Asbestos Claims Deadline Looms for Power Plant Workers
Update: December 15, 2015: The deadline to file a claim has passed. Subscribe to our blog to receive updates on this case, and the efforts to reverse this unfair bar date ruling. The subscription box is to the right of this post.
Energy Future Holdings (EFH), a $36 billion company, with known asbestos claims against it, has filed for bankruptcy and seeks to drastically limit the legal rights of all its past, present and future asbestos victims. EFH is a very big company that worked on power plants all over the US. It includes Ebasco’s and EECI’s operations nationwide, and Luminant power plants and Oncor power distribution facilities in Texas.
View the EFH plant listings:
Whether sick or healthy, if you or a family member have ever worked at any EFH site, you must file a claim by 5 PM Eastern Standard Time on December 14, 2015 or you will lose all rights to make any asbestos claims against this corporate giant and its insurance companies.
If you now have mesothelioma or any other asbestos disease diagnosis and you or a family member worked at any EFH site, you definitely should file a claim. But even if you are healthy, you should file a claim if an EFH site is part of your or a family member’s work history because otherwise your legal rights will be lost.
All EFH site employees and contractors are at risk of having been exposed to asbestos. It would be prudent to file an asbestos claim now while you can. You have everything to lose and much to possibly gain should you be diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma in the future.
After that December 14 deadline passes, you will no longer be able to file a claim even if you become ill with an asbestos-related illness caused by past exposure at an EFH power plant.
To keep your right to compensation, you must submit an asbestos claim by the December 14 deadline. A qualified asbestos attorney can file the claim for you. He or she can help you with the documentation you will need to verify you or a family member worked at a power plant. At Kazan Law, we do not charge any fee for this service unless and until we get you money.
Asbestos Claims Cut-Off Part of Bankruptcy Deal
Asbestos claims against EFH will be invalid after the December 14, 2015 deadline as part of a bankruptcy deal created for this very large privately owned power plant company, its subsidiaries and the people who financed it.
EFH owns, operates, maintains, and built many power plants across the United States and others all over the world.
Because of the heat-resistant quality of asbestos, asbestos insulation was widely used in power plants built before 1980. But the toxicity of asbestos was already well-established at that time and less dangerous substitutes were available.
Asbestos Claims Potential Prompts Bankruptcy Efforts to Escape Responsibility
Asbestos claims against EFH have already resulted from workers being exposed to asbestos at numerous power plants around the US.
The company declared bankruptcy last spring along with about 70 of its affiliates. The petition listed assets of $36.5 billion and debt totaling $49.7 billion.
Companies which are likely to be liable for many asbestos claims often file for bankruptcy as a way to avoid paying large settlements to people whose lives they have destroyed.
As part of EFH’s bankruptcy, everyone who is currently ill with an asbestos-related illness and everyone who may develop asbestos-related illness must submit a claim by December 14, 2015, at 5 PM, Eastern Time to be eligible for compensation in the future. EFH is required to publish notices about this deadline in newspapers. Although they are also required to directly contact former employees and others, many people who get their news from television or the internet instead of newspapers may miss the deadline for filing asbestos claims.
Why Asbestos Claims Must Be Filed Even If You’re Not Ill
Asbestos claims typically may be filed up to a year after you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease. Not in this case. If you already have been diagnosed, you should immediately consult an asbestos attorney about filing a claim. Even if you have not been diagnosed you should file an asbestos claim if you or a family member worked at a power plant.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the EPA have determined that asbestos is a human carcinogen and there is no safe level of exposure. An estimated 10,000 Americans die every year from preventable asbestos-caused diseases.
Asbestos fibers can be 700 times smaller than a human hair. Some asbestos can be seen as dust but asbestos fibers can also be invisible to the human eye. You can’t see it. It is also odorless, tasteless and indestructible.
Asbestos fibers do not evaporate into air or dissolve in water. Microscopic asbestos fibers and particles can remain suspended in the air for a long time.
You could easily have inhaled asbestos fibers without knowing it either at work yourself or from the clothing, tools, car or hair of a family member who worked at an EFH site.
Once asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can cause fatal damage to the body’s vital organs and initiate cancer. Mesothelioma, for example, is a lethal cancer of the cells lining the lungs and other organs. It is caused only by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma can emerge anywhere from ten to 50 years after asbestos exposure.
So if you or a family member ever worked at an EFH site, be sure to file a claim before December 14. Have this done professionally by a qualified asbestos attorney, so you can have peace of mind that it was done correctly. Your future may depend on it.