01. Filing Claims and Lawsuits in New Mexico
Filing Mesothelioma Claims and Lawsuits in New Mexico
New Mexico residents and workers may have been exposed to asbestos and developed an asbestos disease, such as mesothelioma. Asbestos disease patients may be eligible to file a claim or lawsuit for their exposure and resulting diagnoses.
Legal claims can help asbestos disease patients and their loved ones recover compensation for asbestos injuries. Between 1999 and 2017, there were an estimated 1,447 asbestos-related deaths in New Mexico. In that same period, 344 New Mexico residents were diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma lawyers can help guide victims through the process of choosing a claim type, gathering information such as defendants to name and negotiating awards. Common avenues for awards include mesothelioma lawsuit verdicts and settlements. Victims may also be eligible for compensation from asbestos trust funds.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Claim in New Mexico?
New Mexicans with asbestos-related diseases may be eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit or claim. A mesothelioma law firm can help individuals determine which legal options they are eligible for.
For instance, victims may file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit. Patients file personal injury lawsuits, whereas relatives or loved ones of deceased patients file mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuits.
An attorney can help asbestos victims determine which types of claims they may qualify for. Additional eligibility criteria include the time of exposure, type of asbestos disease and manner of exposure.
Common sources of asbestos exposure in New Mexico include:
- Kirtland Air Force Base: Asbestos was commonly used in many military settings, including Air Force bases. Several buildings at Kirtland Air Force Base confirmed to contain asbestos have undergone remediation. However, prior to removal, veterans and civilian employees may have been exposed at this base.
- Manufacturing plants: Several prominent asbestos companies had facilities located in New Mexico, including National Gypsum Company and Owens-Corning Fiberglas.
- Oil refineries: New Mexico has been a large producer of oil and petroleum since the 1920s. One known refinery that used asbestos is the abandoned Prewitt Refinery. The refinery is now an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund cleanup site.
Residents of New Mexico 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:
- Albuquerque, NM
- Anthony, NM
- Belen, NM
- Cedar Crest, NM
- Chama, NM
- Elephant Butte, NM
- Farmington, NM
- Las Cruces, NM
- Rio Rancho, NM
- Roswell, NM
- San Felipe Pueblo, NM
- Santa Fe, NM
Deadlines for Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in New Mexico
Lawsuits are subject to New Mexico’s statutes of limitations. These rules set time limits for when lawsuits may be filed after the initial incident. For example, a wrongful death lawsuit in New Mexico must be filed within three years of the patient’s death.
Experienced asbestos lawyers can help individuals navigate these statutes.
New Mexico 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.
Victims may also be eligible for compensation through an asbestos trust fund claim. A mesothelioma lawyer can help victims understand their filing options and help them file a claim or lawsuit.
Did You Know?
02. New Mexico Mesothelioma Law Firms
Mesothelioma Law Firms in New Mexico
Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness may be eligible to file a compensation claim in New Mexico. Mesothelioma law firms can explain eligibility, filing options and how state laws may impact claims. Asbestos lawyers can assist with all aspects of the filing process, including investigating the claim and gathering needed documentation.
The following law firms can help people living in New Mexico receive compensation:
The Gori Law Firm
Simmons Hanly Conroy
Choosing a nationwide law firm can provide various advantages over working with a smaller, local law firm. Lawyers at national law firms have decades of combined experience litigating asbestos lawsuits. They have brought successful claims against large asbestos companies to secure settlements for their clients. These law firms are well-versed in asbestos laws across the country and can ensure your lawsuit is filed in the most favorable jurisdiction. They will also determine if additional compensation can be obtained by filing claims with asbestos trusts.
Because of their national reach, lawyers at these law firms are also able to travel to you. They can meet you in person to address your questions, concerns and needs. Their goal is to make the entire claim process as easy as possible and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
03. New Mexico Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
Mesothelioma & Asbestos Settlements in New Mexico
Mesothelioma victims and their family members may be able to receive compensation for their asbestos disease. Compensation can help individuals pay medical bills, recover lost wages and punish the parties responsible for their asbestos exposure.
As a reference point, we have provided below a sampling of settlements achieved on behalf of New Mexico residents who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace:
- $3.7 MILLION: Insulator – 79 years old
- $2.6 MILLION: Maintenance/National Guard – 61 years old
- $2.1 MILLION: Navy/Boiler Operator – 61 years old
- $1.9 MILLION: Construction/Plant Worker – 61 years old
- $1.9 MILLION: Shipyard/Maintenance – 83 years old
- $1.3 MILLION: Navy/Painter – 76 years old
- $1.2 MILLION: Pipefitter – 74 years old
- $800,000: Army/Maintenance – 83 years old
- $700,000: Navy/Shipyard – 64 years old
- $600,000: Shipyard – 83 years old
Mesothelioma & Asbestos Verdicts in New Mexico
In 2018, the wife of a late automotive business owner was awarded a total of $40.6 million. The victim lived in Los Alamos, New Mexico. After his death, his wife filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ford Motor Company for exposure to asbestos in the company’s brakes.
Ford was found 20% responsible for the victim’s exposure. The company was ordered to pay $9.1 million of the total award. The verdict included compensatory and punitive damages against Ford Motor Company. Although the asbestos lawsuit was filed in Delaware, the jury applied New Mexico law and precedent to the case.
Ford appealed the decision multiple times. The case ultimately reached the Delaware Supreme Court in 2019. The court rejected Ford’s appeal in January 2019.
Note: Each lawsuit is different, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in the future. Contact a reputable New Mexico mesothelioma lawyer to understand how much compensation you may be eligible to receive.
04. Asbestos Laws in New Mexico
New Mexico Asbestos Laws & Regulations
There are several local and federal organizations with rules to regulate asbestos use and handling. At the state level, there are a few agencies in New Mexico that regulate asbestos, including:
- The New Mexico Environment Department: The department’s Air Quality Bureau is in charge of the majority of the asbestos regulations in the state.
- The New Mexico Occupational Health & Safety Bureau: The bureau oversees workplaces’ adherence to federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.
Anyone handling asbestos in New Mexico must become certified in asbestos abatement. By becoming certified, workers learn how to prevent asbestos exposure for themselves and others in the area. All professionals must be licensed by the New Mexico Construction Industries Division to perform any asbestos work.
The New Mexico Solid Waste Bureau also regulates the transportation and disposal of asbestos and other hazardous materials. New Mexico has several certified landfills that can accept asbestos waste products. Chapter 9 of Title 20 of the New Mexico Administrative Code specifies these regulations.
New Mexico corporations, workers and residents must also comply with all federal asbestos regulations.