Over the past decade, West Virginia has been among the top states in the United States for asbestos-related deaths, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, with a rate of 15.9 per million population. The majority of asbestos-related fatalities came from occupational exposure. Thousands of workers prior to the ban of asbestos had prolonged exposure to the harmful fibers on a daily basis.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, keep in mind that you may be eligible for significant financial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in West Virginia, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.
We are happy to offer assistance in all cities and towns in West Virginia, such as:
Charleston, Huntington, Parkersburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Weirton, Fairmont, Martinsburg, Beckley, Clarksburg, Teays Valley, South Charleston, St. Albans, Vienna, Bluefield, Cross Lanes, Cheat Lake, Moundsville, Bridgeport, Oak Hill, Dunbar, Elkins, Nitro, Pea Ridge, Princeton, Hurricane, Buckhannon, Charles Town, Keyser, New Martinsville, Sissonville, Brookhaven, Grafton, Ranson Point, Pleasant, Westover, Weston, Barboursville, Lewisburg, Ravenswood, Summersville, Ripley, Philippi, Pleasant Valley, Shannondale, Shady Spring, Kenova, Blennerhassett, Williamson, Madison, Crab Orchard, Kingwood, Pinch, Follansbee, Williamstown, Fayetteville, Culloden, Wellsburg, Bluewell, Hinton, Hooverson Heights, Paden City, Chester, Milton, Moorefield, Inwood, Granville, White Sulphur Springs, Bethlehem, Petersburg, Winfield, Spencer, Welch, Shinnston, Shepherdstown, Mannington, Richwood, Daniels, Belington, Star City, McMechen, St. Marys, Bradley, Craigsville, Harrisville, Romney, Fairlea, Stonewood, Ronceverte, Coal City, West Liberty, Alum Creek, Logan, MacArthur, Washington, Prosperity, Montgomery, Boaz, Mount Gay-Shamrock, Nutter Fort, Mineral Wells, and more.
Job Hazards in West Virginia
Western Virginia is well-known for having several mining industries in the state. With over 100 coal beds, the state has employed thousands upon thousands of coal miners. Yet, mining, unfortunately, placed these workers at high risk for developing malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
When coal is mined, asbestos fibers can become airborne and can easily be inhaled and/or ingested. In addition to mining coal from the Earth, workers were also at risk for asbestos exposure around machinery. Mining equipment, panels, welding blankets, and many other types of equipment used were all insulated with asbestos.
Other occupations in West Virginia also posed hazards. Steel mills, railroad companies, oil refineries, power companies, and even elementary schools have been associated with high asbestos. Lismore Elementary School, in Lismore, had piles of asbestos lying under the flooring of the building. The hazardous minerals were eventually removed, yet several other schools built prior to the early 80s still contain asbestos.
Other West Virginia Job Sites Associated with Asbestos:
- Albright Power Station
- Monongahela Power Company
- Beech Bottom Power Company
- Ohio Power Company
- Aep Cabin Creek Power Station
- Appalachian Electric Power Company
- Cresap Powerhouse
- Mitchell Powerhouse
- Appalachian Electric Power Company
- Glasgow Powerhouse
- Consolidated Light, Heat, and Power Company
- Fort Martin Power Station
- West Penn Power Station
- Mount Storm Power Company
- Virginia Electric Power & Light
- Rivesville Power Plant
- Allegheny Power Company
- Pleasants Power House
- Willow Island Power House
- Point Pleasant Plant
- Cabin Creek Power Plant
- Kammer Plant
- Allegheny Veneer Plant
- Steubenville Plant
- Alpheus Preparation Plant
- Kanawha River Plant
- Philip Sporn Plant
- Natrium Plant
- Potomac Edison
- Electro Metallurgical Company
- Elkem Metals
- Shell Chemicals
- Beckley National Bank
- Pinecrest Hospital
- United Mine Workers Hospital
- Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel
- Belle Alkali Company
- Belle Works
- E.I. Dupont De Nemours
- Sharples Solvents Corporation
- Wheeling Coke Ovens
- Hudson Paper Company
- West Virginia Glass
- Louis Glass Company
West Virginia Mesothelioma Statistics
According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), West Virginia ranks number seven in the nation for asbestos-related fatalities, per capita, of 15.9 per million population. However, the state ranks 13th in total asbestos-related deaths with 448 deaths since 2005.
