Most of us don’t think twice about who to thank when our light switches power up our favorite lamps or when we feel warm in the winter or cool in summers. Though we pay our utility bill each month and sometimes cringe at the amount on the “due” line, we rarely consider just what it takes to make life so convenient for the average American.
Indeed, power companies all over the United States employ large forces of workers who literally keep the lights on in America. This, of course, has been the case for decades. Many individuals have long made their livings working for power companies and, in many cases, the work is quite difficult.
Appalachian Electric Power Company started hiring local employees when it was founded in 1926. (Technically, it was founded when American Electric Power purchased Appalachian Power Company, already established, forming a new utility.) Currently, the company serves about a million customers in Southern West Virginia, the southwestern portion of Virginia, and Tennessee. It’s headquartered in Charleston, West Virginia, an area teeming with industry. Appalachian Power currently employs more than 3,300 workers.
Appalachian Electric Power Company has always been a good source of employment for those who live in the Charleston area and beyond. Power plant jobs pay pretty well and established unions help protect workers from any unfair practices and take steps necessary to keep employees safe. OSHA laws help with safety as well and, these days, most Appalachian Power workers can be sure that, given adherence to rules, they should be safe on the job. But that wasn’t always the case.
Power plant works who were employed at Appalachian Electric Power Company and other similar facilities from approximately the 1940s until the late 1970s often found themselves confronted with asbestos or materials that contained this toxic mineral. Pipe and wire insulation, boilers, gaskets, valves, and many more items found both onsite and off contained asbestos fibers. Workers found themselves cutting through these materials, ripping them apart, or otherwise handling them on a regular basis.
As a result, they inhaled tiny, sharp asbestos fibers, which can lodge in the lung area and cause asbestosis or – worse yet – mesothelioma cancer.
Mesothelioma is an unusual disease. Except in the rarest of cases, it remains latent for up to three, four, or even five decades, often appearing when the exposed individual has reached his or her later years. Many power plant workers diagnosed with mesothelioma may not even remember working with the material but, with some research, one can usually find a connection.
Mesothelioma lawyers specialize in finding that needed connection, and a West Virginia-area mesothelioma attorney is the right person to hire if you’re looking for that association between Appalachian Power Company and your asbestos-caused cancer. Hiring a local attorney rather than a large national firm provides you with individuals you are truly familiar with cases like yours and, in many instances, that local law firm has already defended individuals from your place of employment.
If you or a loved one has been sickened due to former employment at Appalachian Electric Power Company, spend some time researching your options for compensation. Consult a LOCAL attorney to learn how you can ease the burden of medical bills and provide for your family after you’re gone.