Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in California
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the first step toward justice is filing a claim with the help of a California mesothelioma lawyer.
The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral fiber used in a variety of construction materials for insulation and fire resistance. When asbestos fibers are breathed in or swallowed, victims can develop deadly illnesses like mesothelioma and asbestosis.
California lost 5,100 people to mesothelioma between 1999-2017, the most of any state during that time period.
It can take 10-50 years for symptoms of mesothelioma to appear after someone is exposed to asbestos. Sadly, many patients don’t have severe symptoms until the disease has already spread to other parts of the body.
Top mesothelioma lawyers in California have decades of experience and understand the strain that families are under. By working with an experienced California mesothelioma lawyer, victims of asbestos-related diseases gain their best chance at securing much-needed compensation to pay for medical treatments and other bills.
Asbestos claims have been filed by mesothelioma victims who lived or worked in these California locations:
- El Segundo
- Long Beach
- Los Angeles
- Orange County
- San Bernardino
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- Santa Barbara
- Santa Clara
- Santa Cruz
- And more
When looking for a California mesothelioma lawyer, it’s important to select a firm with the experience, reputation, and resources to advocate for you. Thankfully, Mesothelioma Hope has partnered with an experienced law firm that can help mesothelioma patients like you: Simmons Hanly Conroy.
California Mesothelioma Law Firm
As one of the nation’s largest mass tort law firms, Simmons Hanly Conroy is dedicated to helping victims of mesothelioma and other personal injuries find justice and hope.
The attorneys at Simmons Hanly Conroy have centuries of combined experience, and they aim to provide their clients with first-class legal services.
Our sponsor firm has recovered over $556 million on behalf of those with mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases in California alone. A few of the firm’s mesothelioma settlement amounts are highlighted below.
California Mesothelioma Settlements Recovered by Simmons Hanly Conroy
- $5.6 millionAirline worker
- $5.1 millionHVAC worker
- $4.3 millionU.S. Marine veteran
- $3.6 millionLaborer
All Simmons Hanly Conroy settlement amounts have been fact-checked and verified by our editorial team.
California Asbestos Exposure Sites
At the height of California’s asbestos use, dozens of industries worked with the deadly mineral. As a result, the state has thousands of asbestos exposure sites.
Asbestos Superfund Sites in California
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established its Superfund program in 1980 to clean up toxic waste sites that pose significant dangers to the general public. Superfund sites are areas that have so much pollution that it takes a long time to clean them up.
There are several asbestos Superfund sites in the United States, including California.
The EPA designates Superfund sites and works to clean them up. The EPA may also reach out to the parties that contaminated the site in the first place and force them to either help with the cleanup or provide reimbursement.
Examples of California asbestos Superfund sites include:
- Atlas Asbestos Mine: Naturally occurring asbestos was mined at this 435-acre site near Coalinga, California, from 1963-1979. Some of the milling and mining products of the Atlas Asbestos Mine were transported to the nearby City of Coalinga. The EPA began cleanup activities in 1994 and finished in 1996.
- Coalinga Asbestos Mine: The Coalinga Asbestos Company owned this 120-acre asbestos mill site from 1962-1975. Cleanup of the site started in 1991, and it was removed from the EPA’s National Priorities List in 1998.
- Hunters Point Naval Shipyard: This 866-acre site in San Francisco was home to a shipyard from 1945-1974 and the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory (NRDL) from 1948-1960. Soil at the site contains naturally occurring asbestos and metals. Cleanup of the shipyard started in 1990 and continues to this day.
- South Bay Asbestos Area: Located in the Alviso District of San Jose, California, this 550-acre plot served as an asbestos dumping site for more than 30 years. Many local water sources were also contaminated due to residents bringing in asbestos-containing soil to protect their properties from flooding. Site cleanup began in 1983 and is still ongoing.
Other Asbestos Exposure Sites in California
Superfund sites are far from the only places where Californians could have been exposed to asbestos.
