01. West Virginia Law Firms
Top Mesothelioma Law Firms in West Virginia
Mesothelioma law firms can offer valuable support to West Virginia asbestos victims. Anyone in West Virginia diagnosed with mesothelioma may be able to file a lawsuit. Experienced lawyers at asbestos firms can explain lawsuit eligibility and filing options. These lawyers can manage every aspect of the legal process on behalf of clients.
The following law firms can seek compensation for asbestos victims in West Virginia:
These asbestos law firms have decades of experience fighting and winning mesothelioma lawsuits. Their knowledgeable lawyers have access to many resources for building successful cases. Lawyers at these firms have a history of litigating against large asbestos companies on behalf of victims.
Mesothelioma lawyers work hard to make the process easy for clients. They often travel wherever needed to visit patients and their families. They can address any questions and needs that arise during the lawsuit process. Asbestos lawyers strive to get the best possible financial outcome for clients.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
02. Filing Lawsuits in West Virginia
Filing Mesothelioma Lawsuits in West Virginia
Anyone diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease may be able to file a lawsuit. Thousands of West Virginians have been impacted by asbestos diseases, including mesothelioma. From 1999 to 2020, an estimated 664 people were diagnosed with mesothelioma in West Virginia. During those years, there were approximately 530 mesothelioma deaths in the state.
West Virginia has a relatively small population size but has the second-highest mesothelioma death rate in the nation. Patients and their loved ones may be eligible to file lawsuits against asbestos companies.
Kanawha County in West Virginia has been a popular place for asbestos lawsuits. From 2017 to 2022, it ranked as a top 15 asbestos-filing location in the United States.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in West Virginia?
Mesothelioma patients and their families may be eligible to file lawsuits in West Virginia. Eligible patients file personal injury lawsuits. Eligible family members file wrongful death lawsuits. Asbestos lawyers can explain eligibility criteria.
Before the 1980s, asbestos was common at jobsites and in many products. As a result, many West Virginians experienced asbestos exposure. Companies who manufactured, distributed or used asbestos materials may be held responsible for exposures. In 2022, an average of 164 asbestos companies (defendants) were named in each case filed in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Workers who experienced occupational asbestos exposure may be eligible for lawsuits. A study of mesothelioma among West Virginians from 2003 to 2008 found areas with significant employment in power plants, chemical plants and coal mining had the highest disease rates. Workers in these industries may continue to face high risks of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos victims in West Virginia from the following cities and towns have filed mesothelioma lawsuits to seek compensation from asbestos companies:
- Culloden, WV
- Fairmont, WV
- Hedgesville, WV
- Milton, WV
- Morgantown, WV
- Moundsville, WV
- Mount Carbon, WV
- Paden City, WV
- Parkersburg, WV
- Union, WV
- Vienna, WV
- Weston, WV
- Winfield, WV
Deadlines for Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in West Virginia
When filing mesothelioma lawsuits, various laws may apply. For example, the statutes of limitations outline the filing windows for asbestos lawsuits. The filing window starts when a specific injury occurs, either a diagnosis or death.
Mesothelioma lawyers understand lawsuit timelines in West Virginia. They can navigate all relevant laws when putting together cases.
West Virginia Statutes of Limitations
Lawsuits must be filed within 2 years after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Lawsuits must be filed within 2 years after death from mesothelioma.
Some mesothelioma patients may also qualify for asbestos bankruptcy trust fund claims. Asbestos companies often create these trust funds during bankruptcy proceedings. By doing so, money is set aside for current and future asbestos victims.
Some victims may qualify to seek compensation from multiple sources. Mesothelioma lawyers can determine which legal options are available for each client. They can manage the full filing process and any payout negotiations or closing paperwork.
Did You Know?
Filing VA Claims in West Virginia
Veterans faced frequent service-related asbestos exposure risks. For decades, the military used asbestos materials and parts in its facilities, equipment and vehicles. This led to asbestos exposure for many service members.
Approximately 107,271 veterans were living in West Virginia in 2021. These individuals are considered high risk for developing mesothelioma. Veterans with mesothelioma who experienced military asbestos exposure have certain entitlements to financial compensation. This compensation is part of the United States veterans benefits program.
