West Virginia has long depended on coal mining for its main source of income. While some residents have made a living in oil drilling, or working for Virginia’s power and chemical plants, coal mining has been West Virginia’s cash crop for decades.Although the coal mining industry has helped West Virginia’s economy thrive, it has also been the main source of harmful asbestos exposure and has therefore been at the forefront of mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer cases.

Even the Morgantown WV Medical Research Center was found to have serious asbestos problems. Before 1980, materials that contained asbestos were used in most building materials, including water pipe insulation, HVAC ductwork, electrical conduits and boilers. These materials were used in virtually all public buildings for decades.

If you or someone you love has worked for the coal mining industry in West Virginia and has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or another form of cancer, you may be eligible to recover a significant amount of compensation. Our mesothelioma lawyers are experienced in helping families like yours and will make sure you get the full amount of compensation owed to you by law. To learn more, please contact Mesothelioma Treatment Centers today.

West Virginia Companies and Asbestos Exposure

In addition to the coal mining industry, many West Virginia companies used asbestos. Some of the companies include:

  • Analine Chemical
  • Beckly Mining Academy
  • DuPont
  • Ergon-West Virginia
  • FMC Chemical
  • Goodyear
  • Manville Powerhouse
  • Morgantown Medical Research Center
  • Moundsville Powerhouse
  • Shell Oil Refinery
  • Will Island Power Plant
  • Will Island Credamine Chemical

Industrial Hazards in West Virginia

There are asbestos-containing materials in almost any industrial facility where there are fire, electrical and/or chemical hazards.

Asbestos Exposure and Workers in West Virginia

Unfortunately, the companies that used asbestos are responsible for several deaths. Workers, for example, who handled large amounts of asbestos on a daily basis are at the greatest risk of harmful exposure. Because most asbestos cancers can take up to 50 years to develop, many retired men and women are just now developing mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos related diseases.

As mesothelioma lawyers, it’s our job to help persons affected by asbestos and their families seek and recover compensation for their suffering, even in cases where the exposure occurred 50 years ago. We have extensive experience handling claims across the nation and are confident that we can help you and your family get the compensation you need and deserve.

Mesothelioma Statistics in West Virginia

From 1980-2000, the overall population of this state dropped by approximately 150,000. About 550 of those who left the state died from either mesothelioma or asbestos. Most of those who died from asbestos related diseases lived around the Charleston area and about 25% lived in Kanawha County. Too many of these victims died from asbestosis, which actually is treatable if it is diagnosed early enough.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits in West Virginia

During the last 10 years, West Virginia courts and the state legislature have set up new rules and procedures to handle all of the asbestos injury claims.

Specifically, the WV Supreme Court of Appeals has set up a special panel to deal with mass litigation cases, including asbestos lawsuits. All asbestos cases in this state are referred to the Circuit Court of Kanawha County.

The procedures for filing one of these cases are established in the Mass Litigation Panel Case Management Order. Plaintiffs have to have a plaintiff fact sheet filled out before any asbestos case is filed. A lot of personal information is required on the sheet, such as their work history, smoking history, medical providers and any workers’ compensation or other benefits they are receiving.

Another prominent feature of asbestos litigation laws in West Virginia is case consolidation. This is a process that allows courts to group similar asbestos claims for processing as one large case. Courts will use consolidation as a way to cut down on multiple court filings, which can help to expedite trials and to streamline how cases are scheduled.

For example, in 2002, the Kanawha County Circuit Court was able to consolidate 7715 claims. This sped up the trials in many cases, which is very important for people who are fatally ill with mesothelioma.

Another vital feature of litigation laws here is medical severity: Asbestos disease cases are sorted by categories based upon how sick the plaintiff is. Category I cases are those whose plaintiffs have malignant mesothelioma or some type of asbestos-related lung cancer. They litigants get top priority in trial groups.

Category II includes plaintiffs who are deceased and who were diagnosed with mesothelioma or a lung cancer related to asbestos. Category III is for plaintiffs who have some type of asbestos-related illness other than cancer, such as asbestosis.

If you have been injured by asbestos in West Virginia, you also should know that you may receive punitive damages in West Virginia. There is no statutory cap for punitive damages in these types of cases.

Get Help from Mesothelioma Lawyers West Virginia

If you have a history of working for the coal industry or for a company that used asbestos products, we can help you collect compensation via an asbestos settlement or verdict. Depending upon your circumstances, you may not even need to file a lawsuit to collect compensation — millions of dollars have been set aside in compensation funds for workers who have suffered asbestos exposure while on the job. To find out more about your rights and legal options, please contact Mesothelioma Treatment Centers today.