Florida Mesothelioma Lawyers
Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen is a nationally recognized law firm accepting asbestos and mesothelioma cases in Florida. Our lawyers have represented clients in more than fifty Florida cities and towns, from Pensacola to Jacksonville to Miami.
Our attorneys have experience with Florida-specific legislation, liability and litigation, and we understand how to help mesothelioma victims in the Sunshine State receive compensation quickly. Because of our experience, we are familiar with the asbestos companies in Florida and how their operations have led to long-term medical problems, such as mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
Filing Mesothelioma Lawsuits in Florida
Generally, mesothelioma victims or their survivors can file a lawsuit in any state where they have lived, worked, or served in the military. Thus, even if you are not currently residing, working, or stationed in a Florida location, you could still potentially file a personal injury or wrongful death claim in Florida if the relevant asbestos exposure occurred in that state.
Our lawyers have experience determining the appropriate venue for mesothelioma lawsuits, and we provide our clients with guidance about the best courts for them to file their claim.
Florida Asbestos Laws
Florida has a number of state laws related to asbestos, including air quality regulations, asbestos removal programs, and asbestos litigation.
Asbestos Litigation in Florida
In 2005, upon feeling pressure due to the number of asbestos-related lawsuits that have been filed in the state, the Florida legislature passed the Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act (ASCFA) with the intention of reducing the amount of litigation being brought into state courts. This is still the primary law regulating asbestos litigation in Florida.
The ASCFA created specific guidelines around several aspects of asbestos litigation in Florida:
- Physical Impairment
- Only people who have a physical impairment (including the diagnosis of a deadly disease such as mesothelioma) can file a claim. Nonmalignant asbestos lawsuits, which could be brought under Florida common law, would not be allowed in Florida courts after 2005. The ASCFA specifies what evidence can be used to show physical impairment.
- The ASCFA also specified that only people who live in Florida or who were exposed to asbestos within the state were eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit in the state courts. In order to make an asbestos claim in Florida, plaintiffs would need to provide evidence of their residence or employment in the state.
- Statute of Limitations
- In addition, the act specified that the statute of limitations for an asbestos claim does not begin until an asbestos-related disease is discovered (i.e., diagnosed). Given the length of time it can take for mesothelioma to develop, this rule is important for helping mesothelioma victims receive adequate compensation after they receive a diagnosis, which could be decades after the initial exposure occurred.
- Two-Disease Rule
- The statute also clarified actions for nonmalignant asbestos-related conditions are distinct from asbestos-related cancer legal actions. This means that, if a person previously won an award for a nonmalignant condition resulting from asbestos exposure, they could bring a second suit against the same defendant if they later develop mesothelioma or another cancer due to the same exposure.
- Liability Limits
- The ASCFA also limited the amount of liability to which a company could be held for asbestos claims, which effectively limits the amount of compensation plaintiffs in Florida can receive. In particular, Florida does not allow punitive damages for asbestos claims. Furthermore, before going to trial, plaintiffs must report any payments they have received already from settlements or judgments for the same claim. Finally, the act also limited the liability of sellers, renters, and lessors in asbestos claims.
Challenge to Florida Asbestos Law
Almost immediately after the ASCFA was passed, it was challenged by lawyers representing clients who had filed claims prior to the law’s enactment on July 1, 2005. According to the act, the new provisions applied to any case that had not yet gone to trial. This included cases where a nonmalignant claim had already been diagnosed and a claim filed, but the lawsuits were still in research, discovery, or other pretrial phases.
Lawyers for the asbestos victims challenged the law arguing that it was unconstitutional to apply the new law retroactively to cases that were already in process, even if those cases had not yet officially reached the trial stage. Initially, the challenge was dismissed, but upon appeal the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal agreed with the challenge, and in 2011 the Florida State Supreme Court ruled that applying the provisions of ASCFA retroactively to cases already in process at the time of the law’s enactment violated the Constitution of the State of Florida.
In particular, the Florida State Supreme court ruled in 2011 that “retroactive legislation that impacts property rights is constitutionally invalid.” As part of its opinion, the Court declared that the new law could be applied only to claims submitted after the effective date of the act.
Asbestos Safety Guidelines in Florida
As with all 50 states, Florida is required follow the federal guidelines provided in the Clean Air Act along with any regulations that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) creates to help prevent airborne contaminants that are known to be hazardous to human health. Among other things, this includes asbestos, which is a friable, naturally occurring mineral that when breathed in can cause a number of medical problems, including a relatively rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma.
