Asbestos & Mesothelioma in Michigan
As part of America’s rust belt, Michigan has a long history of industry and manufacturing. The number one industry in Michigan is auto-manufacturing—in fact, Detroit, Michigan is known as the car capital of the world, where Ford Motor Company was originally founded. For many decades, asbestos was frequently used in building materials and equipment in Michigan industries, including car manufacturing. As a result, Michigan ranks in the top 10 states for mesothelioma deaths, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
The experienced attorneys at MesoLawyersCare have recovered significant money for Michigan workers and their families who have been injured (often leading to premature deaths) by worksite exposure statewide. The following worksites are examples of some that have the most elevated risks for asbestos exposure to workers and their families in Michigan.
1. General Motors Ternstedt Plant – Flint, MI
In 1917, Ternstedt Manufacturing Company, named after its founder Alvar K. Ternstedt, was incorporated. Ternstedt died a few years later, and the corporation was acquired by General Motors in 1926. The Ternstedt division manufactured several automotive hardware items including fenders, radiator shells, door panels, window regulators, handles, and locks. By the 1930s it was one of the largest manufacturers of automobile body hardware in the world. Working in an auto manufacturing plant often involved the use of asbestos. Employees at the Ternstedt plant were exposed to asbestos from insulation in pipes, as wells as while working with different auto parts such as brakes and clutch plates that were made from asbestos. Workers who inhaled asbestos fibers are at risk for serious illnesses. While General Motors stopped using the Ternstedt site by the late 1980s, some of the workers are just now being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a harmful cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
2. Ford River Rouge Complex – Dearborn, MI
Arguably the most famous auto plant in the world, the Ford River Rouge Complex was built in 1915 (completed in 1928) by Henry Ford on the banks of the Rouge River. Ford used the 2,000 acre complex to complete practically every step necessary to produce a car—the complex was equipped with blast furnaces, an open hearth mill, a steel rolling mill, a glass plant, a power plant and, most famously, Ford’s assembly line. Presently, Ford still uses the complex for truck production and employs approximately 6,000 workers. Throughout the 20th century, workers at Ford were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos while assembling automobiles. The plant also used high-heat equipment in the manufacturing process that resulted in asbestos exposure. Workers were often exposed to asbestos from brake and clutch materials used on vehicles. In manufacturing plants like the Ford River Rouge Complex, asbestos material often became airborne, endangering workers and their family members.
3. Chrysler Chemical Plant – Trenton, MI
The Chrysler Chemical Plant was a large chemical plant that operated in Trenton, Michigan from 1946 to 1990. The Trenton facility manufactured paints, sealers, adhesives and its own brand of Chrysler brake linings. Employees at the Chrysler Chemical Plant were specifically exposed to asbestos while producing these brake linings as the linings were often made with about 50% asbestos. Additionally, other asbestos-containing products were purchased and packaged at the plant. Without being warned by Chrysler of the dangers of asbestos, many of the Chrysler Chemical plant workers and family members have been put at risk for developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases because of this exposure.
4. Hooker Electrochemical Co. – Montague, MI
Hooker Electrochemical Company produced a large number of chemicals, including chlorine and sodium chlorate. The company was eventually purchased by Occidental Petroleum Corporation in 1968. Hooker Electrochemical has long been criticized for their improper handling of chemical waste, including asbestos wastes. As a large chemical manufacturing facility, Hooker Electric regularly used asbestos in the company plants. Because chemical production requires large amounts of energy and high-temperature equipment, asbestos was used to insulate and seal tanks, pipes, valves, pumps, and boilers. As the insulation, and other asbesetos material, became old or was disrupted, it became airborne and inhaled by many Hooker Electrochemical employees. Hooker Electrochemical (and the suppliers of the asbestos-containing materials) failed to adequately warn workers about the life-threatening dangers of asbestos so the workplace could be kept safe.
5. River Rouge Power Plant – River Rouge, MI (Detroit Edison)
River Rouge Power Plant is a coal-fired power station. The plant is currently owned and operated by DTE Energy on the shore of the Detroit River. Built in 1957, The plant has two coal-fired units. One of the units was retired in November 2015, and the city has the other unit planned for retirement in 2023 because the plant is old and too costly to maintain. Like many other power plants built and operated before the 1980s, the River Rouge Power Plant used asbestos and asbestos-containing products in their buildings and equipment. Sometimes asbestos was used as part of employee protective clothing. The fire-resistant characteristic of asbestos made the material useful in the power making process that involved coal, water, and steam heated to extremely high temperatures. Any River Rogue power plant employee who worked around asbestos containing equipment or wore asbestos-containing protective clothing or gloves is at risk of deadly asbestos related illnesses.
Our attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have recovered more than $10 billion dollars for people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Our firm has successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos in Michigan and throughout the country. For more information or a free consultation, fill out the form on this page, have a live chat now with one of our representatives, or call us.
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