Asbestos Mortality Rates Far Exceed National Average in Eight Texas Counties, Baron & Budd Reports
Environmental Working Group Analysis Shows Alarming Rate of Deaths in Beaumont, Orange and Port Arthur Areas, Dubbed “Asbestos Alley”
DALLAS (Jan. 7, 2015) – Deaths attributed to asbestos-related diseases are alarmingly high in eight East Texas counties, reports the mesothelioma law firm of Baron & Budd. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released an analysis of mortality rates in the Beaumont, Orange and Port Arthur areas, which the EWG dubbed “Asbestos Alley.” According to the EWG, asbestos death rates in portions of the area are more than four times the national average.
The organization reports that in Orange County, the mortality rate is nearly 24 deaths per 100,000 people, and the mortality rate in Sabine County is nearly 23 per 100,000. The national mortality rate is 4.9 per 100,000 and the Texas rate is 3.3 per 100,000.
According to the EWG, these are the asbestos-related mortality rates in the region, known as the “Golden Triangle”:
- Orange – 23.9
- Sabine – 22.7
- Jasper – 16.8
- Trinity – 16.3
- Jefferson – 14.8
- Newton – 13.2
- Hardin – 12.8
- Polk – 11.8
Despite these numbers, not only does asbestos remain legal in the U.S., the EWG reports that approximately 8 million pounds of the deadly material has been imported into U.S. ports since 2006. In addition, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) has sponsored a piece of legislation that would make it far more difficult for asbestos victims to obtain compensation for their medical expenses and other costs associated with their illnesses.
The bill, known as the FACT (Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency) Act, would require plaintiffs in asbestos lawsuits to fill out burdensome, expensive reports. If made into law, the act would not only significantly slow the processing of claims, it would also very likely dissuade many asbestos victims from pursuing legal action. According to the EWG, Koch Industries, Allstate, Nationwide and Honeywell are just some of the major corporations that support the bill, which might be up for a House vote this month.
“We are incredulous that Rep. Farenthold would sponsor such a terrible piece of legislation, especially since he is no doubt aware of the toll asbestos is taking – basically in his own backyard,” said Russell Budd, president and managing shareholder of the mesothelioma law firm of Baron & Budd. “We strongly urge citizens to make their displeasure with the FACT Act known by contacting their State Representatives and Senators.”
About Baron & Budd, P.C.
The law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C., with offices in Dallas, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Austin and Los Angeles, is a nationally recognized law firm with a nearly 40-year history of "Protecting What’s Right" for people, communities and businesses harmed by negligence. Baron & Budd’s size and resources enable the firm to take on large and complex cases. The firm represents individuals and government and business entities in areas as diverse as dangerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices, environmental contamination, the Gulf oil spill, financial fraud, overtime violations, deceptive advertising, automotive defects, trucking accidents, nursing home abuse, and asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.