The former Marquette Cement Co. plant in Cowan has been linked to asbestos exposure, and a legal firm is seeking information to get money to compensate cancer victims.

Norris Injury Lawyers, a Birmingham, Alabama, law firm, says that federal courts require asbestos manufacturers to compensate cancer victims.

A press release from the firm says that plant workers employed before 1981 that were diagnosed with cancer should be entitled to special benefits.

The statement lists that lung, esophageal, laryngeal, pharyngeal, stomach, colon and rectal cancer and mesothelioma are frequently caused by asbestos exposure.

Norris says that asbestos-laced products were used for decades at Marquette Cement, and employees and management were not made aware of the asbestos risk. 

Asbestos is a mineral that in its natural state is harmless, the firm says, and that it becomes harmful when it is pulled apart or ground up into flexible fibers.

When inhaled or swallowed, microscopic asbestos fibers may be permanently affixed to body tissue, the firm says, adding over the course of many years, the fibers may cause genetic changes that can lead to cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, it can take from 10 to 40 years or more for asbestos-related cancer forms to appear. 

To compensate cancer victims and the families of deceased cancer victims, federal bankruptcy courts have required asbestos manufacturers to set aside hundreds of millions of dollars in private trusts.

Through the trusts, cancer victims can receive money for damages by filing timely, detailed and accurate claims, the firm says.

Norris Injury Lawyers has announced a specific initiative to assist Marquette Cement employees in recovering money set aside for them in these asbestos trusts.

Cancer victims or the families of deceased victims who worked at the plant before 1981 may call 1-800-478-9578 for a free evaluation of their claim. 

Additional information is available at