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Month: December 2013


Asbestos Victim’s Family Sues 3 Companies

Gretna, LA – The son and husband of a woman who died after developing lung cancer, which was allegedly caused by his regular exposure to toxic asbestos fibres, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed by Jude Gattuso and Mark Hennessey against Burmaster Land & Development Company, Asbestos Corp, Southern Talc and Zurich Insurance Co in the twenty fourth Judicial Dist. Court on 27th November.

The plaintiffs say Betty Hennessey developed malignant mesothelioma because of direct exposure to dangerous asbestos-containing groundfill material which was mined as well as milled by Asbestos Corporation, and supplied by Burnmaster in areas close to the Gretna home between 1950 and 1961. According to the plaintiffs, while Betty Hennessey resided in the location, Burnmaster crushed asbestos-containing concrete pipe for making ground fill substance which was utilized in the area drive ways. Additionally, the asbestos dust in the area was spread all through the neighborhood and also into the home, the plaintiffs allege. Gattuso and Hennessey say asbestos exposure was the direct and proximate cause of Betty’s mesothelioma. Betty eventually died from the fatal cancer on 19th May.

The defendants allegedly failed to warn regarding the dangerous features of asbestos and the consequences of being exposed to asbestos dust and fibers. The plaintiffs also accuse the defendant companies of selling unreasonably hazardous materials and strict products liability.

The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified sum in damages for sufferings and physical pain, physical disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, emotional pain and sufferings, loss of enjoyments of life, and loss of benefits.

Roshawn H Donahue, an attorney with New Orleans (LA)-based law firm ‘Martzell and Bickford,’ is representing the plaintiffs.

Hon. Robert Pitre Jr., the judge of the Division ‘G,’ of the twenty-fourth judicial district of the State of Louisiana District Court in Gretna (LA), will preside over the case.

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer starts in the mesothelial cells of human body. Mesothelial cells form a lining (membrane) which covers as well as protects a number of internal body organs. This lining is known as mesothelium. Pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma are the two main types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma starts in pleura, whereas peritoneal mesothelioma begins in peritoneum. All forms of mesothelioma are caused from just one source and that is asbestos. Ingestion or inhalation of microscopic asbestos fibres is the only known reason for this deadly cancer.


Students Back in Calvin Coolidge Elementary after Asbestos Removal

Binghamton, New York – Students of Calvin Coolidge Elementary in Binghamton are back in school after the school was closed by the end of summer following the discovery of asbestos. Monday (2nd December, 2012) was their 1st day back this school year.

Asbestos was found in a crawl space in summer, so pupils were spread across 5 other locations. However, staff members say everybody is delighted to be back in the school.

Mary K Ryan, the principal of Calvin Coolidge Elementary, said it seems like a Christmas morning as the students were highly excited to be back in their school.

According to Ryan some books and some other substances had to be destroyed as they could not be cleaned. She said the district was in the effort of replacing the items.

Asbestos exposure is typically associated with factory employees, construction workers and miners. Many former workers and miners are now suffering from asbestos-related illnesses such as malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis because of their exposure to asbestos fibres that took place several decades back. Asbestos is now a highly restricted and regulated material in the United States. However, it still remains a problem because a significant number of buildings across the nation still contain the dangerous, cancer-causing mineral. Many individuals are getting exposed to the toxic material on a regular basis.

One of the major problems now is the presence of asbestos in many of the schools in the United States. School buildings that were constructed prior to the 1980s used asbestos products extensively for insulation and other purposes because the problems associated with asbestos exposure was not fully known then. Newly constructed buildings do not contain asbestos as the hazards of asbestos exposure is known now and the federal government agencies such as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Health & Safety Association (OSHA) has started regulating the material strictly. But many of the older school buildings still contain asbestos.

Though many of our schools have replaced asbestos with safer alternatives, others still require attention. With funding issues all through several cities and the extremely high cost of authorized asbestos abatement companies specializing in proper removal of asbestos, many cities find it hard to meet all the safety requirements. The EPA has placed several safeguards for ensuring that the school buildings containing asbestos don’t cause any hazard. However, many schools in the nation are just passed by and others have to wait for a long period of time to ultimately get these improvements.


RFPL Dismissed from Asbestos Lawsuit as Claims Preempted by LIA

A United States federal court judge in Philadelphia (PA) has dismissed RFPC (Railroad Friction Products Corporation) from a lawsuit over asbestos exposure, which was filed by the widow of a laborer. The court ruled that the company was correct for asserting that the claims of the plaintiff were preempted by the LIA (Locomotive Inspection Act).

Alice Perry – the plaintiff – argued that the LIA doesn’t preempt her claims as the brake shoe products to which her deceased husband, Mr. George Perry, had been exposed weren’t found on a locomotive.

The woman accuses that her deceased husband had contracted asbestos-linked injuries while removing and installing the brake shoes manufactured by RFPC. The brake shoes were used on different sorts of railcars.

The main issue in this lawsuit, according to United States District Judge Hon. Eduardo Robreno, was if the LIA preempted the state law claims of Perry, particularly when considering the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Kurns vs. RFPC, which the judge said affirmed the wideness of the long-standing principles of field preemption of the Locomotive Inspection Act.

George Perry had installed brake shoes on various locomotives and stripped asbestos-containing insulation from locomotive boilers. Asbestos fibres were disturbed and became airborne during the process and inhalation of these fibers cause Mr. Perry to develop a deadly cancer, Alice Perry claimed.

