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W.R. Grace Libby Mines

Hundreds of mine workers and citizens from Libby, Montana have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other respiratory diseases caused by exposure to asbestos from a mine that was once operated by the W.R. Grace Company. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency has found that Libby residents and former mine workers face an increased risk of being diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.

The Zonolite company began mining asbestos in Libby’s vermiculite mine in 1939. Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral that contains tremolite asbestos. The Libby asbestos mine would eventually supply about 80% of the world’s vermiculite. In 1963, Zonolite was purchased by W.R. Grace, which operated the Libby mine until it was closed in 1990.

According to data collected by the EPA in 2001, about one-quarter of Libby residents displayed signs of lung abnormalities consistent with asbestos exposure. The agency stated that residents of the town were 1,000-times more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma than the national average.

In 2009, the EPA declared a public health emergency due to asbestos contamination in the town of Libby and the W.R. Grace mine located nearby. The agency stated that at least 1,200 homes in Libby were contaminated with asbestos from the mine; large scale contamination was also identified in the nearby town of Troy. W.R. Grace was later forced to pay a fine of $250 million under the federal Superfund law for cleanup of this widespread asbestos contamination.

The first asbestos lawsuit by a Libby mine worker was filed in 1967. Since that time, asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits have been filed by other mine workers and Libby residents, alleging that W.R. Grace knowingly exposed them to asbestos.

If you or a loved one were exposed to asbestos from the W.R. Grace asbestos mine in Libby or at another Montana jobsite, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation, contact the lawyers at Hissey Kientz, LLP by calling us toll-free at 1-866-275-4454, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.

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