Libby, Montana is one of the most notorious sources of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in the country, and possibly in the world. The western town was the home of the W.R. Grace & Co. vermiculite mine and processing mill, which operated up until 1990. It produced vermiculite, which was used in construction as well as in insulation. Unfortunately, the vermiculite that the company pulled out of the earth was heavily contaminated with asbestos, and as it was processed and transported throughout the town, the asbestos sickened thousands of people, and killed hundreds. W.R. Grace & Co. was held legally responsible for this tragedy, as it was later proven that company executives had been well aware of the dangers that their mine posed and had chosen to hide the information from the residents, as well as from their employees. The site is one of the largest Superfund locations in the country, with the Environmental Protection Agency spending $250 million to clean it up. Today, life in Libby is slowly returning to normal, but people continue to be diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, and they continue to file lawsuits against those responsible.
Even though it has been decades since the asbestos contamination in Libby was discovered, people continue to be diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related conditions today. This is because asbestos diseases tend to have long latency periods: it often takes decades before a victim begins to exhibit symptoms of the disease. Though there are a number of elements that can play a role in when a person will get sick, much of it has to do with the concentration of asbestos that they were exposed to, as well as the period of time that they were exposed. What is happening in Libby today is that people who lived in more remote areas, not directly adjacent to the mines, are now beginning to get sick. As a result there are over 800 asbestos lawsuits that are currently pending in the area, with 12 filed the other day. These cases are being filed against the state of Montana, as well as other businesses that had been affiliated with W. R. Grace & Co., including Robinson Insulation, which manufactured insulation from the Libby mine’s vermiculite, and the BNSF Railway Company, which transported the toxic material.
People who have been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with mesothelioma and other diseases are entitled to compensation for the damages that they’ve suffered. For information on your legal rights and how we can help you get the justice you deserve, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.