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Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Erin and Will have been handling mesothelioma cases for almost two decades each. Mesothelioma victims are entitled to compensation for their injuries. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer caused only by asbestos exposure.  Mesothelioma can be found in the pleura, which is a thin lining around the lung (pleural mesothelioma), the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), and even in the heart (pericardial mesothelioma). If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to act quickly to protect your legal rights to compensation.

I’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, what are my rights?

Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, Asbestosis

Unfortunately, there is an epidemic of asbestos-related disease in the Tidewater area and in other parts of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The attorneys at Harty Jewell, PLLC, Will Harty and Erin Jewell, have represented clients from Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Smithfield, Gloucester, Williamsburg, Richmond, Mechanicsville, Midlothian, Henrico, as well as Roanoke, Lexington, Northern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. Appointments are available by phone, videoconferencing, and in-person, at a location that is convenient for our clients.


We evaluate each case on its individual merits, giving you personal attention, and the time you need to answer each and every question you may have about the legal process. We consider each and every avenue of potential compensation that may be available to you and your family, which may include:


  • a lawsuit filed against manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos-containing products that the evidence establishes you or your loved one worked with or around;

  • claims filed against companies who have established Section 524 G asbestos trusts which have been established compensate asbestos victims who cannot be named in a lawsuit;

  • whether a workers’ compensation claim can be filed against a former employer; and

  • whether a claim can be made against the Veteran’s Administration for Veterans - and our VA accredited attorney, Erin E. Jewell, will prepare your claim if so.


Once we evaluate your case, you will continue to receive periodic updates from our firm about the status of your case, what next steps are, and what to expect. At Harty Jewell, we understand the stress, anxiety and financial burden you and your family are facing. We can help.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral that was mined and utilized in a variety of products. There are six main types of asbestos, which include chrysotile, actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, crocidolite, and tremolite. In the United States, open-pit mining was once the main way to remove asbestos from the ground. Once mined, asbestos manufacturers processed the asbestos to create asbestos-containing products and materials. Because of its heat, chemical resistance, fireproofing and strength, asbestos was used in over 3,000 applications by 1958. 

Asbestos Fibers

Asbestos was commonly used in products utilized in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry, as well as in construction, automotive applications, manufacturing, power plants, refineries, paper mills and railroads. This means that workers at shipyards, both in new ship construction, ship repair and ship overhaul, as well as those who constructed and maintained equipment at manufacturing plants, power plants, refiners, paper mills, railroads, and other industrial sites are at risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and in some instances, other cancers.

What trades are most at risk from asbestos, and Who is most at risk for mesothelioma?

  • pipefitters 

  • machinists

  • electricians

  • pipecoverers

  • insulators

  • boiler tenders

  • boilermakers

  • welders

  • riggers

  • iron workers

  • lathers

  • millwrights

In addition to their own hands-work onboard the ships they served on, Navy sailors were often in closed compartments, standing watch, performing inspections or other duties while shipyard workers performed repairs to equipment onboard the ships they served on. Even workers who did not personally handle, cut or abrade asbestos-containing products may be at risk for mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases if they worked in environments where asbestos products were routinely used, cut, handled or abraded and were in close proximity to other workers who did cut, handle or abrade asbestos products.


Family members of workers who worked with or around asbestos-containing products are also at risk for mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases. Many housewives of shipyard workers in Newport News have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Although these women never personally worked with an asbestos-containing product, they were routinely exposed to asbestos fibers and dust by laundering their husband’s work clothing, which were unknowingly laden with asbestos fibers from the husband’s day to day work. Children of pipefitters, machinists, electricians, pipecoverers, insulators, boiler tenders and boilermakers, welders, and other shipyard, power plant, refinery and railroad workers, have also been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to asbestos fibers transported into the family home on the clothing of their father, brother, uncle or grandfather.

Who is at risk for mesothelioma

Many trades worked in environments where asbestos products were commonly being cut and abraded, creating asbestos exposure.  These trades included:

Where was asbestos used in Virginia?

Shipyard asbestos and mesothelioma cases

There are many job sites in Virginia where asbestos-containing products were utilized routinely for decades, including, but not limited to:


  • Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPCO) Power Plants

    • Bremo Bluff Power Station, Bremo Bluff, Virginia

    • Possum Point Power Station, Dumfries, Virginia

    • Surry Nuclear Power Station, Surry, Virginia

    • Chesterfield Power Station, a/k/a Dutch Gap Relay Station, Chesterfield, Virginia

    • North Anna Nuclear Power Plant, Louisa, Virginia

    • Yorktown Power Station, Yorktown, Virginia

    • Reeves Avenue Power Station, Norfolk, Virginia

    • Portsmouth Power Station, Portsmouth, Virginia


  • Yorktown Oil Refinery - also known as the BP/Amoco Oil Refinery, American Oil Company, Giant Industries, Yorktown, Virginia


  • Virginia Paper Mills

    • Union Camp Paper Mill – International Paper, Franklin, Virginia

    • Hoerner Waldorf Corp., f/k/a Albemarle Paper Company – Ethyl Corporation, Richmond, Virginia

    • West Point Paper Mill – Chesapeake Corporation Paper Mill, West Point, Virginia

    • Big Island Paper Mill, Big Island, Virginia

    • Covington Paper Mill, Covington, Virginia


Other Virginia sites:

  • American Tobacco Company, Richmond, Virginia

  • Allied Chemical, Hopewell and Bermuda Hundreds/Chesterfield, Virginia

  • Anheuser Busch, Incorporated and Anheueser Busch Brewery, Williamsburg, Virginia

  • Badische Corporation (a/k/a Dow Chemical-James River and Dow Chemical Co.), Lee Hall, Virginia

  • C&P Telephone (Various sites throughout Virginia)

  • C.E. Thurston Sons, Inc., Norfolk, Newport News, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia

  • Celanese Fiber Company, Narrows, Hopewell and Roanoke, Virginia

  • Continental Can Company, Hopewell, Virginia

  • CSX, C&O Railway, C&O Railroad, Chesapeake Ohio Railway Company (Various sites throughout Virginia)

  • Dan River Mills, Danville, Virginia

  • Dupont Chemical, f/k/a E.I. Dupont Nemours, Spruance Plant- Richmond, Martinsville, and Waynesboro, Virginia

  • Firestone, Firestone Fiber Co., Firestone Synthetic Fibers Company, Hopewell, Virginia

  • Goodyear Tire Rubber Co., Danville, Virginia

  • Hercules Chemical Company, Radford, Hopewell, Franklin, Covington and Roanoke, Virginia

  • Honeywell, Chesterfield and Hopewell, Virginia

  • Langley Air Force Base, Langley, Virginia and NASA Langley AFB, Langley/Hampton, Virginia

  • Lynchburg Foundry Company, Lynchburg, Radford, and Colony, Virginia

  • Noland Company, Newport News, Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia  

  • Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway, f/k/a Norfolk and Western Railroad Company, Norfolk, Radford and Roanoke, Virginia

  • Philip Morris, Richmond and Chester, Virginia

  • Porter Hayden Corp., Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia

  • Planters Peanuts, Planters Division of Standard Brands, Planters Nut and Chocolate Company, Suffolk, Virginia

  • Reynolds Metals Company, Richmond and Bellwood, Virginia

  • Union Bag and Paper Company, Union Camp Corporation, Union Bag Camp Paper Corp., Franklin, Virginia

  • Union Carbide Corporation, Newport News, Virginia

  • United States Gypsum Co., Norfolk, Virginia

  • Western Electric, various sites in Virginia

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