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Rhode Island workers and residents may have experienced asbestos exposure. High-risk exposure sites in the state include shipyards, schools and other areas. Exposure to asbestos can lead to diseases such as mesothelioma. National law firms have won millions of dollars for Rhode Island residents with asbestos-related diseases.


01. Filing Claims and Lawsuits in Rhode Island

Filing Mesothelioma Claims and Lawsuits in Rhode Island

Rhode Island asbestos victims may be eligible for compensation from asbestos companies that wrongfully exposed people to asbestos.

Rhode Islanders may have been exposed to asbestos in various parts of the state. Asbestos exposure may cause certain diseases and cancers, including mesothelioma. From 1999 to 2017, 272 Rhode Island residents were diagnosed with mesothelioma. From 1999 to 2019, 243 residents died from mesothelioma. Although Rhode Island has a small population, the state has the twelfth highest mesothelioma death rate in the nation.

Some areas pose a higher risk of asbestos exposure in Rhode Island than others. For example, several shipyards operated in the coastal state for decades. Many older shipyards once used asbestos-containing materials. Asbestos use in these areas puts the health of members of the armed forces and other workers at risk.

Rhode Island residents who experienced occupational asbestos exposure may contact a law firm. Attorneys at mesothelioma law firms can help asbestos victims understand their legal options.

Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Claim in Rhode Island?

Rhode Islanders who experienced asbestos exposure may be eligible to file a lawsuit or legal claim. Individuals diagnosed with an asbestos illness may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Surviving family members may also be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

There is a risk of asbestos exposure throughout Rhode Island. Certain shipyards and schools have a higher risk of exposure than other areas.

Workers at Rhode Island shipyards may have experienced asbestos exposure. For example, Walsh-Kaiser Company, Inc. began operations in 1942 and built many ships during World War II (WWII). During this period, asbestos-containing materials were frequently used in shipbuilding. As a result, all of the shipyard’s nearly 21,000 workers may have been exposed to asbestos.

Walsh-Kaiser Company, Inc. and other shipyards no longer use asbestos products. However, it may take decades for asbestos illnesses to present. Previous workers and veterans may still be at risk of developing an asbestos disease.

Students, faculty and staff in Rhode Island schools may also be at risk of asbestos exposure. Before the 1980s, asbestos was widely used to construct public buildings.

In the 1970s, the Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) conducted an asbestos survey in 326 schools. The DOH concluded spray-on asbestos was present in 24 schools. Any individual who developed an asbestos illness after exposure in a school may be eligible to file a lawsuit.

Rhode Island 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:

  • Ashaway, RI
  • Barrington, RI
  • Bristol, RI
  • Charlestown, RI
  • Chepachet, RI
  • Coventry, RI
  • Cranston, RI
  • Cumberland, RI
  • East Greenwich, RI
  • Foster, RI
  • Harrisville, RI
  • Hope Valley, RI
  • Jamestown, RI
  • Johnston, RI
  • Lincoln, RI
  • Middletown, RI
  • Narragansett, RI
  • Newport, RI
  • North Kingston, RI
  • North Kingstown, RI
  • North Providence, RI
  • Pawtucket, RI
  • Portsmouth, RI
  • Providence, RI
  • Richmond, RI
  • Riverside, RI
  • Rumford, RI
  • Smithfield, RI
  • Tiverton, RI
  • Warwick, RI
  • West Greenwich, RI
  • West Kingstown, RI
  • Westerly, RI
  • Woonsocket, RI

Deadlines for Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in Rhode Island

Rhode Islanders who have developed an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma, may be eligible to file a lawsuit. A mesothelioma lawyer can help victims understand their legal options. Mesothelioma attorneys can help with every step of the legal process.

Each state has a deadline to file specific lawsuits. These deadlines are called the statutes of limitations. Depending on the lawsuit, the deadline begins after the date of mesothelioma diagnosis or death. A patient can file a personal injury lawsuit. Family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit after an asbestos victim dies.

Rhode Island Statutes of Limitations

Personal Injury

Claims must be filed within 3 years after a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Wrongful Death

Claims must be filed within 3 years after death from mesothelioma.

Besides lawsuits, there may be other options. For instance, individuals may be eligible to file claims against asbestos company trust funds. Asbestos trust funds are typically established during a company’s bankruptcy proceedings. These trust funds are created to compensate current and future asbestos victims.

Victims may also qualify for workers’ compensation or VA benefits. An experienced lawyer can explain an individual’s options.

02. Rhode Island Mesothelioma Law Firms

Mesothelioma Law Firms in Rhode Island

Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness may be eligible to file a compensation claim in Rhode Island. 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 Rhode Island receive compensation:

Deaton Law Firm

  • Helping asbestos victims in Rhode Island for over 10 years as recognized by Super Lawyers®.

Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen


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.

03. Rhode Island Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts

Mesothelioma & Asbestos Settlements in Rhode Island

Plaintiffs in Rhode Island have won millions of dollars from asbestos companies. These settlements and verdicts help hold companies accountable for asbestos use.

Financial compensation may also ease many stresses for patients and their loved ones. It can help with their medical expenses and loss of income. Their families can also have greater financial security for the future.

A qualified attorney can help victims get the justice they deserve.

As a reference point, we have provided below a sampling of settlements achieved on behalf of Rhode Island residents who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace:

  • $2.2 MILLION: Maintenance/Shipyard – 74 years old
  • $2.1 MILLION: Plant Worker – 69 years old
  • $2.0 MILLION: Navy/Mechanic – 76 years old
  • $1.9 MILLION: Merchant Marine/Construction Worker – 87 years old
  • $1.6 MILLION: Navy Worker/Railroad Worker – 72 years old
  • $1.4 MILLION: Navy/Boiler Operator – 56 years old
  • $1.4 MILLION: Steamfitter/Shipyard – 67 years old
  • $1.4 MILLION: Merchant Marine/Construction – 78 years old
  • $1.4 MILLION: Navy/Pipefitter – 70 years old
  • $1.3 MILLION: Insulator – 70 years old

Note: Each lawsuit is different, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in the future. Contact a reputable Rhode Island mesothelioma lawyer to understand how much compensation you may be eligible to receive. 

04. Asbestos Laws in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Asbestos Laws & Regulations

In the 1970s, the U.S. began creating laws to prohibit asbestos use. Today, Rhode Island follows state and federal asbestos laws and restrictions. The Rhode Island DOH primarily enforces asbestos regulations. The DOH also oversees the state-developed Asbestos Control Program.

Rhode Island Asbestos Control Program responsibilities include:

  • Audit certified training providers
  • Certify and license asbestos training courses, consultants, contractors, labs, site supervisors and workers
  • Direct planning for asbestos abatement
  • Ensure safety of asbestos abatement projects by developing procedures
  • Focus on Rhode Island school inspections located in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-designated Environmental Justice Areas
  • Identify and resolve asbestos risks in public buildings, such as schools
  • Perform outreach activities
  • Review technical plans for asbestos abatement and management

Failure to adhere to national or state asbestos regulations can result in fines. In 2005, a contractor violated the Clean Air Act and several asbestos handling laws. The EPA filed a complaint, seeking a $70,535 penalty to the Rhode Island contractor. These laws and fines aim to protect Rhode Island residents from asbestos exposure.


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