Asbestos has been used in numerous insulation and construction materials throughout the state of North Dakota. When these materials are disturbed, asbestos fibers may become airborne, and subsequently inhaled by nearby workers. This exposure to asbestos can lead to the development of mesothelioma, a cancer that typically begins with the growth of numerous small nodules on the lining of the lungs or abdomen. Over time, these nodules expand and merge together, forming a tumor that impacts vital organs. Since this cancer growth is a slow process, mesothelioma can spread silently until it reaches an advanced stage. Symptoms may not surface for many years, often leading to a short life expectancy after diagnosis. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma have an average life expectancy of only 12 to 21 months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 2,579 people died from malignant mesothelioma during 2015.
Many North Dakota workers exposed to asbestos decades ago have now received a devastating mesothelioma diagnosis. There are no known naturally occurring asbestos deposits in North Dakota, but asbestos has been imported into the state and used in many products and in many industries. Consequently, between 1999 and 2015, nearly 130 North Dakota residents died from mesothelioma. Mortality rates are highest in the western-central counties of Morton, Mclean, Oliver, Dunn, and Mercer.
North Dakota Industries That May Have Exposed Workers To Asbestos
Electric companies have used asbestos as an electrical and thermal insulator in generators, turbines, and boilers. There are many electric companies known for using asbestos in the state of North Dakota, including: Grand Forks Gas and Electric Company, United Power, Stanton Power Plant, Northern States Power Company, Coyote Power Station, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Hughes Electric Company, Otter Tail Power Company, Wellsboro Electric Company, Center Power Plant, Milton R. Young Station, Minnkota Power Cooperative, Square Butte Electric Company, Minnesota Northern Power Company, Montana Dakota Power Company, Leland Olds Generating Station, and United Power Association.
Due to the threat of fires and explosions, oil refineries have used asbestos as a thermal insulator. It could also be found in protective clothing and equipment. North Dakota oil and gas businesses that have used asbestos include: American Oil Refinery, BP Amoco North Dakota, Standard Oil Company, Amoco Oil Company Refinery, Ang Coal Gasification Company, Mandan Oil, and Truax Traer Coal Company.
Mental And Physical Health Facilities
A number of North Dakota hospitals were built using asbestos for insulation, including: Boiler Plant State Hospital, Crippled Children’s Hospital, Jamestown State Hospital, North Dakota State Hospital, State Hospital, State Hospital for the Insane, Dakota Clinic, Dakota Hospital, and St. John’s Hospital.
Due to its fire-resistant properties, asbestos has frequently been used as a building material on military bases and missile bases. State facilities in North Dakota that are known for using asbestos include: Garrison Dam, North Dakota State Penitentiary, Grand Forks Air Force Base, Minot Air Force Base, Memorial Union North Dakota State University, North Dakota Agricultural College, North Dakota State University, Walster North Dakota State University, Anti-Ballistic Missile Safeguard Facility, Grand Forks Air Force Base, Grand Forks Missile Sites, Minuteman Missile Site, Missile Sites, University of North Dakota, ABM Missile Radar Sites, Langdon Missile Sites, Minuteman Missile Site, Par Missile Sites, North Dakota State Industrial School, Minot Radar Station, Strategic Air Command Air Base, and Minot Air Force Base.
Mesothelioma Treatment and Support
Treatment. Proper treatment of mesothelioma requires the expertise of experienced cancer treatment professionals. For residents of North Dakota, the best healthcare providers for mesothelioma treatment include:
Altru Cancer Center. This cancer center has collaborated with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Minnesota and the National Cancer Institute to provide comprehensive cancer treatment and clinical trial research. Patients have access to the latest clinical trials and the newest cancer treatment options. Altru Cancer Center takes a holistic approach to treatment, educating patients about all of their available treatment options. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments are used to fight many types of cancer, including mesothelioma. Kevin Panico, M.D., is an experienced oncology specialist at this facility.
Sanford Cancer. This facility has received full accreditation with commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. Patients benefit from a comprehensive cancer program, with treatment options ranging from radiation, to surgery, to chemotherapy. John Reynolds, M.D., is an oncologist at this facility.
Cancer Center of North Dakota. This small, independent facility maintains a cutting edge diagnostic unit and a dedicated staff. State of the art technology and the latest drug therapies are combined with expertise and compassion to form a partnership with patients and their families. Anil Potti, M.D., is a board certified medical oncologist at this facility.
Counseling and support. Mesothelioma support groups connect patients and their families with people who can empathize with their emotional struggles. There are several facilities in the state of North Dakota offering counseling and support:
- Benson Psychological Services in Fargo - 701-203-4799
- Family Institute in Grand Forks - 701-282-8510
- Resolve Behavioral Health in Fargo - 701-484-6137
Contact Our Experienced Mesothelioma Attorneys
The state of North Dakota has a statute of limitations for mesothelioma victims. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you have six years from the date of your diagnosis to pursue a personal injury claim. If you’ve lost a loved one to this cancer, you must file a wrongful death claim within two years of that person’s death. The experienced attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can provide skilled representation to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Since we work on a contingency fee basis, you won’t have to pay for our legal services until we have settled your claim. Our fee is based on a percentage of your settlement, so we can provide the representation you need with no upfront costs. To learn more, contact us online.