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You have until February to make a Libby asbestos claim

Anyone exposed to asbestos from the Libby vermiculite mine should speak to a lawyer immediately

Libby, Montana, home to one of the nation's largest vermiculite mines, has long had significant and widespread health consequences from asbestos exposure. While 90 percent of Libby miners have suffered negative health effects as a direct result of working in the mine, nearby residents have also suffered through environmental exposure to asbestos dust.

Lengthy latency period can mean confusion for victims

Mesothelioma, the cancer caused by asbestos exposure, takes decades to manifest symptoms. Many people are not aware they have mesothelioma until 20 to 50 years after exposure.

Unfortunately, the symptoms get progressively worse, and there is no cure for mesothelioma. That is why it is important for people who do show even moderate signs of asbestos exposure to get help understanding their legal options prior to losing their rights.

Bankruptcy protection ending

In 2001, the company responsible for the environmental catastrphe declared bankruptcy, in part to stem the tidal wave of injured Libby residents and their families who were irreparably harmed due to the actions of the company. W.R. Grace, which ran the operations, came out of bankruptcy protection in February, 2015. Under Montana law, personal injury victims have three years from the date of diagnosis to file a claim. Because of the bankruptcy protection, however, any Libby residents diagnosed before February, 2015, have until February of 2018 to file a claim.

Montana has set up special court to deal with asbestos claims

Due to the large number of claimants in Montana, the state has set up a special court to hear cases relating to asbestos contamination. The Montana Supreme Court set up the Asbestos Claims Court on November 28, 2017.

Currently, there are at least 540 cases pending in Montana courts. There may be many more as the deadline to file approaches.

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