Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, is the most populous city in the state, with a population of 490,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Along with its metropolitan areas, Atlanta is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. The city’s growth started back in the 1920s, and with massive growth came a multitude of booming businesses in the construction, industrial, mining, manufacturing industries, and more.
Businesses in Atlanta once relied on asbestos for its insulation and heat-resistant properties. Asbestos use continued for decades in Atlanta, even after warnings were issued about the dangers. After the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations on asbestos in the late 1970s, the use of the dangerous mineral began to fade out. The regulations, however, came much too late.
If you or someone you love suffers from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in Georgia, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.
Georgia Pacific, a leading manufacturing company based in Atlanta, faced an asbestos lawsuit in 2005, concerning use of the lethal mineral many decades back. Although the company does not use asbestos in their products anymore, it wet on to face more than 600,000 lawsuits after employees began developing life-threatening diseases such as malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis.
In 2005, Georgia-Pacific secretly hired researchers to perform studies that show their products were not responsible for asbestos. When questioned about the private research, the company reportedly declined to answer, stating that under attorney-client privilege, they were not mandated to to divulge any information. However, a New York appeals court ruled that the company acted fraudulently and demanded that the research paperwork be handed over for review.
Sheila Jasanoff, a government professor at Harvard University, said that it’s suspect when a company refuses to hand over scientific results:
“There’s something extremely smelly about claiming attorney-client privilege for something that is being claimed at the same time as good science. Legal confidentiality protections should not be placed around good science.”
Linda Reinstein, co-founder of the asbestos awareness group, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, agreed with Jasanoff. She said Georgia Pacific attempted to “rewrite history.”
“Georgia-Pacific funded junk science in an attempt to contest the known facts about asbestos and negate its culpability in this man-made disaster,” Reinstein said.
In 1965, Georgia-Pacific purchased the Bestwall Gypsum Company, a business that created, manufactured, and distributed the gypsum wallboard, as well as joint and spackling compounds products. When the company was purchased, Georgia-Pacific was aware that asbestos was used in most products and inside the manufacturing facilities. Yet, like many companies who were more concerned with profits than health, the information was kept private and withheld from employees.
During the 1980s, employees of the former Bestwall Gypsum Company started developing asbestos illnesses. Many were diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer and mesothelioma. The slew of 2005 lawsuits stemmed from employees who once worked at Bestwall.
Consumers were also at high-risk for asbestos exposure, as Georgia Pacific failed to warn them that the joint compounds being sold were littered with asbestos. The joint compound, known as Ready-Mix, had asbestos added it to it starting in 1965, and only shortly after a study performed by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine showed that asbestos exposure can lead to life-threatening diseases.
Although Georgia Pacific kept insisting that Ready-Mix was safe, they began working on a different version of the product that didn’t contain asbestos. When they released the new version, it didn’t sell as well as the mixture with asbestos, and Georgia Pacific went back to selling Ready-Mix with asbestos. This continued until 1977, when the company ultimately removed all asbestos from the product.
The information was exposed during a court trial, after documents from Georgia Pacific surfaced, in which the company documented internal operations and methods when making the new version of the mix. The plaintiff in the case, Lisa Pransky, was only 8 years old when she was exposed to asbestos. Her father renovated the basement in her childhood home while using Ready-Mix on the ceiling. Decades later, Pranksy died of mesothelioma at age 34.
Other Job Sites Associated with Asbestos in Atlanta
- Walden Austin T. Middle School
- Thomasville Elementary School
- Georgia State University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Morris Brown College
- Clark Atlanta University
- Emory University
- Spelman College
- Agnes Scott College
- Life University
- Parklane Elementary School
Gas and Electric Companies
- Atlanta Gas Light
- Georgia Railway and Power Company Gas Works
- Georgia Power
- Westinghouse Electric Company
- Western Electric
- Crawford W. Long Memorial Hospital
- Emory Healthcare
- Grady Memorial Hospital
- Metropolitan Hospital
- Piedmont Hospital
- St. Josephs Hospital
- Atlanta VA Medical Hospital
- West Paces Ferry Hospital
- Georgia State Mental Health Center
Additional Job Sites, Businesses, and Buildings
- A&P Warehouse Building
- Armstrong Contracting & Supply Corporation (AC&S)
- Atlanta American Motor Inn
- Coca Cola
- Atlanta Journal Constitution Building
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
- The Biltmore
- City of Atlanta Hemphill Station
- Equitable Life Assurance Society Building
- Guthman Laundry
- Jade East Apartments
- La Ista Villa Apartments
- Lakeview Baptist Church
- Lenox Towers
- Mcburney Corporation
- National Bank of Georgia
- Peachtree Baker Building
- Perimeter Mall
- Hyatt Regency Atlanta
- Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
- Shook & Fletcher Insulation Company
- Southern Wood Preserving Company
- Westinghouse Electric
- Equitable Life Assurance Society Building
- Great Southern Land and Paper Company
- Sara O’Kelley Municipal Auditorium (Coweta)
Getting Medical Help in Atlanta
Atlanta’s Winship Cancer Institute (WCI) is the only cancer institute in the entire state that’s backed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Cancer care centers that are backed by NCI have many advantages, including advanced, cutting-edge treatment options, additional funding, in-depth cancer research, clinical programs, public outreach, and extensive training opportunities for scientists, cancer experts, and physicians.
In addition to an NCI-designation, WCI also receives funding from a variety of organizations, including several Georgia universities, the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Georgia Research Alliance.
WCI also has some of the most prominent cancer specialists in the nation, including:
- Daniel Miller, M.D., surgical director and the assistant professor of surgery at WCI’s Thoracic Oncology Program
- Dong M. Shin, M.D., director of WCI’s Clinical and Translational Cancer Prevention Program
- Suresh Ramalingam, M.D., director of WCI’s Division of Medical Oncology
WCI’s expansive clinical and research trials consist of four different research programs, which include:
- Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC)
- Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics (CGE)
- Cancer Cell Biology (CCB)
- Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics (DDT)
Research trials include testing out new treatments for cancer and performing tests as a means to improve the quality of life for cancer victims, including those with malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other diseases associated with asbestos exposure.
Winship Cancer Institute: Emory University
1365C Clifton Road
Atlanta, Ga. 30322, 404-778-1900
For veterans, Atlanta’s VA Medical Center offers comprehensive cancer care, with in-depth research managed by both Emory scientists and experienced VA physicians.
Atlanta VA Medical Center
1670 Clairmont Road
Decatur, Ga. 30033, 404-321-6111
Getting Legal Help in Atlanta
If you’ve been injured by asbestos, there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for considerable compensation. Remember to fill out our form to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on top asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. If you have questions or need assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.