For decades residents in many areas of Montana were exposed to asbestos, especially through the state’s mining industry. Thousands of people developed life-threatening illnesses as a result. An experienced Montana mesothelioma lawyer can help these residents obtain the compensation and justice they deserve.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been injured by mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to a significant amount of compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in Montana, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
We are happy to offer assistance to all asbestos victims and their families in every city and town in Montana, including:
Libby, Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, Bozeman, Butte-Silver Bow, Helena, Kalispell, Havre, Anaconda-Deer Lodge, County Miles, Helena Valley West Central, Helena Valley Southeast, Belgrade, Livingston, Laurel, Lockwood, Whitefish, Evergreen, Sidney, Lewistown, Orchard Homes, Glendive, Columbia Falls, Polson, Hamilton, Bigfork, Dillon, Malmstrom AFB, Helena Valley Northwest, Hardin, Lolo, Glasgow, Shelby, Four Corners, Deer Lodge, Cut Bank, Montana, Wolf Point, Helena Valley Northeas,t Conrad, Lakeside, East Missoula, Big Sky, Colstrip, North Browning, Pablo, Red Lodge, Lame Deer, East Helena, South Browning, Columbus, West Glendive, Malta, Townsend, Ronan, Three Forks, Plentywood, Stevensville, Baker and Forsyth, Crow Agency, Roundup, Choteau, Bonner-West Riverside, Big Timber, Frenchtown, Clancy, Manhattan, Fort Benton, Fort Belknap, Agency and Sun Prairie, Thompson Falls, West Yellowstone, Seeley, Lake Helena, West Side, Chinook, Absarokee, Boulder, Eureka, Black Eagle, Gardiner, Helena Flats, Whitehall, Somers Plains, Scobey Park, Browning, Gallatin, Gateway, Harlowton, White Sulphur Springs, Rocky Boy, West Churchill, Troy, Fairview, Pinesdale, Hungry Horse, Clinton, Hays, Florence, Chester, and more.
Montana Asbestos Facts
- Montana saw 1,135 deaths related to asbestos exposure between 1999 and 2013.
- Of those deaths, 182 were a result of mesothelioma and 239 were from asbestosis. The rest can be attributed to lung cancer.
- Lincoln County, the site of the infamous Libby mine, has the highest rate of asbestos-related deaths in the state.
- The mines near the town of Libby, owned and operated by W.R. Grace, extracted millions of tons of asbestos and vermiculite.
- Many companies, including W.R. Grace, mined, sold, and shipped both asbestos-contaminated vermiculite to plants in other states, exposing many more people.
Libby, Montana: Asbestos and Mesothelioma
Mining has long been an important industry in Montana. The company W.R. Grace mined vermiculite in the area for decades. What no one knew for many years was that the otherwise harmless mineral was contaminated with asbestos.
Consequently, thousands of residents in and around Libby were exposed to asbestos fibers. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a mortality analysis of death certificates issued between 1979 and 1998 indicated a high number of deaths from cancer in the small town of Libby.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the mines around Libby “may have produced 80 percent of the world’s supply of vermiculite.” Sold by W.R. Grace under the brand-name Zonolite, this material was widely used in such products as attic insulation.
Because the Libby vermiculite deposits contained asbestos fibers, distribution of the material to other states spread asbestos to other processing plants, workers, and residents. The EPA estimates that in 1985, around 940,000 homes contained or had contained Zonolite vermiculite insulation.
Another Libby-area business affected by asbestos exposure was the Stimson Lumber Mill. The mill, which was destroyed in a 2010 fire, was closed in 2003 due to asbestos-related problems.
The asbestos residue was found in Stimson’s plywood plant, finger jointer, central maintenance building, and the log yard during a 2002 EPA inspection. In addition, EPA testers found asbestos in two large piles of wood chips and tree bark outside the town limits.
The job sites in and around Libby that were impacted by asbestos include:
- Libby Mine
- Stimson Lumber Mill
- Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, Libby line
- Karst Mine
Other Montana Job Sites with Asbestos
Many workers in Montana’s three oil refineries and in at least six electrical power plants were exposed to asbestos fibers. Most of the asbestos was used to line pipes which transferred either oil or high-pressure steam, but a significant amount of asbestos fibers was woven into the fabric of the workers’ protective gear.
Asbestos exposure occurred in the following facilities:
- Anaconda Copper Mining Company in Butte
- Colstrip Power Plant in Colstrip
- Water and Electric Light Company in Miles City
- Union Oil Company refinery in Cut Bank
- Texaco Oil facility in Sunburst
- Montana Refining Company facility in Great Falls
- Conrad Placer Mining Company
- C&C Plywood Corporation
- Anaconda Copper Mining Company
- Saltenberger Plumbing & Heating
- Farmer’s Union Central Exchange
- Boston and Montana Consolidated
- Laurel Oil and Refining Company
- Cenex Refinery
- J Neil Lumber Company
- Saint Regis Paper Company
- Northern Pacific Railway Company
- Bozeman Montana College
- Lewis and Clark Power Plant
- Stauffer Chemical Company
- Helena Power Transmission Company
- Western Ranch Supply Company
- Sierra Talc and Clay Company Inc
- Montana State Hospital
- Warm Springs State Hospital
- Montana Coal and Iron Company
- Montana Refining
- University of Montana
- Montana State University
Montana Asbestos Laws
Montana follows state asbestos laws, as well as regulations implemented by the EPA, OSHA, and NESHAP. State laws are implemented by Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality Asbestos Air Act and Asbestos Control Act.
- All schools built with asbestos in Montana must follow the EPA asbestos regulations. However, state rules under the Montana statutes also apply, as well as OSHA rules.
- The Montana Asbestos Control Act mandates that anyone working on an asbestos abatement not only must provide written notification to the state beforehand but also must be certified to work around asbestos by the state.
- A clean-up order is strictly enforced for anyone who dumps or leaves asbestos on their property if it poses threats to the public.
- A certified Montana inspector must inspect all areas of an asbestos abatement project before it begins.
- When removing asbestos, it must be contained in an encapsulation that is clearly marked and then taken to an approved landfill.
For more information and in-depth details about asbestos laws in Montana, contact the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s Asbestos Control Program at 406-444-1436.
Where to Get Medical Treatment: Montana Cancer Center
The Montana Cancer Center at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula was certified by the Commission on Cancer as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program in 1998. Its various specialists, including oncologists and surgeons, treat cancers of all types, including mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Most patient care services are offered at the Montana Cancer Center’s main facility in Missoula. However, the Center’s oncologists visit outreach centers outside Missoula twice a week. On Tuesdays, the oncology team operates a chemotherapy clinic at St. Joseph Hospital in Polson. On Wednesdays, they operate a chemotherapy clinic at Marcus Daly Hospital in Hamilton.
The Montana Cancer Center offers mesothelioma treatments to patients in all stages of the disease, including biopsies, imaging, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Be certain to find physicians who are experienced and specialize in asbestos-related diseases. The symptoms of mesothelioma and other factors associated with asbestos-related cancers are still considered rare in the medical world, so it’s imperative to seek treatment from a knowledgeable and experienced source.
Montana Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lawsuits
Mont. Code Ann. § 27-2-2021 et seq., the Montana statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including asbestos-related lawsuits, requires that each case must be filed within three years of the time the illness was discovered or should have been discovered. In addition, wrongful death asbestos-related cases must be filed within three years of the victim’s actual date of death.
Getting Legal Help in Montana
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.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.