Examples of other high-risk asbestos sites in California include:
- Albany City Hall, Albany
- Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, San Francisco
- Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company, Los Angeles
- John D. Hoff Mine, Oakland
- Lockheed Martin Aircraft Terminal, Burbank
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Martin Luther King Junior General Hospital, Los Angeles
- National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, San Diego
- North Island Naval Shipyard, San Diego
- Procter & Gamble Plant, Long Beach
- Shell Oil Refinery, Pasadena
- Standard Oil Refinery, Richmond
- Terminal Island Naval Shipyard, Long Beach
- Texaco Refinery, Wilmington
- Union Pacific Switchyard, Los Angeles
If you or a loved one has mesothelioma and want to know if a job site you worked on used asbestos, you should contact a California mesothelioma attorney.
California Veterans and Military Bases
California is home to 32 military bases from every branch of the armed forces. Most of the military bases in California are located near San Bernardino, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Any veteran who served in the military before the 1980s could have been exposed to asbestos. All U.S. military branches used asbestos in ships, buildings, and vehicles during this time since the risks were hidden by makers of asbestos-based products.
Today, 33% of all mesothelioma cases involve U.S. Navy veterans or shipyard workers exposed to asbestos.
Examples of military bases in California that used asbestos include:
- Cape Kennedy Air Force Station (aka Cape Canaveral Space Force Station)
- Eglin Air Force Base
- Homestead Air Force Base (aka Homestead Air Reserve Base)
- Hurlburt Field
- MacDill Air Force Base
- McCoy Air Force Base (aka Pinecastle Air Force Base)
- Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola
- Patrick Air Force Base
- Tyndall Air Force Base
Veterans with mesothelioma may qualify for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if their asbestos exposure was service-related. California has a number of different resources veterans can use to access these benefits.
California veterans with mesothelioma can access nine different VA medical centers, 37 outpatient clinics, and 32 veterans centers, among many other veteran resources located throughout the state.
Groups like the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion (AML) can help California mesothelioma veterans access these benefits.
California Counties With the Most Asbestos-Related Deaths
Asbestos affects families and communities in every state and county in the U.S. Along with mesothelioma, asbestos exposure has caused thousands of deaths in California from related diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer. Five counties were hit particularly hard in recent years.
|County||Estimated Deaths||Average Deaths Per Year|
|Los Angeles County||4,979||262|
|San Diego County||2,905||152|
|Contra Costa County||1,198||63|
Know Your Rights: California Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Many mesothelioma victims choose to pursue justice and compensation by filing a mesothelioma lawsuit against the manufacturers of asbestos-based products.
These manufacturers knew that people who were exposed to asbestos could get sick and die, but they chose to keep making and selling their products — putting profits ahead of people.
If you or a loved one were injured by wrongful asbestos exposure, you have the legal right to file a claim.
Successful mesothelioma lawsuits force manufacturers to pay for the harm they’ve caused victims and their families. With the help of a California mesothelioma lawyer, asbestos victims can see if they’re eligible to receive financial compensation.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Claim in California?
In addition to California residents, mesothelioma patients who may have been exposed to asbestos while working in, living in, or visiting the state might qualify to file a claim for compensation.
Additionally, anyone who’s been diagnosed with other serious asbestos-related diseases — such as lung cancer or asbestosis — may also qualify to file a claim with the help of a California mesothelioma attorney.
Even those who develop an asbestos-related disease later in life, such as mesothelioma, may be eligible to file a claim. Surviving family members may also be able to file a claim on behalf of a mesothelioma victim.
A California mesothelioma lawyer can explain how the state’s laws and regulations impact someone’s eligibility for different types of asbestos claims.
California Asbestos Laws and Regulations
California’s asbestos laws are some of the most protective of workers and citizens in the country. The state also adheres to the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), which was created by the EPA.
In California, asbestos regulations are overseen by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) and the state’s Health and Safety Code. Cal/OSHA maintains a strong contractor registration and certification program for workers who remove asbestos from buildings, homes, and other structures.
California’s major asbestos regulations are listed in Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations and the California Health & Safety Code:
- Section 341.15: Regulates certification of asbestos consultants and site-surveillance technicians
- Section 1529: Regulates asbestos in construction
- Section 5208: Regulates asbestos in general industry
- Section 8358: Regulates asbestos in shipyards
Due to changes made to Title 8 in 2007, California employers are now required to report any asbestos exposure. Employers must also take steps to limit asbestos exposure and document when it occurs.
