Alabama’s economy long depended on agriculture, but by the start of World War II, government defense spending helped create jobs at shipyards and military bases. Although this economic boom helped the state economy to become more diversified and less agrarian, the industrialization of Alabama had negative side effects, such as the exposure of many workers to asbestos.
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, keep in mind that you may eligible for a considerable amount of compensation. We invite you to fill out our form today for a free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information about top Alabama mesothelioma lawyers, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file an asbestos trust fund claim, and much more.
We offer assistance in all cities and towns in Alabama, including:
Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Hoover, Dothan, Auburn, Decatur, Madison, Florence, Phenix City, Gadsden, Prattville, Vestavia Hills, Alabaster, Opelika, Enterprise, Bessemer, Homewood, Northport, Athens, Daphne, Anniston, Prichard, Pelham, Albertville, Oxford, Trussville, Tillmans Corner, Mountain Brook, Selma, Troy, Helena, Fairhope, Center Point, Hueytown, Talladega, Foley, Millbrook, Cullman, Alexander City, Ozark, Scottsboro, Hartselle, Jasper, Fort Payne, Gardendale, Saraland, Muscle Shoals, Pell City, Eufaula, Calera, Sylacauga, Jacksonville, Moody, Irondale, Leeds, Chelsea, Fairfield, Gulf Shores, Forestdale, Saks, Pleasant Grove, Atmore, Russellville, Clay, Boaz, Rainbow City, Valley, Sheffield, Andalusia, Tuskegee Bay, Minette, Meadowbrook, Fultondale, Clanton, Tuscumbia, Southside, Guntersville, Arab, Greenville, Spanish Fort, Pike Road, Wetumpka, Demopolis, Pinson, Brook Highland ,Hamilton, Opp, Oneonta, Montevallo, Lanett, Lincoln, Monroeville, Tarrant, Meridianville, Satsuma, Roanoke, Chickasaw, and more.
Alabama Asbestos Statistics
- Alabama ranks 24th in the U.S. for deaths related to asbestos.
- There were 3,137 asbestos-related deaths in the state from 1999 to 2013.
- Most of those deaths were from lung cancer, followed by asbestosis, and 496 deaths from mesothelioma.
- Jefferson County has the highest number of asbestos-related deaths in the state.
A History of Asbestos Use in Alabama
- The demand for heavy-duty insulation and fire resistant materials grew during this period, and asbestos became the choice for factories, steel mills, oil refineries, shipyards, and power plants from fire and explosion.
- The peak use of asbestos coincided with Alabama’s shift from an agricultural economy to an industrial one. World War II created war jobs in shipyards and other defense production facilities.
- These job sites used asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) not only within the facilities themselves, but also in the ships, planes, and land vehicles manufactured there.
- Shipfitters, pipelayers, electricians, steampipe builders, and dockyard workers in Alabama’s biggest shipbuilding city, Mobile, absorbed dangerous levels of asbestos fibers while at work.
Which Job Sites in Alabama Used Asbestos?
- Hunt Refining Company refinery in Tuscaloosa
- Anniston U.S. Army Depot in Anniston
- Steiner Shipyard in Bayou La Batre
- Alabama Drydock & Shipbuilding in Mobile
- Austal USA shipyard in Mobile
- Gulf Shipbuilding in Chickasaw
- James M. Barry Electric Generating Plant in Bucks
- Gulf States Steel Mill in Gadsden
- Redstone Army Arsenal in Huntsville
- U.S. Army base in Ft. McClellan
- Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery
- U.S. Army Aviation Base at Ft. Rucker
- Columbia General Hospital
- Alabama Power Company
- Stevens Manufacturing
- Southern Natural Gas
- Alabama Oxygen
Shipyards and Asbestos
Shipbuilding and shipping are big industries in Alabama, both military and civilian. The military was a major buyer of asbestos, especially for use in Navy warships, oil tankers, and other support vessels. Asbestos was heavily used in all kinds of ships, and may still be found in:
- Steam pipes
- Firefighting gear
The personnel most often exposed to asbestos usually were shipyard workers or worked in maintenance details aboard ship. Soldiers, Marines, and sailors were exposed when fibers were kicked up during battles or at-sea repair jobs.
