01. Filing Claims and Lawsuits in Washington, D.C.
Filing Mesothelioma Claims and Lawsuits in Washington, D.C.
For decades, many Washington, D.C., industries used asbestos products. Contact with these products led to asbestos exposure in Washington, D.C. As a result, 66 workers and residents in the district were diagnosed with mesothelioma from 1999 to 2017. Between 1999 and 2019, 40 District of Columbia residents also died from mesothelioma.
Individuals who developed asbestos-related illnesses as a result of exposure may be eligible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. Attorneys at mesothelioma law firms can help asbestos victims in Washington, D.C., understand their legal options.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Claim in Washington, D.C.?
District of Columbia residents who developed a related illness after asbestos exposure may file a personal injury lawsuit or claim. Surviving family members and loved ones may also file a wrongful death lawsuit after an asbestos-related death.
Washington, D.C., residents may file asbestos claims or lawsuits against employers and manufacturers responsible for their exposure. For many years, various asbestos companies knew the dangers of the mineral and continued to expose workers.
Before the 1980s, the construction industry in Washington, D.C., commonly used asbestos-containing building materials. Many old buildings in the district may have been constructed with asbestos products. As a result, construction workers often experienced occupational exposure.
Military asbestos use also impacted residents and veterans in the district. Asbestos use was common throughout many Air Force bases and other installations. Several military bases are located in the District of Columbia, including:
- Bolling Air Force Base
- Fort Belvoir Army Base
- Fort McNair Army Base
- Fort Myer Army Base
- Washington Naval Yard
Veterans who served at these bases may have been exposed to asbestos. Military service members and veterans diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses may file Veterans Affairs claims. Veterans with mesothelioma may also be eligible to file lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers who supplied products to the military.
Deadlines for Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in Washington, D.C.
After a mesothelioma diagnosis, asbestos victims have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in Washington, D.C. Similarly, surviving family members must also file a wrongful death lawsuit within the legal deadline. These deadlines are known as statutes of limitations. In Washington, D.C., individuals have more time to file personal injury lawsuits than wrongful death lawsuits.
Washington, D.C. Statutes of Limitations
Claims must be filed within 3 years after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Victims need to provide evidence and documentation to file a lawsuit. Mesothelioma attorneys have resources to help clients gather evidence and file within the statutes of limitations.
Other options available to Washington, D.C., residents include asbestos trust fund claims and veterans benefits claims. Veterans who served on Washington, D.C., military bases and later developed asbestos illnesses may file VA claims.
By filing a VA claim, veterans in the district may receive financial compensation. Washington, D.C., veterans may also qualify for mesothelioma care at nearby VA treatment centers.
Did You Know?
02. Washington, D.C. Mesothelioma Law Firms
Mesothelioma Law Firms in Washington, D.C.
Individuals who have lived or worked in Washington, D.C., 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 Washington, D.C., receive compensation:
The Gori Law Firm
Ruckdeschel Law Firm, LLC
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. Washington, D.C. Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
Mesothelioma & Asbestos Settlements in Washington, D.C.
Most successful mesothelioma lawsuits result in out-of-court settlements. Compensation from a mesothelioma settlement may help patients pay for treatment expenses. Financial compensation may also help surviving family members with lost wages, funeral expenses and pain and suffering.
For example, a Washington, D.C., resident filed a lawsuit against several asbestos companies, including Burnham Corporation and Foster Wheeler Corporation.
The plaintiff had been a boiler service worker in Washington D.C., from 1964 to 1979. Years later, he was diagnosed with asbestosis. Following his diagnosis, he decided to take legal action against the boiler manufacturers.
The court initially granted summary judgment to the companies. However, the initial decision was reversed after the plaintiff filed an appeal. The case was later settled out of court.
04. Asbestos Laws in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. Asbestos Laws & Regulations
Residents and businesses in Washington, D.C., must follow federal asbestos regulations created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Additionally, the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) has also created local regulations for asbestos handling and removal.
For example, renovations and asbestos abatement in the district must be approved by the DOEE before activities begin. In order to remove friable (easily crumbled) asbestos-containing materials, abatement contractors must have a district permit or license. A permit is not required for non-friable asbestos-containing materials.
Individuals who do not comply with these laws may be prosecuted and/or fined. In 2017, a Washington, D.C., man was sentenced to 20 months in prison after improperly removing asbestos from a historic building. The man was charged with violating the Clean Air Act after hiring an unlicensed individual to remove asbestos-containing materials.
Consequences for violating asbestos handling laws aim to further protect Washington, D.C., workers and the public from exposure.