Skagit Oil Refinery Workers & Asbestos
Asbestos exposure at Skagit County oil refineries has caused workers to develop asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Workers often only discover they have mesothelioma decades after initial exposure. If you or a loved one developed mesothelioma from working at Skagit County oil refineries, contact Bergman Oslund Udo Little. We have helped numerous asbestos victims and their families obtain justice and financial compensation.
In the early 1900s, Washington’s largest industries were logging and fishing. As more people migrated to the state, Skagit County officials looked for new opportunities. In 1953, Shell Oil Co. chose March Point in Skagit County for its Anacortes Refinery. By 1958, Washington had four major refineries: two in Skagit County, one in Ferndale, and one in Tacoma.
Skagit County oil refineries created jobs but also exposed workers to asbestos. Asbestos is a cancer-causing mineral that can cause asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Until changes to federal legislation in the 1980s, oil refinery workers were regularly exposed to asbestos in protective gear, asbestos insulation, gaskets, and sealants. They are still exposed to natural asbestos released by rocks during mining or development.
Oil Refineries in Skagit County
Skagit County in Washington state has many oil refineries.
Puget Sound Refinery
The Puget Sound Refinery is on March Point near Anacortes, Washington. Built by Texaco in 1957, HF Sinclair currently runs it, and the plant is one of the largest employers in Skagit County.
Marathon Anacortes Refinery
Since 1955, the Marathon Anacortes Refinery has operated on March Point, just outside Anacortes, Washington. The refinery receives crude feedstock via the Canadian Trans Mountain pipeline and by tanker from Alaska.
Asbestos Found at Skagit County Oil Refineries
From the 1930s to the 1970s, Skagit County oil refineries used asbestos in a wide range of parts and materials, including the following:
- Protective equipment: Shoe covers, gloves, aprons, and possibly face masks and shields contained asbestos.
- Refinery equipment: Workers were likely to encounter asbestos when repairing, maintaining, and replacing asbestos parts.
- Building materials: Builders used asbestos-containing materials.
- Insulation: Insulation installed before the 1980s has a high chance of containing asbestos.
Skagit County oil refinery workers were exposed to varying concentrations of asbestos. Welders, electricians, engineers, boilermakers, millwrights, and pipefitters had the highest risk of asbestos exposure. Workers may have also exposed their family members to asbestos by returning home with asbestos fibers attached to their hair, skin, and clothes.
Risks of Mesothelioma for Oil Refinery Workers
Skagit oil refinery workers can develop mesothelioma if they inhale or ingest asbestos fibers. These fibers cause mesothelium tissue to inflame and scar. Over the next 15 to 50 years, cancerous tumors may grow in the scar tissue. The average mesothelioma latency period is 15 to 20 years.
Mesothelioma symptoms vary depending on the type of mesothelioma.
- Pleural mesothelioma affects the tissue surrounding the lungs. Symptoms include chest pain, painful coughing, unexplained weight loss, shortness of breath, and unusual lumps of tissue under the chest.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdominal cavity. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, abdominal swelling, and unexplained weight loss.
- Pericardial mesothelioma affects the tissue surrounding the heart. It causes chest pains and breathing difficulties.
- Testicular mesothelioma affects the tissue surrounding the testicles. Symptoms include swelling or a mass on a testicle.
Doctors may prescribe the following mesothelioma treatments:
- Surgery removes as much of the tumor as possible.
- Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill fast-growing cells, including mesothelioma cells.
- Immunotherapy uses natural or man-made substances to help the immune system locate and kill mesothelioma cells faster and more effectively.
- Radiation therapy uses X-rays and other forms of radiation to kill mesothelioma cells.
- TTFields are mild electric fields that interrupt mesothelioma cancer cells’ ability to divide and spread.
Asbestos exposure also causes other forms of lung cancer and asbestosis, in which lung tissue scarring and stiffening leads to breathing difficulties.
Legal Options for Oil Refinery Workers Exposed to Asbestos
Mesothelioma treatments can be expensive. If you or a loved one has mesothelioma from working at Skagit County oil refineries, contact Bergman Oslund Udo Little. Our asbestos lawyers can thoroughly analyze your case to determine the best course of action. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be eligible to file:
- A personal injury lawsuit: If you developed mesothelioma while working at a Skagit County oil refinery, we can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the companies responsible for your asbestos exposure. If your lawsuit is successful, you may receive compensation for non-economic and economic damages. Non-economic damages are subjective losses, such as pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. Economic damages are objective losses, such as medical fees, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. You can also file a personal injury lawsuit if a loved one worked at a Skagit County oil refinery and indirectly exposed you to asbestos through their hair, skin, and clothing.
- A wrongful death lawsuit: You can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the deceased’s employer and asbestos manufacturers if a loved one developed mesothelioma from working at a Skagit County oil refinery and died from their illness. A successful wrongful death lawsuit compensates for the deceased’s lost wages, burial and funeral costs, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. You can also file a wrongful death lawsuit if the deceased was a family member of a Skagit County oil refinery worker and indirectly exposed to asbestos through the worker’s clothing.
- An asbestos trust fund claim: Asbestos trust funds were created by bankrupt negligent asbestos companies for current and future claims. Asbestos trust fund claims usually settle faster than personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
Bergman Oslund Udo Little has fought for asbestos victims since 1995. After decades of investigating asbestos cases, including Skagit County oil refineries, we have created an extensive database on asbestos-containing oil refiners, military bases, and shipyards in Washington state.
Contact a Bergman Oslund Udo Little asbestos attorney for a free mesothelioma case review. We have offices in Seattle and Portland, Oregon.