The majority of victims lived in the metropolitan area of Charleston, followed by Kanawha County.
In the 2011 national lawsuit rankings for asbestos-related claims, West Virginia was third in the nation for the highest amount of lawsuits. Many of these cases were a multitude of plaintiffs against one company.
According to a study performed by the RAND Corporation, West Virginia is one of the top five states with the most mesothelioma lawsuits.
West Virginia Superfund Site
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), most commonly known as Superfund, is a program created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that undertakes dangerous waste sites, including sites corrupted by asbestos. When these polluted sites are designated as a Superfund, the EPA requires that all responsible parties help clean up the waste or pay back the government for cleaning costs.
In Nitro, West Virginia, Fike Chemical, Inc. was designated as a Superfund in the 1980s. It was found to have an array of asbestos hazards along with other toxins. Several parts of the facility that was once Fike Chemical, Inc. contained massives amount of asbestos.
Asbestos Laws in West Virginia
The West Virginia Division of Air Quality is the governing body regarding asbestos removal and disposal. They follow federal guidelines as well as state laws, both of which must be abided by when handling asbestos:
- Before there is any removal or demolition of a building, an inspection must be done to identify potential asbestos material.
- Prior to removal of Asbestos from a proposed demolition or renovation, the state requires written notice to the state division of air quality at least ten days prior to the proposed removal and demolition of the property.
- Before disposal of asbestos products, the state requires a “wetted” process, where the asbestos is damp, and then sealed in an airtight container or wrapping prior to disposal.
- After the asbestos products are secured in an environmentally safe container or wrapping, the states require that the asbestos containers are transported to a state-approved asbestos disposal site.
- The State Bureau of Public Health’s Environmental Services has rules and regulations that require licensing and training for people involved in the inspection and removal process for asbestos material.
For further information and more details regarding asbestos inspections and removal, contact the West Virginia DEP at:
- (304) 926-0499 Phone
- (304) 926-0479 Fax
Getting Medical Help in West Virginia
Asbestos-related diseases are still unique in the medical world. Find a treatment center that specializes in these types of diseases, and can offer the best treatment options.
The University of Virginia Cancer Center in the nearby state of Virginia is backed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a comprehensive cancer treatment center. This means the center is recognized for its high-quality cancer care. Symptoms of mesothelioma can lie dormant for up to 50 years. A small clinic and/or a general practice physician may not have the kind of experience and/or medical equipment needed to give you the best treatment options.
Always get medical checkups if you’ve ever worked around asbestos, whether you’re feeling ill or not. In most cases, mesothelioma symptoms mimic the common cold and victims brush it off as a minor ailment. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos, pay close attention to your body and look for the following symptoms:
Pleural mesothelioma (lungs) symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Unexpected and drastic weight loss
- Persistent coughing
- Pain in lower back or side of the chest
- Fevers and perspiration
- Hoarseness or huskiness in the voice
- Swallowing becomes difficult
Peritoneal mesothelioma (abdominal area) symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Decrease in appetite
- Unusual and sudden weight loss
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lawsuits
W. Va. Code § 55-2-1 et seq. mandates that asbestos-related lawsuits must be filed within the state of West Virginia’s statute of limitations for personal injury. The lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of the discovery of the asbestos-related illness or within two years from the date that the illness should have been reasonably discovered.
In addition, the two-year statute also applies to wrongful death lawsuits, and the time period starts from the date of the victim’s death.
Getting Legal Help in West Virginia
Remember, if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for significant 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 need additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.