If you worked in the steel, oil refinery, or shipbuilding industries in Ohio between 1950 and 1990, you may have been exposed to deadly asbestos and may now be suffering from mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer. As a rustbelt state with a heavily industrial economy, Ohio is in the top half of states when it comes to asbestos-related deaths. Mesothelioma killed nearly 2,000 Ohio residents between 1999 and 2015, and most of those victims were exposed decades earlier. What can you do if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma in Ohio? The first thing you should do is hire an experienced attorney to help you fight for the compensation you deserve after being exposed to this deadly substance by an employer.
How Does Asbestos Cause Mesothelioma?
Exposure to airborne asbestos particles is the only known cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of tiny fibers that were used for over 150 years in various products around the world. Due to its heat-resistant and insulating properties, asbestos was believed to be a miracle substance when it was first discovered. It was used in thousands of products that needed to be fire-resistant, such as insulation, automotive parts, shipbuilding materials, and even children’s pajamas.
The dangers of asbestos exposure were first recognized in 1918, but its use continued throughout the 20th century. The link between asbestos and mesothelioma has been recognized for decades, but that was not enough to motivate the manufacturers of asbestos products to stop its use or even to warn their workers about the danger. When workers in Ohio’s steel mills, shipyards, and oil refineries inhaled the tiny particles, they could become lodged in the delicate lining of the lungs, heart cavity, and other organs. Those fibers could remain dormant for decades and then—up to 60 years later—cancerous tumors could begin to grow in the lungs and chest cavity. Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive cancer with a grim prognosis. Once diagnosed, most victims can only expect to live a year or two.
The use of asbestos is still not banned in the U.S., but its manufacture, use, and disposal are restricted by federal regulations. Workers who could be exposed, whether in manufacturing, removal, construction, mining, or other industries, must be provided with protective gear under federal law.
Asbestos Exposure in Ohio
As an industrial state, Ohio has one of the higher rates of historic asbestos exposure and current mortality rates in the country. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can hold your former employer accountable. If you worked in one of the following industries—or lived with someone who did—you may have been exposed to asbestos fibers and are more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis than workers in other industries:
- Shipbuilding. Founded in Cleveland in the 1800s and eventually moving to Lorain, the American Shipbuilding Company used asbestos-based products throughout their shipyards and in the construction of ships. Gaskets, boilers, fire doors, and insulation all contained asbestos and shipbuilders and other workers could have been exposed to the deadly fibers as they handled these materials. Although the company closed in 1984, thousands of workers were likely exposed to asbestos throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
- Steel. Steel mills like J & L Steel Corporation, Midland Steel, and Carnegie Steel Company were major employers in Cleveland and throughout Ohio in the 20th century. Asbestos-based insulation, equipment, and other products were used in steel mills, exposing machinists, technicians, mechanics, and electricians to the deadly fibers.
- Chemicals. Workers at companies like Hamilton, Ohio’s Chem-Dyne were exposed to not only toxic chemicals but also to the asbestos used in building materials and storage structures. As these sites continue to be cleaned up, the level of possible asbestos exposure has become clear and former workers may be in grave danger.
- Oil. Due to the combustible properties of the materials being handled, oil refineries were notorious for using asbestos-based products. In Ohio, workers at BP, Sunoco, Marathon Ohio, and Clark Refining were at risk for asbestos exposure and may be diagnosed with mesothelioma decades later.
- Power plants. Asbestos can be found in fire doors, pipes, insulation, gaskets, and more in Ohio power plants like Conesville and Muskingum River, making exposure a high risk for anyone who worked there over the last 50 years.
No matter where you worked, if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma in Ohio, the fact is that you were exposed to asbestos at some point in your life. Our mesothelioma attorneys will work with you to determine where and when that exposure took place and hold the responsible party accountable for the exposure. You deserve access to the best treatment options available and you will need a substantial financial settlement in order to get that.
Mesothelioma Treatment Centers in Ohio
Once mesothelioma has been diagnosed, doctors must determine the extent of the cancer and how far it has spread. Treatment plans will vary, based upon where the cancer is found and the stage of the progression of the disease, but in many cases, all that can be done is to improve the patient’s quality of life in the months they have left. In Ohio, the following are recognized mesothelioma treatment centers:
- Case Western Reserve University Cancer Research Center, Cleveland.
- Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus
- St. Joseph Cancer Care Center, Warren
- Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland
- Toledo Community Hospital Oncology Program, Toledo
All of these cancer centers offer the latest diagnostic and treatment options, as well as emotional and family support services, to mesothelioma patients.
Contact Our Mesothelioma Attorneys
The Louisiana-based law firm of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault represents mesothelioma victims throughout the country, including in the state of Ohio. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don't charge for our services until after your claim is settled. Our fee is based upon a percentage of your settlement, so there are no upfront costs required for you to get the legal help you need. We will handle all of the critical details, including access to Social Security disability benefits on an expedited basis, and we come to you. Our goal is to help you navigate the legal system and protect your right to fair compensation. Contact us at (318) 561-2500 today to schedule a consultation and request a download of our free book, Understanding Your Rights After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis.