Known for its seafood and rocky coastline, Maine is also home to a number of flourishing industries, including paper milling, shipbuilding and textile manufacturing. Although such industries stimulate the state’s economy, they do have a negative side in that they expose factory workers, shipbuilders and thousands of others to harmful asbestos particles.
When disturbed and inhaled, asbestos (a versatile and durable mineral used in over 3,000 processes and products) causes severe, possibly deadly conditions, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. Because such conditions demand immediate and lifelong mesothelioma treatment for survival, victims should seek medical attention and legal guidance as soon as they are diagnosed with an asbestos-caused disease.
Cities and Sites in Maine with Asbestos
Some of the common cities and towns in Maine that have had asbestos-related industries in the past are:
- South Portland
The state also notes that Maine contains many very old buildings which may have asbestos problems. The state government claims that 84 job sites in the state have problems with asbestos. Some of the industries affected include:
- Paper mills
- Power generation plants
- Iron mills
- Military facilities
- School buildings
More About Shipbuilding and Mesothelioma in Maine
Shipbuilding is one of the oldest industries in the state and goes back four centuries. Unfortunately, shipbuilding is one of the most dangerous occupations in America as far as being exposed to asbestos goes. The deadly mineral was thought to be essential to build ships for decades. It is one of the reasons that hundreds of Maine residents have died from asbestos-caused disease in the last 20 years.
Also, workers who worked for many years at powerplants were often around equipment and machinery for years that used asbestos insulation. For example, in a power plant, gaskets, turbines, generators, pumps and valves often were lined with asbestos to protect from heat and fire. And, paper mills that had a lot of heavy equipment and machines to turn pulp into paper often exposed workers to deadly asbestos with the insulation around these devices.
Maine Mesothelioma Statistics
From 1980 until 2000, there were 388 deaths due to asbestos related conditions in the state. Most of them were because of asbestosis and not mesothelioma. This is quite abnormal because asbestosis is not a malignant or progressive disease; the illness stops when the patient is taken out of the area that is contaminated with asbestos.
Major Maine Asbestos Lawsuit
The very first mesothelioma case that went to a jury trial in Maine was the one involving a painter named Blaine Austin. He worked at Bath Iron works as a pipe painter and floor sweeper. He died of deadly cancer in 1977, but he and his wife first filed a lawsuit against 16 asbestos companies. All but two settled with him out of court.
However, the judge on the case found that two of the companies were negligent, but he also found Austin was as well as he did not wear a respirator. But a year later, a federal appeals judge reviewed the case and it was retried. Austin’s wife won damages of $323,000.
Getting Asbestos Legal Help in Maine
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with an asbestos cancer disease, it is important to schedule a meeting with an experienced asbestos attorney immediately to learn about your legal rights.
A qualified asbestos attorney will also help victims gather evidence, present their cases and negotiate with corporate lawyers and insurance agents. Attorneys with experience in defending the rights of those affected by asbestos understand its harmful effects and will aggressively fight to get you and your family the compensation you deserve. If you are suffering from mesothelioma cancer or another asbestos cancer disease, contact mesothelioma treatment centers today to schedule a private consultation with an experienced, professional Maine asbestos attorney.