Massachusetts’ long use of asbestos in many industries has left many people with life-threatening diseases, including malignant mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer. To help hold the manufacturers who supplied asbestos to job sites accountable, victims of asbestos-related illnesses have the legal right to retain a knowledgeable Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyer, who can help fight for compensation and justice.
If you’ve been a victim to 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 Massachusetts, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
We offer help to all cities and towns in Massachusetts, including:
Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge, New Bedford, Brockton, Quincy, Lynn, Fall River, Newton, Somerville, Lawrence, Framingham, Waltham, Haverhill, Malden, Brookline, Plymouth, Medford, Taunton, Chicopee, Weymouth Town, Revere, Peabody, Methuen Town, Barnstable Town, Pittsfield, Attleboro, Arlington, Everett, Salem, Billerica, Westfield Leominster, Beverly, Fitchburg, Holyoke, Marlborough, Woburn, Amherst, Chelsea, Braintree, Shrewsbury, Chelmsford, Dartmouth, Andover, Natick, Randolph, Watertow, Franklin, Lexington, Falmouth, Dracut, Tewksbury, Needham, Gloucester, North Andover, Wellesley, Norwood, North Attleborough, Agawam, West Springfield, Northampton, Milford, Stoughton, Melrose, Saugus, Danvers, Milton, Bridgewater, Wakefield, Marshfield, Burlington, Belmont, Reading, Dedham, Walpole, Yarmouth, Easton Middleborough, Mansfield, Wilmington, Westford, Acton, Hingham, Wareham, Canton, Winchester, Stoneham, Ludlow, Sandwich Gardner, Marblehead, Bourne, Hudson, Norton, Concord, Westborough, Somerset, and more.
Asbestos History in Massachusetts
Massachusetts’ status as one of the oldest European settlements in North America and its long tradition as a seafaring state gives the Bay State a prominent place in American history. The American Revolution started there in 1775, and many American industries, including shipbuilding and heavy manufacturing, began the process of U.S. industrialization during the 18th and 19th Centuries.
This 400-year-long relationship between Massachusetts and industry has been both good and bad for workers. Many innovations and institutions originating in Massachusetts have helped the U.S. advance in technology and promote ideas such as democracy and individual liberty. However, the state’s long history of using asbestos in various industries places Massachusetts in 11th place in asbestos-related deaths nationwide.
Asbestos-Related Death Statistics in Massachusetts
According to the latest figures published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), there were between 1,355 to 1,715 asbestos-related deaths in Massachusetts from 1979 to 2001. Of these, 759 were caused by asbestosis. The other 613 to 973 fatalities were caused by mesothelioma, a lethal cancer caused by long-term exposure to asbestos.
Mesothelioma develops over a long period of time and affects the lining that covers major organs in the body.
Massachusetts Industries and Job Sites With Asbestos Contamination
The long-term presence of Europeans and their American descendants in Massachusetts has been marked by centuries of technological advances and heavy industrialization in such a small state. Massachusetts’ location on the U.S. East Coast made the Bay State a principal hub for shipbuilding.
From the Revolutionary era up until the late 1970s, the Boston area was the source of many U.S. Navy ships. It also had whaling ships, clippers, steamboats, fishing boats, and the ships that helped win both World War I and World War II in the 20th Century.
Although Massachusetts’ various shipyards contributed to the U.S. as an economic and military power, the industry’s heavy use of asbestos for the greater part of the 20th Century had tragic consequences. Asbestos, used since ancient times as insulation and fire inhibiting material, was heavily utilized in ships, small vessels, and shore installations.
The Navy Shipyard in Boston built, repaired, or refit ships of all types for the U.S. Navy from 1800 to 1974. The nation’s oldest warship, the USS Constitution, was built at a nearby shipyard in 1797 but is on display in the Boston National Historical Park that replaced the Navy Yard. For most of the Yard’s history, the ships built there were wooden and used sails.
