01. Tennessee Law Firms
Top Mesothelioma Law Firms in Tennessee
Mesothelioma law firms in Tennessee have experience handling asbestos cases. The lawyers at these firms understand asbestos laws in Tennessee and can manage the entire legal process. This way, clients with an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma can focus on treatment.
The following law firms can help people living in Tennessee seek compensation:
Law firms that specialize in asbestos lawsuits have an advantage over other firms. Their lawyers have dedicated themselves to helping asbestos victims get compensation. They have a deep understanding of asbestos laws across the country. They also have extensive resources to research and build clients’ cases.
Because of mesothelioma’s long latency period, many people do not know exactly where or when they were exposed. Lawyers have industry knowledge to find out which asbestos companies may have caused people’s exposures. They can also explore additional compensation options, such as asbestos trust fund claims.
Lawyers at asbestos law firms work to make the process as easy as possible. For example, they can travel to clients for in-person meetings. They can also handle the litigation process on behalf of clients, from filing to negotiating settlements.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
02. Filing Lawsuits in Tennessee
Filing Mesothelioma Lawsuits in Tennessee
Experienced lawyers can file mesothelioma lawsuits to help residents and workers in Tennessee. Sometimes, mesothelioma lawyers will file lawsuits out of state. Lawyers use their expertise to determine if an out-of-state filing is to their client’s advantage.
Throughout the 20th century, many companies used asbestos in their manufacturing processes and in their products. Today, Tennessee’s manufacturing industry still employs nearly 360,000 people. Construction employs more than 145,000 people. Both industries have occupations at risk for asbestos exposure.
Between 1999 and 2020, Tennessee had around 960 deaths from mesothelioma. During that same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 1,107 new cases of the disease in the state.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in Tennessee?
Tennessee residents and workers with illnesses from asbestos exposure may be eligible to file lawsuits. Family members may be eligible to file lawsuits after a loved one passes away from mesothelioma.
Asbestos use in Tennessee affects many people. Tennesseans may have faced asbestos exposure at work, home and school. Tennessee has at least two Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund sites where asbestos has been found.
Another notable Tennessee location with asbestos is R.L. Stowe Mills Inc. in Chattanooga. The Chattanooga mill opened early in the 1900s, and R.L. Stowe Mills Inc. purchased it in 1998. In January 2009, R.L. Stowe Mills Inc. closed the facility. For the next several years, it sat abandoned. The EPA confirmed asbestos at the abandoned mill site in 2019.
Residents in the following Tennessee towns have filed mesothelioma lawsuits:
- Allardt, TN
- Antioch, TN
- Arlington, TN
- Brentwood, TN
- Chattanooga, TN
- Clarksville, TN
- Cleveland, TN
- Collierville, TN
- Crossville, TN
- Dandridge, TN
- Drummonds, TN
- Eads, TN
- Elizabethton, TN
- Etowah, TN
- Fall Branch, TN
- Franklin, TN
- Gainesboro, TN
- Germantown, TN
- Hampton, TN
- Hendersonville, TN
- Hermitage, TN
- Hixson, TN
- Jackson, TN
- Johnson City, TN
- Kingsport, TN
- Knoxville, TN
- LaFollette, TN
- Lakeland, TN
- Lawrenceburg, TN
- Lenoir City, TN
- Livingston, TN
- Lyles, TN
- Maryville, TN
- Mason, TN
- McMinnville, TN
- Memphis, TN
- Morristown, TN
- Mount Pleasant, TN
- Murfreesboro, TN
- Nashville, TN
- Newbern, TN
- Newport, TN
- Nunnelly, TN
- Pulaski, TN
- Red Bank, TN
- Selmer, TN
- Springville, TN
- Trenton, TN
- Waverly, TN
- West Moreland, TN
- White Bluff, TN
Deadlines for Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in Tennessee
Some Tennessee laws directly affect mesothelioma lawsuits. For example, statutes of limitations set timelines for when asbestos victims must file lawsuits. These laws vary based on the type of lawsuit and the filing state.
The relevant Tennessee statutes of limitations cover personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Family members file wrongful death lawsuits after their loved one dies.
Tennessee 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.
Asbestos lawyers can explain how Tennessee laws may affect residents’ mesothelioma cases.
Attorneys work to find the best compensation options. Mesothelioma lawyers can also help with asbestos trust fund claims. Bankrupt companies set up trust funds to cover present and future asbestos liabilities. People who become sick from the company’s asbestos use may qualify for compensation from trusts. Filing with a trust does not prevent a person from filing a lawsuit against non-bankrupt companies.
Did You Know?
Filing VA Claims in Tennessee
Tennessee military veterans may qualify for government-provided benefits. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) helps many veterans exposed to asbestos. Veterans who become sick after asbestos exposure may be eligible for these VA benefits.
