Kansas may have been put on the map for its farming and wheat production, but it is also known for its hand in aviation, which began in the early 1900s. Once the anti-friction properties of asbestos were discovered, the aviation industry began using the material to make high friction brakes for planes. Other chemical and power plants in the state also began using asbestos materials, exposing thousands of workers and residents to the mineral’s harmful effects.
Our Kansas asbestos attorneys are available to help individuals and families that have been affected by mesothelioma, asbestosis and other forms of asbestos cancers. If you or someone you love worked as an industry worker in the state and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, we may be able to help you recover financial compensation.
History of Workplace Asbestos Exposure in Kansas
Dubbed the “Air Capital of the World,” Wichita is home to Cessna, an aircraft company that employs more than 8,000 people. Aircraft manufacturers and repairmen have been exposed over the years in asbestos products such as airplane brakes which utilized the material for its heat and friction resistant properties.
Boeing also has a huge presence in this state and has been the cause of some of the state’s asbestos related illnesses. There are at least 14,000 current/former Boeing workers in KS, so Boeing’s actions regarding asbestos in its businesses have had a substantial impact around the state.
However, Boeing has seen the writing on the wall regarding asbestos exposure and it began to identify where asbestos exists in its operations as far back as the 1970s. It was able to get rid of most asbestos by the early 1990s. For this reason, the majority of asbestos claims against Boeing are either dismissed or settled out of court for small amounts.
Other types of jobsites that may have exposed workers and their families to asbestos include:
- Chemical companies
- Insulation manufacturing companies
- Power companies
Mid-America Refining Company and Asbestos
The Mid-America Refining Company was an oil and gas refinery in Chanute KS which was in business from 1940 until 1981. Asbestos containing materials were used throughout its facilities. It was used to insulate high heat machines and processes. This put refinery workers at serious risk of asbestos exposure. After 1981, the site was abandoned and was a serious environmental hazard for years. Oil and petroleum waste products seriously contaminated the soil and groundwater of this area.
In 1994, the EPA investigated the site and discovered many dangerous chemicals and substances, including asbestos. Its cleanup effort lasted until the end of the 1990s. During the clean up, EPA removed over 190,000 tons of contaminated soil.
However, this site was a serious risk to public health for many years. All of the contaminants in the area were not known by the public and the area was accessible to residents. Some children used the area as a playground, so they may have been exposed to asbestos and other harmful contaminants.
Asbestos Lawsuits in Kansas
There were so many asbestos lawsuits in Kansas that the state eventually enacted tort reform that limited the amount that a plaintiff may recover. This statute took effect in 1987 and placed limits on compensatory and punitive damages that may be handed out in an asbestos lawsuit. This means that a plaintiff may be given less for pain and suffering and other claims that are not actually medical expenses.
The argument the companies make is that they should not be required to pay punitive damages over and over again. If the company already paid punitive damages once, they argue they should not have to pay that again in another lawsuit. Kansas is fairly unique in having this type of limit on punitive damages; Texas does as well.
How Can a Kansas Mesothelioma Lawyer Help?
Asbestos diseases such as mesothelioma are serious and often fatal, requiring a great deal of medical care and expensive treatments. Even though there isn’t a cure for mesothelioma, there are various treatments and therapies that can help make life easier for patients and their families. The treatments are often expensive and require time and support from loved ones.
A mesothelioma lawyer is someone who focuses specifically on litigation involving asbestos-caused diseases. At Mesothelioma Treatment Centers, we work with the top attorneys in the nation who have the skills and resources necessary to get our clients the full amount of compensation owed to them by law. If you choose to contact us, an attorney will assess your case by asking questions such as:
- When were you diagnosed?
- What is your work history?
- If you didn’t work, did you have a loved one who worked for a company where asbestos was used?
- What types of treatments have you undergone so far (e.g. surgery, drug therapy, etc.)
- Has your illness prevented you from working? If so, for how long?
These are just some of the questions you will be asked during a free and confidential consultation. Once your attorney determines if you have a case, he or she will explain all your legal options in full detail so you can decide how you want to proceed. If you decide to work with an attorney, you can rest assured that your case will be handled with care. Our attorneys serve as tireless advocates for our clients and do not accept compensation unless we recover a settlement or award. To learn more about your rights and to find out if you qualify for compensation, contact us today.