When Navy and civilian vessels built in Alabama shipyards returned for refits or repairs, the workers there were at risk for exposure. This is one of the reasons why males who were of working age in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s tend to be diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma more than women of the same age.
Where Else Was Asbestos Used in Alabama?
Older buildings in the state often still contain asbestos. It was used in construction for decades, almost as ubiquitously as in ships.
Asbestos can be found in buildings predating the 1970s, especially in schools, auto repair shops, public buildings such as courthouses and town halls, and private residences and apartment buildings.
Normally, asbestos deposits in older buildings are not dangerous unless the fibers are stirred up. In most cases, this occurs only when maintenance workers or renovators are carrying out routine repair work or upgrading the buildings.
Working with an Asbestos or Mesothelioma Lawyer in Alabama
Pursuing asbestos litigation in Alabama is notoriously difficult. The state has a one-year statute of limitations on asbestos lawsuits, which makes suing companies where asbestos exposure took place nearly impossible. It typically takes decades for the symptoms of asbestos-illnesses to manifest.
But victims do have options. An asbestos lawyer or law firm can take a claim from an Alabama plaintiff and have the case tried out of state. In 1998, a jury in Texas awarded $115 million to 21 steel workers exposed to asbestos at an Alabama steel mill.
If you or someone you care about is now sick after past asbestos exposure, contact an Alabama mesothelioma lawyer to find out what your options are for suing and getting compensation.
What Are Alabama’s Asbestos Laws?
According to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, there are several laws in place to protect the public and workers:
- Before any asbestos removal, whether from homes, building, or facilities, you must first inform the state in writing of what kind of asbestos will be disturbed (friable or not) as well as what method will be used to remove and dispose of the asbestos.
- Anyone who plans to remove asbestos must be certified as an asbestos removal professional through the state of Alabama.
- All asbestos removal technicians in Alabama must follow the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) guidelines.
- Before beginning any project that will disrupt asbestos, requests must be written to the state within 10 days prior of starting the activities.
- Smaller asbestos abatement project do not require prior authorization from the state. Smaller projects include spaces of less than 35 cubic feet, 260 linear feet, and/or 160 square feet.
- Public school buildings built with asbestos must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. The school districts must send written reports of all maintenance and inspections to the state, as well as keep an emergency plan on file in the event that asbestos is disrupted.
For more detailed information or if you have any questions or concerns before starting a project that includes removing or disturbing asbestos, contact the DEM at 334-271-7700.
Getting Medical Help in Alabama
Living with an asbestos-related disease and finding the best mesothelioma treatment is never an easy task for victims. It’s important to find a physician that specializes in asbestos-related diseases. This is a rare disease that requires the expertise of specialists for the best outcomes.
The University of Alabama Comprehensive Care Center in Birmingham is a NCI-designated care center with researchers, physicians, cancer experts, and healthcare specialists that focus on mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.
Alabama Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma and Asbestos Cases
The statute of limitations for filing an asbestos-related lawsuit is strict in Alabama. Plaintiffs have only one year from the time of diagnosis or one year within the time the asbestos-related disease should have been reasonably diagnosed. Wrongful death lawsuits must also be filed within one year of the victim’s date of death.
Legal Help in Alabama
Remember, if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for significant compensation. Don’t forget to fill out our form to get our free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information on the leading Alabama asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys in your area. If you need additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Alabama Mesothelioma Lawyer Lawrence Holcomb
After a career in asbestos abatement and remediation, Lawrence Holcomb earned a law degree to put his expertise to use in the service of mesothelioma and asbestosis victims. As a lawyer with mesothelioma focused Flint Law Firm, LLC in Birmingham, Alabama, he has litigated many asbestos cases and has helped win more than $50 million in settlements.