Mesothelioma is an almost entirely preventable cancer. No family should have to face this diagnosis. If you or your loved one developed mesothelioma because of an asbestos company's negligence, Florida Consumer Lawyers can help you seek compensation to cover medical bills and other financial hardships.
Finding a Mesothelioma Attorney in Tampa
Lawsuit over asbestos exposure are best handled by qualified asbestos lawyers. We understand that families impacted by mesothelioma have to deal with unique challenges.
During a cancer battle, it is difficult to summon any extra time and energy for a legal battle.
The long latency period of mesothelioma can make it hard for clients to remember exactly how they were exposed to asbestos. In the intervening years, the companies responsible may have changed their names or been acquired by big corporations.
At Florida Consumer Lawyers, we are committed to helping clients harmed by asbestos exposure get the compensation they deserve, while making the process as easy as possible for them.
We will communicate with you through the most convenient means and help you construct a solid case. We offer affordable flat rates for representation, or we can handle your case on a contingency basis. This means you will not owe anything unless you win your case.
Asbestos Exposure in Florida
Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma, and Florida ranks No. 2 in the nation for mesothelioma deaths.
Between 2006 and 2016, more than 160 Floridians died from mesothelioma each year. This is because asbestos exposure was a major hazard in many Florida industries until the 1980s.
Factories and Mills
In Florida's factories and food-processing plants, high-temperature equipment was often maintained with asbestos-containing insulation and gasket material.
Workers were at risk of asbestos exposure in worksites run by companies such as Georgia Pacific, Minute Maid, Plymouth Citrus, Tropicana, U.S. Sugar and Vacuum Foods.
Florida's aerospace industry made extensive use of asbestos products before the toxic mineral was regulated. High-percentage asbestos products were used at sites such as the Kennedy Space Center and Rocket Insulation Company facilities.
American veterans have an elevated risk of asbestos-related disease because of the U.S. military's past reliance on asbestos materials for ship and aircraft parts.
Many service members were at risk of asbestos exposure in military facilities such as Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Key West Naval Shipyard, Naval Station Mayport, Patrick Air Force Base and Pensacola Naval Air Station.
American shipbuilders once used all types of asbestos insulation and fireproofing products to construct and overhaul oceangoing vessels. This created highly contaminated working conditions for many locals of the Tampa Bay area.
Asbestos exposure was a common hazard for employees of the Atlantic Dry Dock, Gulf Marine Repair Corporation, Offshore Shipbuilding Company and Tampa Bay Shipbuilding.
For decades, asbestos insulation was standard at power generation facilities all around the state of Florida, whether the turbines were driven by coal, oil or nuclear energy.
Asbestos was once mixed into almost every kind of construction material you could name. Chances were if a construction, renovation or demolition job stirred up a cloud of masonry dust, everyone nearby was at risk of inhaling toxic asbestos fibers.
Unfortunately, legacy asbestos products in old buildings remain a hazard for workers to this day.
As recently as 2018, a building developer had to pay a $250,000 fine for failing to comply with asbestos safety regulations during the renovation of an apartment complex in St. Petersburg's Edge District.
The developer, Philip J. Farley III, acquired the property knowing it contained asbestos. But then he directed 90 workers to scrape off asbestos-containing ceiling texture in 480 units without providing them asbestos safety training or protective equipment.
Florida State Laws About Asbestos Litigation
Florida state regulations set safety requirements for working with asbestos, but they also define limitations for asbestos-related lawsuits.
We can explain how state regulations may affect your case and help you determine the most suitable jurisdiction for your claim.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Filing Deadlines
Florida's statutes of limitations set time limits for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit:
- People with mesothelioma have four years to file a personal injury claim, starting from the date of their diagnosis.
- The estate representative of a person who dies from mesothelioma has two years to file a wrongful death claim, starting from the date of the person's death.
Limited Liability for Asbestos Sellers
The Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act of 2005 changed Florida's standard for determining whether a company that resold asbestos products is liable for the harm they cause.
It used to be that any company in the chain of distribution was liable. However, the 2005 law specified that a defendant that sold but did not manufacture asbestos products is only liable if the defendant failed to use reasonable care or the product failed to conform to an express warranty.
Ban on Punitive Damages
In Florida, juries may not award punitive damages in asbestos-exposure cases. This means awards are limited to compensation for economic damages and pain and suffering.
Trust Fund Setoffs
If a claimant receives compensation from an asbestos trust fund and then also wins an asbestos lawsuit, Florida law allows the defendants to deduct the amount of the trust fund compensation from the court award.
If the original company responsible for exposing someone to asbestos has been merged or consolidated into another company, the successor company's potential liability is capped at the fair market value of the predecessor's total gross assets.