When you think of mesothelioma victims, you rarely imagine them in a tropical paradise setting, but that is exactly the case for hundreds of former employees of the Hess Oil refinery in St. Croix, as well as their spouses and residents who lived in the refinery’s vicinity. According to a report published in the St. Croix Source,there are more than 600 long-standing asbestos cases waiting to be heard in the St. Croix courts, and the victims may finally be getting closer to having their claims resolved.
A recent status meeting was held by Superior Court Judge Robert Molloy, who is overseeing all of the mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuits for the island. The meeting was attended by more than a dozen attorneys, who are representing cases that began being filed in 1997 and 1998. The cases centered on illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos from both the refinery and St. Croix Alumina: most victims were employees, though in some cases family members and nearby neighbors have also been sickened by the carcinogenic material.
The island territory has seen many mesothelioma and toxic exposure cases over the years, but in every instance the cases against Hess Oil have been settled out of court, and much of the time that has elapsed since cases were first filed has been spent on Hess trying to blame its contractors rather than shoulder liability on its one. According to one attorney representing victims, Hess could have taken action to protect its workers, but didn’t. “It looks like Hess didn’t care about the (1972 federal) law,” explaining that the company didn’t begin to notify employees about the asbestos in the insulation until after they started seeing lawsuits. At this point the number of claims filed has grown to approximately 1,400. He hopes that the resolution for those who have been harmed comes soon.
Though it can take a long time to get justice for having been sickened by exposure to asbestos, having an experienced representative guide you through the process helps. For information on how we can help you, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.