Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in New Jersey
New Jersey has a rich tradition of large-scale industrial activity, including shipbuilding, oil refining, and the production of various chemicals used in everyday products. But despite the success of these industries in the Garden State, many of them have left an enduring legacy of mesothelioma and other deadly illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos. Even those who haven’t been exposed to the once widely used fibrous material are still at risk, since it often takes many decades for mesothelioma to develop. Below are summaries of five work sites throughout New Jersey that have been particularly problematic with regard to asbestos exposure.
1. Johns-Manville Plant
This plant in Manville, N.J. manufactured asbestos-containing products from its founding in 1858 (as the H.W. Johns Manufacturing Co.) until 1985. The company manufactured a wide variety of asbestos products including cement board, asbestos paper, fire resistant roofing material, and asbestos-cement pipe. Employees began filing disability claims for lung diseases as early as 1929, with most of these claims resulting in secret out-of-court settlements. Also, owner John Manville, assisted by other companies, suppressed an internal report from the 1940s linking asbestos to cancer. Johns-Manville faced thousands of lawsuits from the 1960s through the 1980s, including some class-actions. Workers who developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos from the Johns-Manville plant were exposed to asbestos primarily from the raw materials used in the manufacturing of asbestos-containing products. Workers often unknowingly carried dangerous asbestos home on their clothing, which resulted in family members developing mesothelioma. Even nearby shop owners were exposed to asbestos when workers with dusty clothing would frequently visit as customers. Attorneys from MesoLawyersCare won a historic $90.5 million verdict in a series of cases involving workers who developed mesothelioma from their work at the Manville New Jersey plant. In addition, MesoLawyerCare attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in settlements for both workers and their family members who have developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases stemming from exposure at the Manville plant.
2. Oil Refineries
Oil refineries built in the 20th century are notorious for using copious amounts of asbestos for its heat- and fire-resistant properties. Specifically, asbestos was often used to facilitate the insulation and operation of high-heat equipment and machinery that powered the plant and the oil refining process. In fact, oil refinery workers sometime even wore “protective gear” containing asbestos. While New Jersey has its fair share of oil refineries, perhaps most notable for its asbestos exposure (among other environmental regulation violations) is the Exxon Bayway refinery in Linden, N.J., currently owned by ConocoPhillips. The refinery sits on roughly 1,300 acres and has produced petroleum products since 1909. Even those who didn’t work at the refinery could still develop serious illness associated with asbestos exposure. For example, MesoLawyersCare attorneys successfully represented a woman named Bonnie Anderson, who was awarded $7.5 million in compensation in 2008 after developing peritoneal mesothelioma from decades of laundering the work clothes of her husband, who worked at the Exxon Bayway Refinery.
3. Shipyards in Bayonne and Camden
Ships, particularly military ships, once used asbestos-containing materials from bow to stern in order for the high-heat machinery and equipment on ships to operate properly. Unfortunately, the makers and sellers of the asbestos-containing equipment and materials failed to provide adequate warnings about the hazards of asbestos. This is why workers at shipyards, responsible for applying asbestos-laden materials to the ships (often in close quarters with minimal ventilation) were particularly vulnerable to long-term exposure. Two New Jersey shipyards in particular, one in Bayonne and the other in Camden, exposed countless workers and residents living in close proximity to dangerous levels of asbestos. The Bayonne shipyard operated from the 1940s through the late 1990s and served as a U.S. Navy (and then Army) base. The Camden Shipyard, which began operating in 1900, employed up to 40,000 workers at its peak before closing in 1967. The attorneys from MesoLawyersCare use their libraries of historic documents and schematics to successfully represent workers who were exposed to asbestos at various locations at these New Jersey Shipyards.
4. Union Carbide Plants
Union Carbide produced a wide variety of petrochemicals and other chemical compounds; asbestos was regularly used throughout the company’s plants. An estimated 38,000 pounds of asbestos passed through the facility in Bloomfield, New Jersey between 1970 and 1982, according a lawsuit filed by MesoLawyersCare attorneys on behalf of the the widow of former worker Willis Edenfield, who died of mesothelioma in 2011. The Bakelite-Union Carbide Bound Brook Chemical Plant also has been blamed for failing to protect workers visiting the plant from asbestos exposure. MesoLawyersCare attorneys represent the family of deceased truck driver Daniel Carlucci, who was regularly exposed to asbestos at the Bound Brook facility when he picked up bags of asbestos-containing materials at the plant in the 1950s and 1960s. Mr. Carlucci was awarded $7.3 million for his suffering and eventual death. Evidence showed that the company produced materials comprised of up to 30 percent asbestos but failed to implement proper protective measures for its workers. Also, Union Carbide then sold this asbestos-containing material (sometimes referred to as “Bakelite”) which caused consumers to be exposed to asbestos.
5. PSE&G Power Plants
PSE&G operates several power plants throughout New Jersey, many of them blamed for exposing workers to high levels of asbestos. Power plants once used large amounts of asbestos to facilitate the operation of the high-heat, power-generating equipment. One such PSE&G facility, the 436 megawatt PSE&G Generating Station in Linden, opened in 1957 and employed three large boilers manufactured by Babcock & Wilcox and turbines made by General Electric. Lawsuits pertaining to PSE&G power plants have been filed, alleging the companies knew about the dangers but failed to warn workers and their family members. Workers were exposed to asbestos at PSE&G power plants during new construction, renovation and regular maintenance of these facilities. Families members were also put at risk when worker wore home dusty asbestos-laden clothing. MesoLawyersCare attorneys have obtained large number of documents used to successfully represent workers and their family members who developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos at PSE&G facilities.
The 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 New Jersey 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 our offices.
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