When the Navy modernized during the 19th and 20th Centuries, it insisted that all its ships be built with many components that used asbestos. Every U.S. Navy ship built between 1930 and 1973 included 300 or more asbestos-containing components to protect equipment, ammunition, fuel, and crew members from fire.
Long-term exposure to asbestos fibers caused thousands of shipyard workers and sailors to develop illnesses such as lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.
Other shipyards in Massachusetts where asbestos contamination took place include:
- Fore River Shipyard, Quincy
- Charlestown Naval Yard
- Fairhaven Shipyard, Fairhaven
- Victory Yard, Squantum
Other Massachusetts Job Sites With Asbestos Issues
Asbestos was widely used in various industries through much of the 20th Century. Most factories, power plants, chemical works, incinerators, and paper mills used asbestos for the same reasons as the maritime industry. As a result, every power plant in the state of Massachusetts built from 1930 to 1973 contained large quantities of asbestos.
These power generating facilities were mostly powered by coal or heavy fuel oil, but at least one, Plymouth’s Pilgrim Nuclear Generation Station, is atomic-powered. It was built in 1972, the year before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its initial reports linking asbestos exposure to mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Other job sites affected by asbestos due to its use in construction or as insulation before the EPA’s advisory include:
- Marlboro Electric Company, Marlboro
- The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst
- W.R. Grace Site, Walpole
- Stevens Paper Mill, Andover
- Mead Paper Mill, Lee
- Tyco Healthcare Group Textile Mill Site, Walpole
- Algonquin Generating Plant, Freetown
- General Dynamics Shipyard, Quincy
- Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Quincy
- Norton Grinding Company, Worcester
- Lawrence Factory, Peabody
- Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, Plymouth
- Monsanto Plant, Springfield
Massachusetts Asbestos Laws
Asbestos abatement laws in Massachusetts is handled by the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) as well as the Massachusetts Department of Labor. Regulations regarding in asbestos in Massachusetts are strictly enforced and must be adhered to at all times:
- Under BWP AQ 04 (ANF-001), any asbestos contractor, owner, and/or operator of a facility or area must notify the state prior to starting an asbestos abatement project. Notification must be sent within 10 days before the project is set to begin. However, no notification is required if the area containing asbestos is less than three square or linear feet.
- Under 310 CMR 4.00 of the MassDEP regulations, a fee of $100 must be submitted with each notification for asbestos removal. This fee is non-refundable even in the event that the asbestos project is canceled.
- In addition to notifying the state of Massachusetts of any asbestos project, a notification may also be required to the city you live in as well. Check with your local city laws to determine if you’re required to send the notification.
- Under 301 CMR 7.00 (Massachusetts Air Pollution Control Regulations), asbestos removed during an abatement project must be encapsulated, labeled, and disposed of at a state-approved waste management site.
For additional regulations and more in-depth information regarding asbestos laws in Massachusetts, contact the EEA at 617-626-1000.
Getting Medical Help in Massachusetts
It’s extremely important to seek medical assistance from qualified physicians and clinics that have a background in dealing with asbestos-related diseases. Since these types of cancers are still considered new, a physician who specializes in asbestos-related diseases provides you a much better chance at promising treatment as opposed to a general doctor with no prior experience in dealing with asbestos patients. Currently, there are two medical facilities in Massachusetts that are backed by the National Cancer Institute:
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA. 02215
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital: 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA. 02115
Statute of Limitations for Asbestos-Related Cases in Massachusetts
Although Massachusetts doesn’t have a specific statute of limitations for asbestos cases, the state follows the tort statute of limitations. Under ALM GL ch. 260, § 2A , the plaintiff has three years from the date they discovered the asbestos exposure and/or three years from diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease.
Further, loved ones can file on behalf of a deceased victim within three years of the death or within three years of finding out the cause of death.
Legal Help in Massachusetts
Remember, if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for significant compensation. 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.