Florida, with one of the fastest growing populations in the U.S., has a long history of asbestos use. From schools and residential homes, commercial buildings and industrial work sites, asbestos was used extensively for decades thanks to its unique properties and affordability.
Due to this heavy asbestos use, thousands of people in Florida were exposed to it and many have been diagnosed with related illnesses like mesothelioma and lung cancer. Many people in Florida need legal representation to win justice for being victimized by exposure. If you have been harmed by asbestos in the state, it’s important to contact an experienced lawyer.
Florida currently has 2,410 asbestos-related deaths, ranking in #2 in the nation with the most mesothelioma and other asbestos-related deaths.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in Florida, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
We can help any family in Florida, including those in the following cities:
Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, Tallahassee, Fort Lauderdale, Port St. Lucie, Cape Coral, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, Gainesville, Coral Springs, Lehigh Acres, Brandon, Miami Gardens, Clearwater, Palm Bay, Pompano Beach, Lake City, West Palm Beach, Spring Hill, Lakeland, Davie, Miami Beach, Plantation City, Sunrise, Boca Raton, Deltona, Palm Coast, Largo, Deerfield Beach, Town ‘n’ Country, Melbourne, Alafaya, Riverview, Kendall, Boynton Beach, Lauderhill, Weston, Fort Myers, Pine Hills, Kissimmee, Homestead, Delray Beach, Tamarac, Daytona Beach, North Miami, Wellington, Kendale Lakes, Palm Harbor, North Port Jupiter, The Villages, Ocala, Port Orange, Coconut Creek, Sanford, Margate, Poinciana, The Hammocks, Tamiami, Port Charlotte, Fountainebleau, Sarasota, Pensacola, Bradenton, Palm Beach Gardens, Doral, Pinellas Park, Coral Gables, Country Club, Bonita Springs, Wesley Chapel, Apopka, Titusville, Cutler Bay, Oakland Park, North Miami Beach, Fort Pierce, North Lauderdale, Altamonte Springs, Egypt Lake-Leto, University Cdp, St. Cloud, North Fort Myers, Ocoee, Greenacres, Ormond Beach, Hallandale Beach, The Acreage, Kendall West, Winter Garden, Aventura, Richmond West, South Miami Heights, Panama City, Oviedo, Valrico, and more.
History of Asbestos Use in Florida
The population of Florida has grown rapidly since the 1940s. This has fueled a boom in the state’s construction industry, and construction materials in the past contained a lot of asbestos.
In addition to the construction of buildings and homes, shipbuilding and shipping made up a major part of Florida’s economy for decades. These industries continue to be important today, and both have been heavy users of asbestos, especially prior to the early 1980s.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these industries have some of the highest rates of asbestos exposure and numbers of workers that developed mesothelioma. Florida became one of the first states to create strict filing requirements for asbestos cases because of high exposure and illness rates that led to thousands of lawsuits.
Shipbuilding and Asbestos
Nearly all components used on ships in the early and middle parts of the 20th century contained asbestos:
- Deck covering materials
- Tubes and packing material
- Hydraulic materials
- Bedding materials
- Engine and fire room equipment
- Fireproofing materials
- Fire-fighting materials
Asbestos in the Construction Industry
Like the shipping industry, the construction of buildings also relied on asbestos. Laborers, carpenters, framers, plumbers, electricians, and other workers on construction sites were exposed to asbestos on the job. Asbestos was used in flooring, roofing shingles, textiles, insulation, wall board, caulking, adhesives, siding, and many other materials.
Many of the buildings constructed with asbestos are still used today. Commercial buildings, public buildings, schools, hospitals, libraries, and others, as well as residential homes, often contain asbestos even now. Anyone who lives or works in them, especially those doing maintenance or repair work, is still at risk of exposure.
Mineral Processing Plants
Many industrial plants used asbestos in their Florida locations. Mineral processing, an important industry in the state, exposed many people to asbestos. The Zonolite and W.R. Grace & Company Exfoliation Facility still operates in Tampa.
In 2005 the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) inspected the Zonolite plant. This occurred after it was discovered that the vermiculite sent there from the 1950s until 1970s came from Libby, Montana.
