Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Sandy Fazili, Esq.
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FPL Sanford Power Plant Mesothelioma Lawsuit Overview

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and a known carcinogen. It was used extensively from the 1940s through the 1970s in insulation and other fireproof materials. As a result, asbestos is a major concern at power plants like FPL Sanford Power Plant. Asbestos can often be found in pipes, boilers, pumps, and other machinery, as well as in building materials and clothing. Those who work at these power plants are then at risk of asbestos exposure and serious cancers like mesothelioma. Long-term exposure increases this risk. 

Unfortunately, decades of asbestos use have exposed millions of Americans. While there are some cleanup efforts and regulations now in place, asbestos is still in many buildings, continuing to put workers and their families at risk. This includes those who have worked at FPL Sanford Power Plant. If you were exposed to asbestos and have developed a related illness, you could be eligible to file a workplace injury lawsuit. You may also be able to file if you’ve lost a loved one to an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma.

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About the FPL Sanford Power Plant in Debary, FL

FPL Sanford Power Plant, also known as Sanford Power Station, was built in 1927 and commissioned in 1969. It’s located in DeBary, Florida, just north of St. Johns River and west of U.S. Highway 17-92. 

The Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power plant has a total output of 2,378 megawatts (MW) and is operated by Florida Power & Light Company (parent company: Next Era Energy, Inc.) with fuel procurement from Florida Gas Transmission. The plant has multiple steam turbines, gas turbines, and electric generators from GE Power, as well as steam boilers from Amec Foster Wheeler.

Asbestos Exposure at FPL Sanford Power Plant

While asbestos has been largely discontinued since the 1970s, it’s still found in outdated equipment, building materials, and other items including those at FPL Sanford Power Plant. As these products age, they’re more likely to expose or release harmful asbestos fibers. Plant workers have increased rates of asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma and asbestosis, because of exposure to these asbestos-containing items. 

FPL Sanford Power Plant was built and in operation when asbestos was prevalent. Awareness about the dangers of asbestos became well-known in the 1930s but regulations and appropriate warnings weren’t put in place until the 1970s. So for decades, workers and families at factories like Sanford Power Plant risked exposure as they handled, repaired, and worked with asbestos-containing items.  

Asbestos-Containing Material and Equipment at FPL Sanford Power Plant

Asbestos was used in industrial equipment because it offered durability, heat resistance, and insulation. Its ability to hold up in high-pressure, high-temperature conditions made it popular in industrial settings, including at Sanford Power Plant. Power plant items that often contain asbestos include: 

  • Acoustical plaster
  • Arc chutes 
  • Boilers 
  • Cement
  • Firebricks
  • Fireproof blankets
  • Fireproof clothing and protective gear (aprons, coats, gloves, masks, pants, shoe covers)
  • Gaskets
  • Insulation
  • Joint compounds
  • Lagging
  • Mastic
  • Paneling
  • Pipes 
  • Pumps
  • Rope
  • Turbines

Exposure to these asbestos-containing products increases the risk of mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Anyone working in the plant faces the risk, as well as people at home. For example, workers often carry home dust and debris on their clothing, exposing other members of their household.

FPL Sanford Employees Most at Risk of Asbestos Exposure

Some types of power plant workers face a higher risk of asbestos exposure because of their direct handling of asbestos-containing products and long-term, frequent exposure. Workers at FPL Sanford Power Plant who may be more at risk include: 

  • Boilermakers: Installation and repairs of asbestos-containing gaskets, seals, insulation, and other boiler components 
  • Electricians: Drilling, installing, and handling cable wraps, wire insulation, electrical panels, generators, heating units, and other electrical items 
  • Insulators: Cutting, handling, installing, and removing insulation in various pieces of machinery, operating equipment, and structural components. 
  • Laborers: Daily use of asbestos products and exposure to asbestos products within their immediate working environment 
  • Maintenance workers: Repair and removal of old or damaged asbestos-containing items 
  • Millwrights: Installation and repairs of heat-producing equipment with asbestos insulation, gaskets, valves, and other components 
  • Operators and engineers: Use and repair of asbestos-containing machinery
  • Pipefitters: Cutting, installing, and removing insulation during pipe and boiler installation and repairs
  • Welders: Welding and handling of metal equipment containing asbestos insulation and parts 

Individuals who handle asbestos materials daily for long periods face the highest risk of exposure. Higher quantities and longer durations equate to an increased risk of mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Infographic lists the materials and equipment at the FPL Sanford Power Plant that contain asbestos and lists the employees at the highest risk of exposure.

Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits You Can File

There are two types of mesothelioma lawsuits you may be able to file as a result of asbestos exposure from FPL Sanford Power Plant: 

  1. Personal injury lawsuit: You were exposed to asbestos and developed a related injury or illness. Now, you are seeking compensation that can help with lost wages, medical bills, treatment costs, and other related expenses. 
  2. Wrongful death lawsuit: A family member died from an illness related to asbestos exposure. Now, you are seeking compensation to help with lost household income, outstanding medical bills, and end-of-life support. 

Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive illness, so some cases are still in progress when the claimant dies. In those scenarios, compensation may go to family members or the individual’s estate. 

Keep in mind: There are different types of asbestos litigation including personal lawsuits, class action lawsuits, and multidistrict litigation (MDL). Personal lawsuits allow claimants to receive personalized representation with the potential for higher payouts. Class actions and MDLs, on the other hand, are often less favorable for asbestos cases. 

Eligibility for Mesothelioma Compensation for Employees

To file an asbestos lawsuit, individuals must meet the following eligibility requirements: 

For personal injury lawsuits: 

  • You must have been exposed to asbestos from FPL Sanford and developed a related illness. 
  • You will need documented proof of your exposure and diagnosis. 
  • You must file within the state’s personal injury statute of limitations. 

For wrongful death lawsuits: 

  • You must have a family member who was exposed to asbestos from FPL Sanford and died from a related illness. 
  • You will need documented proof of their exposure and asbestos illness that led to their death. 
  • You must file within the state’s wrongful death statute of limitations. 

Seek counsel from an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At King Law, we can review the details of your case, confirm your eligibility, and help you understand filing deadlines so you don’t miss your opportunity for compensation. 

Required Evidence to Support FPL Sanford Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Evidence is crucial to establishing a strong mesothelioma case and improving your chances of compensation. Examples of evidence that could support your FPL Sanford asbestos claim include: 

  • Proof of asbestos exposure 
  • Details of how long you were exposed and how often 
  • Employment history
  • Coworker testimonies
  • Proof of your asbestos-related diagnosis 
  • Supporting medical records
  • Details of your prognosis and treatments 
  • Financial records showing lost wages, medical expenses, and other related damages 

An asbestos attorney can ensure you have everything you need to build a successful case. We can assist you with pinpointing the source of your asbestos exposure and establishing the party you deem responsible for your exposure or a loved one’s toxic exposure. Reach out as soon as possible to ensure you file within your state’s deadlines.

Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma Claims for FPL Sanford Workers

Statutes of limitations are deadlines that state when an individual must file a legal claim. These deadlines vary by state and the type of lawsuit, so they can be different for wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits. Florida’s statutes of limitations are: 

  • Personal injury: 4 years from the date of a mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diagnosis
  • Wrongful death: 2 years from the date a loved one died from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related diagnosis

These timelines apply to the date of diagnosis or date of death, regardless of when you or a loved one were exposed. If you wait too long to file, you could limit your compensation options. 

Keep in mind: There are unique deadlines for those who are filing asbestos trust fund claims or VA claims. Contact an attorney to determine which option is best for you and your unique circumstances.

Average Settlements for Mesothelioma Lawsuit Cases in Florida

Mesothelioma and asbestos settlement amounts will vary based on the case. However, average payouts are around $1 million-$1.4 million and are generally non-taxable. Several factors can influence settlement amounts, including duration and extent of asbestos exposure, type and severity of diagnosis, and the number of responsible parties. 

Your attorney may advise toward a settlement and can negotiate on your behalf. However, they may suggest you go to trial where unsuccessful cases run the risk of earning no compensation. Verdicts in the claimant’s favor could award between $5 million and $11.4 million, again depending on the specifics of the case. 

