The industries that were functioning in Idaho before the era of asbestos product use closed in the late 1970s were the types of endeavors found in a state rich in resources but sparsely populated and nowhere near the industrialized markets in the east. Idaho has always been a strong timber state; the pulp and paper mills and lumber mills operated by Boise Cascade had equipment on the production line that used asbestos insulation, gaskets and fittings.
Both Boise and Idaho Falls had paper products facilities; in Idaho Falls there was also a Westinghouse operation and a Navy training site. Pocatello was still an agriculture town at that point, but Boise Cascade operated a fertilizer plant there and FMC had a production line as well. Westinghouse was also operating in Scoville along with a nuclear reactor testing facility and a Phillips Petroleum facility. There are several natural asbestos deposits in the state and there was at least one mine in North Central Idaho that operated early in the twentieth century.
There was no shortage of businesses that utilized asbestos in production or in operations. The power plants in the state were also full of asbestos; even the hydroelectric plants used asbestos for fittings, gaskets and in valves. Idaho is also another one of those states where a number of Midwesterners have chosen to retire, leaving behind careers in some of the smokestack industries. Because asbestos-caused mesothelioma cancer has a latency period of two to four decades, many people whose working years were the sixties, seventies and eighties are getting sick now.
Legal Rights for Idaho Asbestos Victims
There has not been a lot of asbestos litigation in Idaho, although there have been a couple of cases where the statute of limitations became an issue and the courts ruled on behalf of the asbestos companies. One plaintiff was diagnosed with cancer which could have been caused by smoking or by asbestos. Three months later the diagnosis of asbestos-caused cancer was confirmed, and two years later the case went to trial. The court ruled that the original diagnosis was the point at which the damage had been discovered, and that therefore the case had come to trial just past the statute of limitations expiration.
Idaho also has a cap on damages in personal injury suits and wrongful death actions. The punitive damages are capped at $250,000 which means that the large awards seen in other states for asbestos cases are not achievable in Idaho.
Nevertheless if you are an Idaho resident that suffers from an asbestos related disease you should speak with an attorney who knows the Idaho state law regarding liability claims for asbestos damage and who knows what other options might be available. Fill out the brief form on this page and an experienced attorney will be in touch to review your case and your options with you, at no cost or obligation. Read more about how to to find the right Asbestos lawyer as well as recent Mesothelioma case settlements in addition to lawsuits for Mesothelioma.