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. West Virginia Settlements & Verdicts
Mesothelioma Settlements in West Virginia
West Virginia asbestos victims have received millions of dollars through asbestos litigation. Asbestos lawyers can help clients file mesothelioma lawsuits in West Virginia or other states for compensation. Often, mesothelioma compensation comes from settlements.
Below are examples of West Virginia settlements compensating victims of asbestos exposure:
- $6.9 million for a 51-year-old Navy veteran and machinist
- $5.2 million for a 49-year-old nurse’s aide with secondary exposure
- $3.3 million for a 52-year-old construction worker and coal miner
- $2.5 million for a 64-year-old Army veteran and steel worker
- $1.9 million for a 72-year-old National Guard veteran and steel worker
- $1.9 million for a 49-year-old warehouse worker with secondary exposure
- $1.6 million for a 79-year-old Army veteran and equipment auditor
- $1.5 million for a 71-year-old shipyard worker (Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company)
- $1.1 million for an 81-year-old manufacturing worker with secondary exposure
Mesothelioma Verdicts in West Virginia
In the 1920s, a chemical plant called DuPont Belle Works opened in Belle, West Virginia. By the 1950s, more than 5,000 West Virginians worked there. A number of mesothelioma lawsuits cite asbestos exposure at this plant.
- In 2002, a jury ordered DuPont to pay $6.4 million to the estate of a mesothelioma patient. The patient’s father installed asbestos insulation at DuPont from the 1940s to the 1950s. The lawsuit claimed the patient’s father unknowingly brought asbestos fibers home on his clothing. He experienced secondary asbestos exposure, which later led to mesothelioma. A jury found DuPont liable for the asbestos exposure.
- In 2002, the widow of an asbestos victim received a $600,000 award. Her husband was a former DuPont employee. He had worked as a laborer and mechanic at the plant for 35 years.
Note: Each lawsuit is different, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in the future. Contact a reputable West Virginia mesothelioma lawyer to understand how much compensation you may be eligible to receive.
04. Asbestos Laws in West Virginia
West Virginia Asbestos Laws & Regulations
Since the 1970s, federal asbestos regulations have helped protect public health and safety. These include instructions for activities like asbestos handling and disposal. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees many of these laws. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also regulates asbestos use.
West Virginia has also introduced various state-level asbestos laws, which outline:
- Asbestos licensing and training: West Virginia sets licensing and training requirements for workers involved in asbestos abatement. These rules also specify the duties and responsibilities of abatement workers, like asbestos contractors.
- Enforcement of asbestos inspections: West Virginia sets guidelines for asbestos inspections and notifications before demolishment or renovation projects.
- Penalties: Fines are outlined for various types of asbestos violations. Depending on the person’s history of asbestos violations, these can range from $250 to $50,000 per violation.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources runs an Asbestos Program. This program regulates various aspects of asbestos management. It also investigates complaints to ensure state laws are being followed.
West Virginia Laws Affecting Asbestos Litigation
West Virginia has a high volume of asbestos cases. To manage these, it has implemented various asbestos judicial initiatives and laws. Judicial initiatives created by the courts to manage asbestos cases include:
- Case Management Order: Established in 2011, this order helps schedule and prioritize asbestos cases. Based on various factors, cases are assigned to one of three categories. This helps plaintiffs facing the most hardship take top priority.
- Mass Litigation Panel: In 2008, West Virginia created a mass litigation panel to handle asbestos lawsuits in the state. Any asbestos case filed in West Virginia may be referred to this special panel and combined with similar cases.
West Virginia also has various laws passed by legislators that impact asbestos lawsuits. Some of these are common and have been adopted by other states. Notable West Virginia laws impacting mesothelioma lawsuits include:
- Limit on punitive damages: Punitive damages may not exceed either $500,000 or four times the amount of compensatory (non-punitive) damages. The limit is whichever is greater of the two figures.
- Trust transparency: A plaintiff must disclose if they have applied to any asbestos trust funds. This involves a sworn statement identifying all trusts they filed against and any trusts they could file a future claim against.
- “Two-disease” rule: A plaintiff may file a lawsuit for a non-malignant asbestos illness (like asbestosis). If they later develop mesothelioma, they can file another lawsuit.
Other laws may impact asbestos lawsuits and the litigation process. Clients don’t need to worry about understanding these legal nuances. Mesothelioma lawyers can navigate all relevant laws when filing lawsuits in West Virginia.