Asbestos Litigation & Asbestos Lawsuits in New Jersey
Christopher M. Placitella, Esq.
May 5, 2023
If you have been exposed to asbestos in New Jersey, you may be eligible to file a legal claim. However, it can be difficult to know what your next steps are. Every state has its own requirements for filing lawsuits, and asbestos litigation in New Jersey is no different. This process may be harder if you are dealing with the ill effects of your exposure to asbestos and your exposure occurred well before your illness.
New Jersey state law around exposure to asbestos fiber can be complex. Most of the time, you need to be able to prove that your asbestos exposure caused damages such as mesothelioma or pleural disease if you want to file suit. These ill effects can take decades to appear, further complicating the asbestos litigation process.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or another asbestos-related disease and the exposure to asbestos fibers happened in New Jersey, one of the first things you do should be to contact a New Jersey mesothelioma lawyer.
Asbestos Law in New Jersey
In addition to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ban on new asbestos-containing products, New Jersey has its own rules and regulations about how to deal with this material. Keep in mind that the federal ban only took effect in 1989, and it only covers products that were manufactured after that time. Many buildings created before 1989 have asbestos material, and a lot of New Jersey asbestos law is concerned with its handling and removal.
Asbestos Laws and Regulations in New Jersey
The New Jersey State Department of Health outlines what licensure and procedures you should expect from asbestos removal and abatement companies. If you have already been exposed to asbestos, these regulations are of limited use. However, you should be familiar with them if you find asbestos on your property and decide to remove it.
If your concern is filing a personal injury lawsuit after your asbestos exposure, you should know that New Jersey’s statute of limitations on such claims is two years from the date of your first diagnosis. If you’re suing for a loved one’s wrongful death, the statute of limitations expires two years from the date of their death.
Legal Assistance for Asbestos Exposure in New Jersey
There is a long history of asbestos litigation in New Jersey. In fact, Johns Manville filed the country’s first asbestos-related bankruptcy in New Jersey in 1982. More recently, New Jersey residents have filed lawsuits against companies such as Union Carbide, National Gypsum, and Johnson & Johnson.
Because mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases usually take decades to develop, many New Jersey residents are only now discovering the life-changing consequences of their exposure. To navigate the legal system after your exposure to an asbestos product, you need an experienced New Jersey asbestos attorney by your side. Whether you pursue your case in appellate court or seek an out-of-court settlement, you should have a legal team who understands the complex medical and legal issues involved with your case.
Asbestos Lawsuits in New Jersey
Unfortunately, New Jersey is one of the top states when it comes to asbestos related deaths, and it has been for many years. As a consequence, each year a number of new asbestos lawsuits are filed. Like many states, New Jersey follows the “discovery rule,” where the two-year statute of limitations begins as soon as you discover your lung cancer or other asbestos disease. Contracting with an experienced law firm right away can make a world of difference in your asbestos lawsuit.
Types of Asbestos Lawsuits in New Jersey
The state of New Jersey offers two different types of asbestos lawsuits along with trust fund claims (which will be described later). In a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, you or your successor sue the company directly in court for the damages caused by your lung cancer. In a class-action mesothelioma lawsuit, a group of exposed persons files a single suit.
To be eligible to file an asbestos claim in New Jersey, you need to have faced measurable damages from your exposure. This generally entails medical expenses and a diagnosis of asbestos disease. You may also need to prove that the company that exposed you to asbestos was negligent in failing to remove or warn you about asbestos in its facility.
Success of Asbestos Lawsuits in New Jersey
Because asbestos exposure can be complicated, there are a lot of elements that can impact the outcome of your case. These factors can include the nature of your lung cancer, where you were exposed to asbestos and the law firm you choose to represent you.
One of the key factors in the size of an asbestos settlement in New Jersey is the quality of evidence the plaintiff brings regarding proof of exposure to asbestos and the damages that resulted from their illness. A law firm will be able to put medical bills, proof of employment, and pathology reports together to tell the court the whole story of your asbestos exposure. The more financial damages you can prove, the higher the chance of a high settlement.
Another factor is the extent of your personal injury. Has your asbestos disease left you unable to work? If so, lost wages may become relevant to your lawsuit.
Asbestos Trust in New Jersey
Many companies that manufactured asbestos containing products filed for bankruptcy. A part of the bankruptcy process resulted in the creation of trusts that were funded to pay asbestos victims exposed to their products. If the company responsible for your asbestos exposure has already gone bankrupt, you may still be able to file a mesothelioma trust fund claim. This procedure is common for people who were exposed to asbestos in America, but you should still have a mesothelioma law firm on your side as you file the claim.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos Trust Funds
In this type of claim, also called an asbestos personal injury trust, some of a company’s remaining assets are set aside after the company files for bankruptcy. The process for filing a claim with these trusts has a lower burden of proof, but you shouldn’t expect a huge settlement from them. This is because the money set aside also needs to be saved for other exposed persons who have yet to be diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.
In general, New Jersey residents who were exposed to asbestos fibers may be eligible to file a trust fund claim. So are their family members and community members who were exposed environmentally. In the case of trust fund claims, the company responsible for the asbestos exposure has already been found liable. This reduces your burden of proof.
Filing an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
In New Jersey, the average mesothelioma trust fund claim is much lower than an out-of-court settlement. However, since the responsible party no longer exists, it’s often the only way to seek compensation for medical expenses and personal injury caused by asbestos exposure. Because the responsible entity has already been found liable, though, there is also a much lower burden of proof in these cases. You only have to prove that you were exposed to asbestos material and that you are currently ill.
The asbestos trust fund will have a series of criteria listed. If you fit these criteria, you can file for compensation through the trust. Although this process takes place completely outside the courtroom, having a New Jersey mesothelioma lawyer on your side is the best way to ensure that everything about your asbestos claim is done correctly.
What to Do if You Were Exposed to Asbestos in New Jersey
If you live or work in New Jersey, exposure to asbestos fibers is more likely than you may think. The EPA’s asbestos ban is narrow in scope, and the state of New Jersey is full of buildings that were constructed and renovated before the state-level ban on asbestos materials took effect.
Asbestos Exposure in New Jersey
Because New Jersey was a hub of asbestos use and production, it’s impossible to provide a fully inclusive list of circumstances that have led to residents’ asbestos exposure. However, we have listed a few of the most common causes of asbestos exposure in New Jersey below. If you or a close family member worked in these industries, keep a close eye on your lung health, since an early diagnosis can make a huge difference in your treatment options.
- Power plants
- Plastic manufacturers
- Chemical plants
- Oil refineries
Middlesex County, Jersey City, and other industrial areas in particular are asbestos hotbeds.
Filing an Asbestos Claim
In New Jersey, the time limit for filing a claim begins as soon as you learn you have an asbestos-related disease. It may be daunting to talk to a lawyer while navigating your illness, but the sooner you take this step, the higher your chances of success. A New Jersey mesothelioma attorney will also be able to simplify the litigation process for you.
First Steps in Your Asbestos Claim
Our team of lawyers has earned a distinguished reputation for achieving life-changing outcomes by combining decades of experience, tenacity, and fresh strategic perspectives to each case we undertake. We champion and seek justice for our clients guided by a shared goal of doing what’s right and making a positive, lasting impact on their lives.
If you would like to schedule your free consultation with CPR Law or simply ask a legal question, contact us online or give us a call at (888) 560-7189.