01. Filing Claims and Lawsuits in Montana
Filing Mesothelioma Claims and Lawsuits in Montana
Many individuals in Montana have been impacted by asbestos use. Before the 1980s, the mineral was present in several state industries, including construction, oil refining and mining. Widespread asbestos use caused many individuals to develop mesothelioma and other illnesses.
From 1999 to 2017, 272 Montana residents were diagnosed with mesothelioma. Additionally, 242 residents died from mesothelioma between 1999 and 2019. As a result, many Montanans have filed asbestos claims against companies responsible for their exposure.
For instance, Montana workers in mines, paper mills, manufacturing plants and oil refineries may have experienced occupational asbestos exposure. Workers who develop an asbestos illness may file a claim against employers and companies responsible for their Montana asbestos exposure.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Claim in Montana?
Montana residents who develop an illness after asbestos exposure may be eligible to file a claim. Surviving family members who lost a loved one to mesothelioma may also be able to file a wrongful death claim.
Many claims filed in the state are connected to an asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana. The mine impacted individuals in Libby from the 1920s to 1990. W.R. Grace began operating the mine in 1963.
For decades, mine workers and Libby residents were exposed to airborne asbestos. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) later determined amphibole asbestos was present in the town’s air years after the mine closed.
In the 1990s, the long-term health effects of the Libby mine became known. By 2002, the EPA had placed Libby on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL). Occupational and environmental asbestos exposure have led to elevated rates of respiratory illnesses among Libby residents.
Miners, workers and residents impacted by asbestos exposure in Libby, Montana, may be eligible to file different claim types. For instance, they may file a trust fund claim against W.R. Grace. To handle the large number of claims, W.R. Grace established a trust fund to compensate asbestos victims.
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can explain individuals’ options for filing a claim.
Residents of Montana 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:
- Big Timber, MT
- Billings, MT
- Culbertson, MT
- Kalispell, MT
- Libby, MT
- Missoula, MT
- Ronan, MT
- Victor, MT
Deadlines for Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in Montana
Montana residents who develop an illness after exposure to asbestos may file a personal injury claim. Surviving family members may also be eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a mesothelioma victim.
In each state, asbestos victims and their loved ones must file claims within certain legal deadlines. These deadlines are known as the statutes of limitations. Attorneys at mesothelioma law firms may ensure claimants submit all documentation within the statutes of limitations.
Montana Statutes of Limitations
Claims must be filed within 3 years after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Claims must be filed within 3 years after death from mesothelioma.
Montana residents may also be eligible to file other types of claims, such as:
Asbestos trust funds ensure current and future asbestos victims receive compensation. These trusts are typically established during a company’s bankruptcy proceedings.
For example, W.R. Grace initially put about $3 billion into an asbestos trust. Individuals who experienced asbestos exposure from W.R. Grace products may be eligible to file a claim with the trust fund. Libby, Montana, residents exposed to asbestos from the company’s vermiculite mines may also be eligible to file a claim.
Did You Know?
02. Montana Mesothelioma Law Firms
Mesothelioma Law Firms in Montana
Individuals who have lived or worked in Montana and develop an asbestos-related illness can seek legal support. Local and nationwide law firms experienced in asbestos and mesothelioma claims can guide claimants through the filing process. Lawyers at these firms understand state laws that impact claim options. They can explain an individual’s legal options, determine the best course of action and help file the claim.
The following law firms can help people living in Montana receive compensation:
The Gori Law Firm
Simmons Hanly Conroy
Nationwide law firms have extensive experience handling mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuits. Lawyers at these firms have litigated against large asbestos companies, securing meaningful settlements for their clients. They have access to numerous resources to build your case and a thorough knowledge of asbestos laws. They can help you choose the best jurisdiction to file your claim. It may not be in your current state of residence.
You don’t have to worry about traveling during this difficult time. Lawyers will travel to you to talk about your case and address any questions or concerns you have. They will keep the process as effortless as possible. These firms will handle the entire claim process on your behalf and are dedicated to getting you and your loved ones the best financial outcome.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
03. Montana Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
Mesothelioma & Asbestos Settlements in Montana
Many successful asbestos lawsuits and claims result in out-of-court settlements. Mesothelioma lawsuits may also result in jury awards. Financial compensation from a settlement or jury award may cover mesothelioma treatment costs, travel expenses and lost wages.
We have listed below a few of the verdicts and settlements compensating victims of asbestos exposure in Montana:
- $1.7 MILLION: Electrician – 75 years old
- $1.7 MILLION: Navy/Teacher – 81 years old
- $1.1 MILLION: Teamster – 65 years old
- $900,000: Air Force/Police – 72 years old
- $700,000: Navy – 55 years old
- $400,000: Air Force – 80 years old
- $400,000: Army/Teacher – 72 years old
- $300,000: Office Worker – 58 years old
Note: Each lawsuit is different, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in the future. Contact a reputable Montana mesothelioma lawyer to understand how much compensation you may be eligible to receive.
Settlements for Libby Asbestos Victims
Thousands of plaintiffs have filed asbestos claims against Montana company, W.R. Grace. After facing a large number of claims, the company established a $3 billion asbestos trust fund to compensate asbestos victims.
Lawsuits have also been filed against the state of Montana for failing to protect state residents.
In 2011, a Montana district court judge approved a $43 million settlement for about 1,200 claimants. The plaintiffs in the case had developed asbestos illnesses connected to the Libby vermiculite mine. The state’s insurance provider was ordered to pay the settlement.
In 2017, more than 1,000 asbestos victims reached a $25 million settlement against the state. Claimants said Montana health officials failed to warn Libby miners and community members about the dangerous vermiculite mine.
04. Asbestos Laws in Montana
Montana Asbestos Laws & Regulations
State and local asbestos laws help protect residents and workers from asbestos exposure. The state also has laws related to asbestos litigation. In order to manage mesothelioma lawsuits and claims, Montana laws established the following rules for asbestos cases:
- Case management: In 2017, the Montana Supreme Court established an Asbestos Claims Court to oversee thousands of backlogged cases.
- Court exposure standard: Montana lawyers and claimants must provide evidence of asbestos exposure. They must also prove the connection between exposure and a claimant’s asbestos-related illness.
- Comparative negligence: Montana laws require mesothelioma attorneys to prove companies are more responsible for injury or death than claimants. The state has a 51% bar rule. This means a plaintiff can recover damages if they are found 50% or less at fault for their injury.
Individuals in Montana must also abide by asbestos handling and removal laws. For example, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality requires asbestos abatement be done by state-certified contractors. These laws protect residents from dangerous exposure.