A California mesothelioma lawyer can help determine how these asbestos laws may affect a victim’s case.
Statutes of Limitations in California
Each state has specific laws regarding how long someone has to file a claim after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis. These laws are called statutes of limitations (SOLs), and they typically range from 1-2 years depending on the state.
Once an SOL has passed, you can no longer file a lawsuit.
Because these laws can be difficult to navigate, victims often turn to an experienced mesothelioma lawyer for help. A California mesothelioma lawyer can explain how statutes of limitations will affect your case and whether you should file a claim in California or another state.
There are two types of mesothelioma lawsuits a victim may file in California:
- Personal injury lawsuit: This lawsuit is filed when a living person who has mesothelioma seeks justice and compensation from the company or companies responsible for their disease.
- Wrongful death lawsuit: This lawsuit is filed when an eligible family member (or members) seek(s) justice and compensation from the company or companies responsible for their loved one’s death from mesothelioma.
Only an experienced California mesothelioma lawyer will be able to determine the best course of action to help you file a strong lawsuit before time runs out.
Even if statutes of limitations prevent you from filing a lawsuit, you may still be able to access compensation from an asbestos trust fund.
Asbestos Trust Funds in California
Bankrupt manufacturers of asbestos-based products were forced to set aside money in asbestos trust funds. Trust funds allow companies to compensate both current and future victims who would otherwise file lawsuits.
Asbestos trust funds have their own deadlines to file claims and don’t follow normal statutes of limitations.
Today, more than $30 billion is available in asbestos trust funds for mesothelioma victims.
Those with mesothelioma can often file claims with multiple trusts.
How many asbestos trusts a person qualifies for depends on:
- Which asbestos-containing products they were exposed to
- If the companies that made the asbestos-containing products have trusts or not
A California mesothelioma lawyer can see which asbestos trusts a person qualifies for and file claims on their behalf.
California Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, about 95% of personal injury cases settle before ever going to court. This includes mesothelioma lawsuits in California.
To avoid a long public legal battle in court before a judge and jury, companies responsible for a victim’s asbestos exposure typically try to reach a mesothelioma settlement.
A settlement is an agreement between a California asbestos lawyer representing the victim (plaintiff) and the legal team(s) representing the manufacturers being sued. There’s often an overwhelming amount of evidence in favor of the plaintiff in mesothelioma cases, which is usually why these cases reach settlements.
The average mesothelioma settlement is between $1 million and $1.4 million.
If a mesothelioma lawsuit is not resolved with a settlement, it may proceed to a trial. In a trial, a jury hears each side (the victim’s and the manufacturer’s) and determines how much compensation the injured party (plaintiff) is owed.
However, it’s also possible for the jury to rule in favor of the asbestos company, awarding the plaintiff no compensation.
The average mesothelioma trial verdict is between $5 million and $11.4 million.
The experienced California mesothelioma lawyers at our partner firm Simmons Hanly Conroy have secured several Top 100 Verdicts in California, according to the National Law Journal and VerdictSearch.
Two recent award-winning California mesothelioma verdicts include:
- $34 million against Ford Motor Company on behalf of former mechanic Arthur Putt (2019, Los Angeles)
- $30.2 million against J-M Manufacturing on behalf of former construction supervisor Norris Morgan (2018, Los Angeles)
Consult with a California mesothelioma lawyer to see if a settlement or trial is best for your case.
Connect With a California Mesothelioma Lawyer
With the highest total of mesothelioma deaths in the country, California is no stranger to asbestos exposure and the terrible diseases it causes.
California mesothelioma lawyers know how this awful cancer can devastate families and are here to help. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with this disease, it is in your best interest to work with a California mesothelioma lawyer.
A qualified California mesothelioma attorney can help you:
- Pinpoint the work sites or locations where you were exposed to asbestos
- Obtain medical and military records
- Build an asbestos claim that maximizes your chances of securing compensation
- File your claim within the specific time limits required by California law
To learn more about your options, contact our team for a free, no-obligation case review. Our asbestos lawyers never charge upfront or out-of-pocket fees, and they get paid only if your case results in compensation. Get started with a free legal consultation.
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