With both settlements and verdicts, claimants hold parties responsible for their asbestos exposure and seek compensation for pain, suffering, lost wages, medical costs, and other damages associated with their diagnosis.

How to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit for FPL Sanford Employees

FPL Sanford employees interested in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit can consider the following steps:

  1. Confirm you meet the eligibility requirements of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit (proof of exposure and a related diagnosis or death). 
  2. Contact an experienced asbestos attorney to review your case and help you understand your options. 
  3. Gather all supporting evidence that details your exposure, related diagnosis, and resulting financial damages. Or, gather evidence of your loved one’s exposure, the asbestos diagnosis that led to their death, and resulting financial damages. 
  4. Work with your attorney to determine if you will pursue a settlement or trial verdict. 
  5. Ideally, you will reach a favorable settlement or will get a verdict in your favor, granting you compensation from the responsible party. 

At King Law, we represent individuals from across the country and are dedicated to advocating for the compensation you deserve. We will guide you through the entire process and do what’s needed to build the strongest case possible.

Contact an FPL Sanford Mesothelioma Lawyer Today

Specialized mesothelioma attorneys can help you gather the appropriate evidence, build a strong case, and fight for the compensation you deserve. At King Law, our attorneys have experience with toxic exposure litigation and can provide the expertise needed to navigate complex asbestos claims. Reach out as soon as possible to begin the process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For additional information regarding FPL Sanford Power Plant, asbestos exposure, and mesothelioma, check out answers to these frequently asked questions.

What is the FPL Sanford Power Plant mesothelioma lawsuit about?
Individuals who were exposed to asbestos at FPL Sanford Power Plant and who developed mesothelioma may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Loved ones can also file if they’ve lost family members to mesothelioma from wrongful exposure.
How was asbestos used at the FPL Sanford Power Plant?
Asbestos was used throughout power plants from the 1940s through the 1970s. It was used in pipes, boilers, turbines, building materials, and other components to provide fireproofing and durability.
What are the health risks associated with asbestos exposure at the plant?
Exposure to asbestos-containing products at FPL Sanford can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and other serious illnesses that can result in death.
What changes in regulations have been implemented regarding asbestos at FPL Sanford power plant?
Asbestos regulations were put in place in the 1970s and the mineral was largely discontinued. However, legacy uses of asbestos are still present in old buildings, including power plants like FPL Sanford. Furthermore, as asbestos-containing materials age, they pose a higher risk of releasing or exposing asbestos fibers.
What asbestos-containing materials and equipment were used at FPL Sanford Power Plant?
Asbestos-containing materials found at power plants like FPL Sanford include boilers, turbines, pipes, fireproof clothing and protective gear, building materials, insulation, machinery components, and more.
Who are the FPL Sanford employees most at risk for asbestos exposure?
FPL Sanford employees with the highest risk of exposure are those who frequently handled or used asbestos-containing products. This can include boilermakers, electricians, insulators, general laborers, maintenance workers, millwrights, operators, engineers, pipefitters, and welders.
What types of mesothelioma lawsuits can FPL Sanford employees file?
FPL Sanford employees may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit. Personal injury is if you were exposed and developed a related illness. Wrongful death is if you have a family member who passed away from exposure and a related illness.
What are the requirements for FPL Sanford employees to be eligible for mesothelioma compensation?
To file an FPL Sanford lawsuit, individuals must have proof of their asbestos exposure at the plant as well as a related diagnosis, such as mesothelioma. There are also state-specific deadlines by which claimants must file.
What are the statutes of limitations on mesothelioma claims for FPL Sanford workers?
Claimants must file personal injury lawsuits within four years of their mesothelioma diagnosis. Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years of a mesothelioma death. These deadlines are specific to the state of Florida.
What are the average settlements for mesothelioma lawsuit cases in Florida?
Florida mesothelioma settlements can pay out at around $1 million to $1.4 million. However, actual amounts vary based on factors like disease severity, duration of exposure, and how many companies were involved with the exposure.
What is the process for FPL Sanford employees to file a mesothelioma lawsuit?
FPL Sanford employees should consult with an experienced attorney, gather evidence regarding their exposure and diagnosis, and follow their attorney’s guidance for filing and negotiating a claim.