MA
- Mashpee, MA
- Medway, MA
- Merrimac, MA
- Methuen, MA
- Milford, MA
- Millville, MA
- Natick, MA
- Needham, MA
- New Bedford, MA
- North Attleboro, MA
- Northampton, MA
- Norwood, MA
- Peabody, MA
- Plymouth, MA
- Plympton, MA
- Reading, MA
- Rockland, MA
- Rowley, MA
- Sagamore Beach, MA
- Sandwich, MA
- Saugus, MA
- Scituate, MA
- Shrewsbury, MA
- South Attleboro, MA
- South Boston, MA
- South Chatham, MA
- South Easton, MA
- Southampton, MA
- Southwick, MA
- Springfield, MA
- Stoneham, MA
- Sturbridge, MA
- Sudbury, MA
- Sutton, MA
- Swansea, MA
- Taunton, MA
- Tewksbury, MA
- Townsend, MA
- Wakefield, MA
- Wareham, MA
- Wayland, MA
- West Roxbury, MA
- West Springfield, MA
- Westfield, MA
- Westford, MA
- Weymouth, MA
- Whitman, MA
- Williamsburg, MA
- Wilmington, MA
- Worcester, MA
- Yarmouth Port, MA
Deadlines for Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in Massachusetts
Massachusetts residents have a limited amount of time to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. The timeline to file a claim begins after the diagnosis of an asbestos illness or the time of death. This timeline is called the statute of limitations.
Residents who have not experienced sufficient health challenges may be added to the state’s inactive docket. The state’s inactive docket allows the lawsuit and discovery process to continue at a later date, after an individual meets the medical requirements.
Filing an asbestos claim within the legal deadline is crucial to receiving compensation. Individuals may consult a mesothelioma lawyer to help with the process.
Massachusetts Statutes of Limitations
Claims must be filed within 3 years after mesothelioma diagnosis.
Claims must be filed within 3 years after death from mesothelioma.
Even if the company responsible for exposure has gone out of business, individuals may recover compensation from asbestos trust funds and successive owners.
Did You Know?
02. Massachusetts Mesothelioma Law Firms
Mesothelioma Law Firms in Massachusetts
Workers and their families can choose from a wide range of qualified mesothelioma law firms in Massachusetts. Regional and national law firms active in Massachusetts include Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney and Meisenkothen.
Working with a reputable law firm with experience in asbestos litigation is one of the most important things claimants can do. Mesothelioma lawyers in Massachusetts may provide a comprehensive case assessment and explain what’s required to prove the claim.
Many attorneys work with medical professionals who serve as expert witnesses. Mesothelioma lawyers also have access to other resources needed to investigate claims and gather evidence. Massachusetts mesothelioma attorneys include litigators who take cases to court and handle settlement negotiations.
Lawyers can provide guidance throughout the claims process. Top mesothelioma law firms equipped to represent Massachusetts claimants include:
A national law firm gives you access to mesothelioma lawyers that serve clients in all states across the country. Their travel schedules are extensive and, therefore, they are happy to come to you. Their job is to guide you through the process in a way that is easy, convenient and comfortable for you. They travel so you don’t have to during this difficult time.
Equally as important, the lawyers at these firms are skilled in uncovering and understanding the details of your case and identifying the jurisdiction that is most favorable to file your case in. It is not always the state in which you reside. They will work with you to ensure you receive the highest financial outcome for you and your family and guide you through the process every step of the way.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
03. Massachusetts Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
Mesothelioma & Asbestos Settlements in Massachusetts
Since mesothelioma litigation began, mesothelioma attorneys in Massachusetts have recovered millions in compensation for injured workers and their families.
According to industry statistics, the average mesothelioma verdict is $2.4 million, and the average settlement is approximately $1.4 million. As a reference point, we have provided below a sampling of settlements achieved on behalf of Massachusetts residents who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace:
- $2.4 MILLION: Shipyard / Plant Worker – 66 years old
- $2.3 MILLION: Contractor / Welder – 63 years old
- $2.0 MILLION: Pipefitter / Navy – 76 years old
- $2.0 MILLION: Navy / Office – 72 years old
- $1.9 MILLION: Merchant Marine / Engineer – 72 years old
- $1.9 MILLION: Household – 56 years old
- $1.8 MILLION: Navy / Laborer – 70 years old
- $1.7 MILLION: Steam Engineer – 71 years old
- $1.5 MILLION: Household / Plant Worker – 69 years old
- $1.4 MILLION: Shipyard / Sheet Metal Worker – 57 years old
Mesothelioma & Asbestos Verdicts in Massachusetts
In 2017, Boston Superior Court juries returned two landmark verdicts, awarding $6.8 million and $7.55 million to local families impacted by asbestos. New England Insulation, a Canton-based company that distributed and installed asbestos insulation until the early 1970s, was held responsible for injuries sustained by two workers.
Timothy Ross, who worked as an insulation installer, died as a result of mesothelioma. Power plant worker Gerald Sylvestre was involved in the second case.
Note: Each lawsuit is different, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in the future. Contact a reputable Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyer to understand how much compensation you may be eligible to receive.
04. Asbestos Laws in Massachusetts
Massachusetts Asbestos Laws & Regulations
Since the 1980s, Massachusetts legislators have created improved legislation to protect homeowners, workers and members of the public from asbestos exposure. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has overseen regulations for unapproved asbestos abatement projects, created statewide asbestos databases for schools and taken other steps to reduce asbestos exposure.
Massachusetts legislation that impacts asbestos litigation and handling of asbestos includes:
- Case Management: Massachusetts was the first state to establish an inactive docket for asbestos claims, starting in 1986. This system is designed for individuals who don’t currently meet the medical threshold to file a personal injury claim. It protects residents’ right to sue after the statutes of limitations has expired.
- Workplace Safety: The Department of Labor Standards operates the state’s Asbestos Program. This program licenses abatement contractors and sets standards for how such work must be performed. These rules apply to all construction, demolition, renovation and repair projects where asbestos-containing material is present.
- Construction and Abatement: The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) regulates all construction, demolition and abatement projects. Licensed contractors must notify MassDEP and the Department of Labor Standards at least 10 days before beginning work.
Some remediation projects may also require local permits and approvals. Although asbestos is not banned in the U.S., these laws aim to protect Massachusetts residents.