Vermiculite that came from Libby contained significant amounts of contaminating asbestos. The Libby mine shut down during the 1990s. Traces of asbestos-containing vermiculite from Libby remain in locations across the nation, including a handful of processing plants in Florida.
ATSDR and DOH determined that the current asbestos levels at the Tampa processing plant are now low. They still advise anyone who worked at the plant prior to the 1990s seek regular medical and cancer screenings.
Other Industries Associated with Asbestos Use in Florida
Shipping, construction, and mineral processing, big industries in the state, used asbestos the most. Some additional businesses in Florida known to have used asbestos include:
- Avon Power Park Plant
- Big Bend Power Plant
- Armour Chemical Plant
- Florida Crushed Stone Cement Plant
- WR Grace Phosphate Plant
- U.S. Gypsum Plant
- Union Camp Chemical Plant
- Alton Box Plant
- American Cyanamid Chemical Plant
- Escambia Chemical Plant
- Newport Chemical Plant
- Hookers Point Power Plant
- Culbreath Power Plant
- Nitram Chemical Plant
- Peter O’Knight Power Plant
- U.S. Phosphoric Plant
- Georgia Pacific Plywood Plant
- Debary Power Plant
- Georgia E. Turner Power Plant
- Fort Myers Power Plant
- Gator Power Plant
- Anclote Power Plant
- Inglis Power Plant
- Arizona Chemical Plant
- Gulf Power Plant
- Calpine Auburn Power Plant
- Florida Crushed Stone Cement Plant
- Fort Lauderdale Power Plant (Florida Power and Light)
- Patrick Air Force Base
- Eglin Air Force Base
- Homestead Air Force Base
- Naval Air Station (NAS)
- Pensacola Naval Shipyard
- Tyndall Air Force Base
- American Container Paper Mill Rayonier Paper Mill
- St. Regis Paper Mill International Paper Mill
- Smurfit-Stone Container Pulp and Paper Mill
- Champion Paper Mill
- St. Regis Paper Company Mill
- Bollinger Shipyard
- Gibbs Shipyard
- Jacksonville Shipyard
- Tampa Bay Shipbuilding
- Wainwright Shipyard
University of Florida
- Tampa Electric
- Cape Canaveral Kennedy Space Center
- CF Industries
- Anheuser-Busch Brewery
- Exxon Oil Refinery
- Hess Oil
- Reliant Energy
- Monsanto Textiles
- Duke Energy
- CPV Cana Ltd.
Florida’s Asbestos Laws
Florida laws related to asbestos exposure include Chapters 62-257 of the Florida Administrative Code. These laws protect residents and employees from asbestos:
Plans to renovate or remove the asbestos materials in a building must be reported with a “Notice of Demolition or Asbestos Renovation Form.”
Removal, demolition, or renovation of asbestos-containing materials must be performed by a worker who has completed all NESHAP or OSHA training and who is certified.
Any employee working near or with asbestos must be provided appropriate protective clothing.
Any residential home removing or renovating asbestos-containing materials cannot be put up for rent or sale until the work is completed and approved.
Schools containing asbestos must be inspected on a regular basis.
Florida’s Asbestos Reform Law
In 1997, Florida legislators passed a law to help speed the legal process for sick victims of asbestos exposure. The Florida Asbestos Reform Law gives victims who have received a diagnosis priority over other exposure victims when filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.
The law was passed because most cases came from claimants who had not yet experienced any symptoms. They had been exposed to asbestos but not diagnosed.
You still have the right to hire an asbestos lawyer and file for damages if you believe you have been exposed to asbestos. But those that already have a diagnosis will be given priority.
Florida Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Cases
Under Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.011 et seq., plaintiffs must file an asbestos-related lawsuit according to the statute of limitations. Any lawsuit must be filed within four years of the diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease or four years from when the disease should have reasonably been discovered. Victims’ families have four years from the time of death to file an asbestos-related wrongful death lawsuit.
Getting Florida Legal Help
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more. Get our free Financial Compensation Packet for information on the top mesothelioma and asbestos lawyers in your area. If you have questions or need assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.