In line with these federal laws and regulations, Florida has passed a law adopting the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) put forth by the EPA. In addition, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) oversees an asbestos abatement program, codified in Chapter 62-257 of the Florida Administrative Code.
In particular, these state regulations apply to renovations and demolitions of certain facilities. When performing such renovations or demolitions, contractors must comply with the standards provided by the Florida Administrative Code. According to the DEP, there is no exclusion date, so even recently constructed buildings must follow the protective asbestos guidelines set forth in the state code.
ELSM Mesothelioma Clients in Florida
The lawyers of Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen have represented mesothelioma clients all over the state of Florida. We have helped hundreds of Florida residents diagnosed with mesothelioma to secure financial asistance to protect their loved ones. Our clients live in the towns and cities of Florida listed below:
Top Florida Cities and Towns Where ELSM Clients Live
|Altamonte Springs, FL 1||Anna Maria, FL 1|
|Auburndale, FL 1||Avon Park, FL 1|
|Belleview, FL 1||Boca Raton, FL 2|
|Boynton Beach, FL 3||Bradenton, FL 2|
|Brooksville, FL 2||Bunnell, FL 1|
|Cape Coral, FL 3||Casselberry, FL 2|
|Clearwater, FL 1||Clermont, FL 1|
|Cocoa, FL 2||Coral Springs, FL 1|
|Cortez, FL 1||Crystal River, FL 1|
|Dade City, FL 1||Davenport, FL 1|
|Daytona Beach, FL 2||Debary, FL 1|
|Deerfield Beach, FL 1||Del Ray Beach, FL 1|
|Deland, FL 2||Delray Beach, FL 2|
|Deltona, FL 1||Dowling Park, FL 1|
|Dunedin, FL 1||East Lake Weir, FL 1|
|Edgewater, FL 1||Englewood, FL 3|
|Eustis, FL 1||Fort Lauderdale, FL 2|
|Fort Myers, FL 9||Fort Pierce, FL 2|
|Fort Walton Beach, FL 1||Frostproof, FL 1|
|Ft. Lauderdale, FL 1||Green Cove Springs, FL 1|
|Gulf Breeze, FL 1||Gulfport, FL 1|
|Hernando, FL 1||Hialeah, FL 2|
|Hobe Sound, FL 1||Homosassa, FL 1|
|Interlachen, FL 1||Jacksonville, FL 2|
|Jensen Beach, FL 2||Jupiter, FL 1|
|Lady Lake, FL 2||Lake City, FL 1|
|Lake Mary, FL 1||Lake Suzy, FL 1|
|Lake Worth, FL 1||Lakeland, FL 3|
|Lakeworth, FL 1||Land O Lakes, FL 1|
|Land-o-Lakes, FL 1||Lauderdale-bythe-Sea, FL 1|
|Lecanto, FL 2||Leesburg, FL 2|
|Lithia, FL 1||Lutz, FL 1|
|Melbourne, FL 1||Merritt Island, FL 1|
|Miami, FL 3||Miami Gardens, FL 1|
|Miami Springs, FL 1||Milton, FL 1|
|Naples, FL 8||Neptune Beach, FL 1|
|New Port Richey, FL 3||Niceville, FL 3|
|Nokomis, FL 1||North Port, FL 2|
|Oakland Park, FL 1||Ocala, FL 4|
|Odessa, FL 1||Oldsmar, FL 1|
|Orange Park, FL 4||Orlando, FL 7|
|Ormond Beach, FL 2||Palm Beach, FL 2|
|Palm Beach Gardens, FL 1||Palm City, FL 1|
|Palm Coast, FL 2||Palm Harbor, FL 2|
|Panama City, FL 4||Pembroke Pines, FL 1|
|Pensacola, FL 2||Perry, FL 1|
|Plant City, FL 1||Plantation, FL 2|
|Point Charlotte, FL 1||Point Hernando, FL 1|
|Pompano Beach, FL 1||Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 2|
|Port Orange, FL 3||Port Richey, FL 1|
|Port Saint Lucie, FL 1||Port St. Lucie, FL 3|
|Punta Gorda, FL 2||Riviera Beach, FL 1|
|Rockledge, FL 1||Safety Harbor, FL 1|
|Saint Petersburg, FL 1||Salem, FL 1|
|San Antonio, FL 1||Sarasota, FL 4|
|Satellite Beach, FL 2||Sebastian, FL 4|
|Sebring, FL 1||South Daytona, FL 1|
|Southport, FL 1||Spring Hill, FL 5|
|St. Augustine, FL 1||St. Petersburg, FL 4|
|Stuart, FL 3||Summerfield, FL 1|
|Sun City Center, FL 3||Sunrise, FL 1|
|Tallahassee, FL 1||Tampa, FL 7|
|Tarpon Springs, FL 1||Tavares, FL 1|
|The Villages, FL 2||Titusville, FL 3|
|Valrico, FL 1||Venice, FL 1|
|Vero Beach, FL 1||Weeki Wachee, FL 1|
|Wesley Chapel, FL 1||West Palm Beach, FL 2|
|Wimauma, FL 1||Winter Park, FL 2|
|Zephyrhills, FL 3|
Total number of Florida towns and cities represented by ELSM: 241
Settlements for Mesothelioma Clients Living in Florida
The following table represents some of the types of Florida mesothelioma clients our law firm has had the privilege of helping to receive financial assistance.