Tennessee is home to almost 400,000 veterans and five military bases. Veterans have historically made up a higher percentage of mesothelioma cases. Statistics show that roughly 30% of mesothelioma diagnoses occur in veterans.
Veterans with asbestos-related diseases can work with mesothelioma lawyers to file VA claims. Veterans can use these VA claims benefits to 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. Tennessee Settlements & Verdicts
Mesothelioma Settlements in Tennessee
Some asbestos lawsuits settle out of court. Mesothelioma settlements happen when a victim (plaintiff) agrees to end a lawsuit against an asbestos company (defendant) for a sum of money. These agreements may happen at any time during a lawsuit.
Mesothelioma compensation can help cover healthcare costs, lost income and more. Working with a mesothelioma lawyer makes the settlement process smoother. They have the experience to explain why a patient or their family members may want to consider a settlement.
Mesothelioma lawyers can negotiate settlements on behalf of their clients. The client ultimately decides whether to accept or reject any settlement offer.
In Tennessee, some examples of settlements include:
- $7.2 million for a 79-year-old Army veteran and Air Force veteran
- $3.4 million for a 78-year-old Army veteran and maintenance mechanic
- $2.4 million for a 71-year-old Navy aircraft mechanic (Naval Base San Diego)
- $2.4 million for a 55-year-old machine operator with secondary exposure
- $2.3 million for a 65-year-old shipyard worker and home renovator
- $2.2 million for a 79-year-old Army veteran, plumber and union electrician
- $1.9 million for a 70-year-old electrical apprentice (Bethlehem Steel) and construction worker
- $1.8 million for a 66-year-old Marine veteran and union electrician
- $1.6 million for a 90-year-old laborer (Babcock & Wilcox)
Mesothelioma Verdicts in Tennessee
Some mesothelioma lawsuits end in verdicts. A verdict is a decision made by a judge or jury about a lawsuit.
In Tennessee, successful verdicts have helped mesothelioma patients receive millions of dollars in compensation. Examples include:
- A 2020 mesothelioma case ended in a verdict of more than $2.8 million for the widow and estate of an industrial mechanic. The man had worked for Stauffer Chemical in Tennessee from 1970 to 1978. He regularly handled, cut and sanded Ameron-brand asbestos pipes and fittings at work.
- In 2009, a $1.4 million dollar verdict was awarded to a widow whose husband died from mesothelioma. Her husband worked as a pipefitter from 1952 to 1986 for Combustion Engineering. He used asbestos products sold by National Service Industries.
Note: Each lawsuit is different, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in the future. Contact a reputable Tennessee mesothelioma lawyer to understand how much compensation you may be eligible to receive.
04. Asbestos Laws in Tennessee
Tennessee Asbestos Laws & Regulations
Tennessee follows federal asbestos regulations. Also, specific state laws establish how Tennessee manages asbestos. These laws help protect Tennessee residents and workers.
For example, some rules establish licensing and training requirements for people working with asbestos. The state legislature designated which organizations have oversight for asbestos:
- Tennessee state code charges the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to cover oversight and administration of the state’s training and accreditation program.
- The state code also charges the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development with enforcing workplace safety rules and managing the workers’ compensation program. This department is part of the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA).
Tennessee Laws Affecting Asbestos Litigation
Tennessee’s legislature and past court cases have set standards for mesothelioma lawsuits. These standards may affect future lawsuits. Two examples include:
- Secondary exposure: A lawsuit in Tennessee set a standard for secondhand exposure. The court determined an asbestos company cannot expect someone who does not work with asbestos to know the risks of asbestos exposure. Asbestos companies, therefore, have a duty to refrain from creating foreseeable risks to third parties, like workers’ spouses.
- “Bare metal” defense: In another lawsuit, a court stated manufacturers of equipment like pumps and valves do not have to warn consumers of asbestos added to their products by another manufacturer.
Tennessee’s statutes have other regulations that directly impact asbestos lawsuits. These include:
- Class action lawsuits: Tennessee laws do not allow class action asbestos lawsuits.
- Comparative fault: Plaintiffs found to be 50% or more at fault cannot recover compensation for their injuries.
- Compensation for fear of asbestos disease: A person exposed to asbestos cannot receive compensation for any emotional distress caused by the fear of developing an asbestos disease.
- Limitations on successor liability: Companies acquiring other companies with asbestos liabilities are limited in these liabilities to the value of the company being acquired.
- Non-economic compensation cap: In general, Tennessee limits the amount of non-economic compensation a plaintiff can be awarded to $750,000. Examples of non-economic compensation include pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
A mesothelioma lawyer can explain how these laws and rulings may affect a person’s case.