As a veteran diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, you know how important it is to be able to move forward with claims quickly so that you can get the treatment and resources you need. So imagine how frustrating it has been for residents of Libby, Montana, who have waited more than 15 years to be able to pursue their legal claims. Libby is considered Ground Zero for one of the worst cases of corporate negligence involving asbestos, but because the company responsible filed for bankruptcy, cases filed in the Montana state courts have been forced to wait until the federal proceedings were completed. Now that they can move forward there is a backlog of over 2,000 cases waiting to be heard. In response, the Montana Supreme Court has assigned six additional judges so that the hearing of the cases can be expedited.
People in Libby, Montana who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases were victims of the reckless behavior of the owners of the W. R. Grace & Co. vermiculite mine. The mine operated with total disregard for the fact that it was exposing its workers to asbestos, as well as to the fact that its processes dispersed the carcinogenic material throughout the community and the landscape at large. Not only was asbestos released into the atmosphere and dumped without regard for its environmental impact, but workers tracked asbestos fibers into their homes and into businesses in the vicinity, and those transporting the material via trucks and open train cars distributed it throughout the country.
Because malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases have such a long latency period, the 2,229 cases that are currently pending in Montana’s dedicated Asbestos Claims Court are viewers as the tip of the iceberg. There are roughly 200 new cases of asbestos-related diseases diagnosed in the area each year, with no end in sight. That is why the state’s Supreme Court has added six judges to help Judge Amy Eddy, who has been attempting to oversee all of the personal injury cases on her own. Of those 2,229 cases, 835 are considered active while the remainder have a deferred status. Each judge will have their own caseload, and will be in charge of the cases assigned to them from beginning to end.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you need information on the benefits or resources available to you, we can help. Contact us today at 1-800-726-7245 to learn more.