|State||Disease||Occupation / Exposure||Age||~ Monies to Date|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Household / Air Force||53||~$9,400,000|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Navy Worker / Operating Engineer||65||~$7,100,000|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Army / Laborer||72||~$5,800,000|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Navy / Mechanic||77||~$5,300,000|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Navy / Boilerman||53||~$4,400,000|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Carpenter / Trimmer / Mechanic||65||~$3,900,000|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Household / Office Worker||80||~$3,600,000|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Machinist Mate / Dry Cleaning Repair||80||~$2,800,000|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Laborer / School Worker||74||~$2,800,000|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Merchant Marine / Stationary Engineer||86||~$2,700,000|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Sheetmetal Worker / Construction Worker||67||~$2,600,000|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Navy / Plantworker||59||~$2,500,000|
|FL||Mesothelioma||Navy / Housing Mgt||74||~$2,200,000|
Please note that individual cases vary based upon a number of factors, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. If you have any questions about your legal rights, please contact us immediately.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have. We are here to help you!
Jobsites in Florida with Documented Mesothelioma Cases
Perhaps the highest-risk place for asbestos exposure, which may lead to mesothelioma cancer, is on the job. Thousands of major jobsites throughout Florida have put unsuspecting workers at risk for exposure to asbestos.
ELSM mesothelioma lawyers have represented clients who worked at the following major jobsites in Florida:
- Anheuser Busch Inc - Jacksonville
- Bellinger Shipyard - Jacksonville
- Cecil Field Naval Air Station - Jacksonville
- Chemstrand Chemical - Pensacola
- Crystal River Nuclear Plant - Crystal River
- Florida Power & Light - Miami
- Florida Power & Light Company - Palatka, Tampa
- Florida Pulp & Paper Company - Pensacola
- Florida Steel Corporation - Tampa
- International Paper - Miami
- Jacksonville Naval Air Station - Jacksonville
- Kennedy Space Center - Cape Canaveral
- Lakeland Power Plant - Tampa
- Mayport Naval Station - Jacksonville
- Miami Beach Convention Center - Miami
- Miami Dade Drydock - Miami
- Miami Intl Airport - Miami
- Monsanto Chemical Company - Pensacola
- Pensacola Naval Air Station - Pensacola
- Rayonier - Fernandina Beach
- Saint Regis Paper Company - Jacksonville
- St. Regis Paper Company - Pensacola
- Tampa Shipyards, Inc. - Tampa
- University of Florida - Jacksonville
- Walt Disney World - Orlando
Asbestos exposure has occurred in many other jobsites in Florida as well. We can work with you or your loved one who was exposed to asbestos while on the job no matter where in Florida you live and work, either currently or in the past.
Florida Statute of Limitations for Mesothelioma
In Florida, the statute of limitations for mesothelioma and asbestos claims is 4 years from date of diagnosis. For wrongful death claims, victims’ families have 2 years from the time their loved one passes away to file their claim, according to the statute.
Because there is only a short time to gather evidence and file a claim, mesothelioma victims in Florida and their families must act quickly to find a lawyer who is experienced with asbestos-related claims. Failing to act before the statute of limitations runs out could result in a loss of rights to compensation for you or your family.
Exposed in Florida? Learn About Your Legal Rights
You may be entitled to financial assistance if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. ELSM will offer you a free evaluation. Our attorneys will travel to visit you at your convenience. We understand how difficult a time this is for you and will assist in any way that we can. You can also call us toll-free at 1-800-336-0086.
Where We Work
Request a Free Case Evaluation
Request a Free Evaluation now if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. The evaluation will cost you nothing. Our lawyers will travel to visit you at your convenience or conference call with you over the phone. We understand how difficult a time this is for you and will assist in any way that we can. You can also call us toll-free at 1-800-336-0086 at any time.