The plaintiff alleged that the equipment her husband used was defectively designed as it contained dangerous asbestos. She also alleged that the defendant companies failed to warn Mr. Perry of the hazards of exposure to asbestos fibres. Additionally, the defendants failed to provide proper instructions regarding the safe use of the equipment, according to the lawsuit.

Mesothelioma is a deadly tumor of the mesothelium, the narrow membrane (lining) which covers the outer surface of many organs of the human body. If the tumor affects the pleura (the smooth outer lining which covers the lungs), it is known as pleural mesothelioma. And if it affects the peritoneum (the outer lining which covers the abdominal organs), then the cancer is known as peritoneal mesothelioma.

There is only one cause for mesothelioma and that is exposure to or inhalation / ingestion of asbestos fibres. Although one can be exposed to asbestos fibers through different means, occupational exposure to asbestos fibres has been found as the most common reason for contracting malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is always fatal.


Asbestos Lawsuits Name 120 Companies as Defendants

Two more asbestos suits have been added recently to the growing asbestos docket of the circuit court in St. Clair County.

The first suit was filed by John Garrigus on 13th November against 69 companies. Another one was filed by Margie Vail on 15th November which names 51 companies as defendants. She filed the suit on her recently deceased husband’s behalf.

Garrigus is a Collinsville resident, according to the suit. Vail has not specified her residing location in the lawsuit which was filed on behalf of her husband Bobby Vail. Both the plaintiffs are represented by Barry Julian and Rand Gori of Edwardsville (IL) law firm Gori Julian & Associates, PC.

According to the suits, the defendant corporations caused them or their deceased family members to contract lung cancer by exposing them to a number of asbestos-containing products all through their employments.

Garrigus worked in the United States Air Force between 1972 and 1974, the lawsuit states. Additionally, he was exposed to the deadly fibers of asbestos secondarily through the overalls of his father, who had been worked at the Clark Oil Refinery as a laborer, according to the lawsuit.

Bobby Vail was working in the United States Navy between 1948 and 1967. Between 1969 and 1989, he worked with the Navy as a mechanic and maintenance worker, the suit states.

The defendant companies should’ve known regarding the dangerous features of asbestos and the risks involved in dealing with and working close to the material, but did not exercise enough care and caution for the plaintiffs’ safety, according to the suits.

Because of their terminal asbestos-linked ailments, Margie Vail and Garrigus became physically disfigured and disabled, incurred substantial medical expenses, and suffered extreme physical pain, emotional distress and mental anguish, the complaints state. Additionally, they were prevented from going ahead with their normal employment course and subsequently lost significant amounts of money which would’ve accrued to them, the plaintiffs claim.

According to the suit, Bobby Vail passed away on 31st March, the complaint states.

In his ten-count lawsuit, Garrigus is asking for a judgement of in excess of $100000, financial damages of in excess of $150000, punitive plus exemplary damages of in excess of $50000, compensatory damages of in excess of $200000 and any other relief to which he might be entitled.

In her lawsuit, Mrs. Vail is asking for financial damages of in excess of $50000, punitive as well as exemplary damages, a judgement of in excess of $100000, compensatory damages of at least $100000 and any other relief to which she might be entitled.


Former Carpenter Dies from Malignant Mesothelioma

A Midland man who worked for 4 decades as a driving teacher died because of his exposure to toxic asbestos fibres which occurred during his former job in the 1960s.

Harvey B Eggerton was exposed to deadly asbestos dust while he was working for George Stubbings construction firm as a carpenter, a recent inquest was told. Eggerton, a Sutton Rd (Walsall) resident, succumbed to his bronchopneumonia – which he developed because of his malignant mesothelioma – on 23rd November after experiencing a sudden deterioration, according to Robin J Balmain, the coroner for Black Country. Walsall was 64 years old.

Eggerton was treated at Saint Giles Hospice. The support staff at the hospital encouraged him to file a compensation claim. Eggerton filed a suit and succeeded. He won £26,000 in compensation for his industrial injuries, in addition to disability living allowance.

According to Eggerton’s wife, her husband started suffering shortness of breath in 2012. He consulted a doctor and was diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer last February. Mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of the mesothelium, ultimately took his life on 23rd November, 2013.

Coroner Balmain said a post mortem was not necessary as the biopsy itself was a sufficient proof. Balmain said that plenty of evidence was there that Mr. Eggerton died from an industrial illness.

Mesothelioma is the cancer of mesothelial cells. It is a cancer which typically begins in the protective covering of the lungs. This type of mesothelioma is known as pleural mesothelioma. When it begins in the abdomen, it is called peritoneal mesothelioma.

Asbestos exposure is the only cause for mesothelioma and therefore this cancer is indeed preventable. Prevention is extremely important because there is no known cure for this cancer. In most cases, mesothelioma patients die within a year after their diagnosis.

The risk of developing mesothelioma increases simultaneously with the increase in the amount of asbestos exposure. Generally, short term high level exposure and long term trivial exposure both could result in malignant mesothelioma. However, even small exposure for a short duration also can be dangerous at times. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres.

In most cases, first hand (direct) exposure to asbestos is the cause for mesothelioma. However, second hand exposure also is dangerous. Several people have developed this deadly cancer due to their exposure to asbestos fibres through the overalls of any of their family members.