Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in Florida
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 Florida 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.
Although asbestos does not naturally occur in Florida, many shipments of the mineral were made to the state for processing and use in building construction.
Between 1999 and 2017, Florida lost 3,343 lives to mesothelioma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It can take 10-50 years for symptoms of mesothelioma to appear after someone is exposed to asbestos. For many patients, the disease has already spread to other parts of the body by the time the symptoms appear.
Top Florida mesothelioma lawyers have decades of experience and understand the strain that families are under. By working with an experienced Florida mesothelioma lawyer, victims of asbestos-related diseases gain their best chance at securing much-needed compensation to help combat the disease.
Asbestos claims have been filed by mesothelioma victims who lived or worked in these Florida cities:
- Cape Coral
- Daytona Beach
- Fort Lauderdale
- Fort Myers
- Fort Walton Beach
- Palm Beach
- Panama City
- Port Saint Lucie
- St. Petersburg
- West Palm Beach
- And more
When researching a prospective Florida mesothelioma lawyer, it’s important to select a firm with the experience, reputation, and resources to advocate for you. Fortunately, Mesothelioma Hope has partnered with an experienced law firm that can help mesothelioma patients like you: Simmons Hanly Conroy.
Florida 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 $374 million on behalf of those with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in Florida alone. A few of the firm’s mesothelioma settlement amounts are highlighted below.
Florida Mesothelioma Settlements Recovered by Simmons Hanly Conroy
- $6.76 million Auto mechanic
- $5 million U.S. Air Force veteran and roofer
- $1.8 million U.S. Army veteran and boilermaker
- $2.9 million Steamfitter
All Simmons Hanly Conroy settlement amounts have been fact-checked and verified by our editorial team.
Florida Asbestos Exposure Sites
There are hundreds — if not thousands — of known asbestos exposure sites in Florida. Generally, asbestos exposure sites tend to be former or current workplaces.
For example, Florida’s major seaports were historically — and still are — home to dozens of naval and commercial shipyards. Commercial and military shipbuilding were only two of dozens of high-risk asbestos-exposure industries.
Florida also had widespread mines, manufacturing sites, metal fabrication plants, and construction sites, all of which heavily used asbestos. In addition, Florida operated five asbestos processing plants during the 20th century.
From the 1950s to 1991, more than 112,000 tons of asbestos-containing vermiculite were shipped from Libby, Montana, for processing at the former Zonolite and W.R. Grace & Co. plant in Tampa. This led to workers being exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos.
Asbestos is also present in many public buildings and private homes in the state of Florida.
Examples of high-risk asbestos sites in Florida include:
- Alton Box Plant, Jacksonville
- American Cyanamid Chemical Plant, Pace
- Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Jacksonville
- Atlantic Dry Dock, Jacksonville
- Florida Power & Light (FPL), Fort Lauderdale
- Fort Myers Power Plant
- Hendry Corporation, Tampa Bay
- International Paper Mill, Panama City
- Mayport Naval Station, Jacksonville
- Miami Shipbuilding Corporation
- Nitram Chemical Plant, Tampa
- Offshore Shipbuilding Company, Palatka
- Pensacola Naval Shipyard
- St. Regis Paper Company, Pensacola
- Tampa Bay Shipbuilding
- U.S. Phosphoric Plant, Tampa
- Wainwright Shipyard, Panama City
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 Florida mesothelioma attorney.
Florida Veterans and Military Bases
Florida is home to 21 military bases from every branch of the armed forces. Most of the military bases in Florida are located in coastal cities like Pensacola and Jacksonville, but there are a few inland bases as well.
Any veteran who served in the military before the 1980s could have been exposed to asbestos. Every branch of the military used asbestos to make ships, buildings, and vehicles during this time — without knowing the health risks.
Today, 33% of all mesothelioma cases involve U.S. Navy or shipyard exposure.
Examples of military bases in Florida 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. Florida has a number of different resources veterans can use to access these benefits.
Florida veterans with mesothelioma can access seven different VA medical centers, 40 outpatient clinics, and 25 veterans centers, among many other veteran resources located throughout the state.
Services like the American Legion (AML) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) can also help Florida mesothelioma veterans access these benefits.
Florida 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 Florida from related diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer. Five counties were hit particularly hard in recent years.
|County||Estimated Deaths||Average Deaths Per Year|
|Palm Beach County||1,545||111|
Know Your Rights: Florida 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 Florida mesothelioma lawyer, asbestos victims can see if they’re eligible to receive compensation through a lawsuit.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Claim in Florida?
In addition to Florida 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 financial 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 Florida 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 Florida mesothelioma lawyer can explain how the state’s laws and regulations impact someone’s eligibility for different types of asbestos claims.
Florida Asbestos Laws and Regulations
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) established its Asbestos Removal Program in 1982 to manage and monitor asbestos removal in Florida.
The state also adheres to the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Given how widespread asbestos exposure once was in the state, governing agencies have made great efforts to curb asbestos-related diseases and deaths.
The FDEP Asbestos Removal Program focuses on reducing the release of asbestos into the air during renovation or demolition. Inhaling these fibers can lead to asbestos-related diseases.
Specific asbestos-related laws are found in the Florida Administrative Code.
Two key regulations governing asbestos in Florida include:
- Chapter 61E1: Governs the training, certification, and license of asbestos workers; enforced by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to protect workers and the public from asbestos exposure
- Chapter 62-257: Administers the state’s Asbestos Removal Program; defines different types of asbestos work along with notification procedures for facility renovations and demolitions
A Florida mesothelioma lawyer can help determine how these asbestos laws may affect a victim’s case.
Statute of Limitations in Florida
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 Florida mesothelioma lawyer can explain how statutes of limitations will affect your case and whether you should file a claim in Florida or another state.
There are two types of mesothelioma lawsuits a victim may file in Florida:
- 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 Florida 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 Florida
Bankrupt manufacturers of asbestos-based products were forced to set aside money in trust funds to pay out future asbestos claims. Asbestos trusts aren’t subject to regular statutes of limitations. Instead, they have their own deadlines to file claims.
Today, more than $30 billion is available in asbestos trust funds for mesothelioma victims.
Mesothelioma victims may be able to file claims with multiple trusts. An experienced Florida mesothelioma lawyer can determine which trusts victims can file claims with.
Florida Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, about 95% of personal injury cases settle before ever going to court.
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 Florida mesothelioma attorney representing the victim (plaintiff) and the legal team(s) representing the manufacturers being sued.
Often, settlements are reached due to the overwhelming evidence a Florida mesothelioma lawyer presents to the offending company or companies.
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.
The average mesothelioma trial verdict is between $5 million and $11.4 million.
However, it’s also possible for the jury to rule in favor of the asbestos company, awarding the plaintiff no compensation.
Consult with a Florida mesothelioma lawyer to see if a settlement or trial is best for your case.
Connect With a Florida Mesothelioma Lawyer
Asbestos victims do not bear any responsibility for their mesothelioma diagnosis. Because of the heartless decisions made by manufacturers of asbestos-containing products, thousands of Americans have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma.
Florida mesothelioma lawyers know how this disease can devastate families and are here to help. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is in your best interest to work with a Florida mesothelioma lawyer.
A qualified Florida mesothelioma attorney can help you:
- Identify 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 proper Florida statute of limitations
To learn more about your options, contact our team for a free, no-obligation case review. Our Florida mesothelioma 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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