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Month: February 2014


Court Views Video Deposition of Mesothelioma Victim

Illinois – Madison County jurors heard the testimony of a malignant mesothelioma victim on Friday, which was a video that had been recorded some months prior to his death.

A court trial is ongoing in the court of Associate Judge Hon. Stephen Stobbs in a lawsuit filed by Mr. Tom King. King, a Tennessee resident, had served in the United States Navy between 1959 and 1969. He died from malignant mesothelioma on 23rd May, 2013 when he was 71 years old. Prior to his tragic death, his disposition was recorded by attorneys on 27th and 28th February, 2013.

Brothers Brian King and Tom King Jr. are moving ahead the legal fight now on behalf of their deceased father.

Crane Company, the firm that supplied the United States Navy with mechanical valves and gaskets; and John Crane Co, the company which allegedly designed and manufactured mechanical seals; are the only remaining defendants at the trial. The original lawsuit had named 119 companies as defendants. However, other companies settled the issue out of court.

King was serving the Navy as a machinist from 1959 until 1962 and then from 1965 until 1969, according to the suit. During his employment, he served on the USS Hollister, USS Tallahatchie County and USS Forrestal, the suit states.

King started his career as a Rank E3 fireman on the USS Forrestal and then became a machinist. His career with the United States Navy was ended in year 1969. According to the suit, he worked mainly in the engine rooms of the ship, but worked in other areas of the vessel as well whenever necessary, the suit states.

During his job, he was exposed to high levels of asbestos fibers, the claimants say. As a result of this asbestos exposure, King Sr. developed malignant mesothelioma, a fatal tumor of the mesothelial cells. After fighting the disease for quite a few months, he finally died in 2013 February because mesothelioma is an incurable cancer.

The suit claimed that the defendant companies were legally responsible for the death of King Sr. The defendant companies failed to warn him regarding the consequences of continuous exposure to asbestos products, according to the suit. The suit also states that the defendants were aware of the hazards of asbestos exposure, but they failed to take any measures to protect the deceased from being exposed to their dangerous products which contained a cancer-causing mineral.


Asbestos Exposure Results in Lung Cancer and Death

A family from Jefferson County has filed a lawsuit against a company that allegedly exposed their deceased patriarch to toxic asbestos fibers.

Virginia Furlong, the wife of the deceased William R Furlong; and Helen F Moity, the daughter; have filed a lawsuit against EI Dupont De Nemours & Company on 14th February in Jefferson County Dist. Court.

The plaintiffs allege that Dupont intentionally exposed William R Furlong to dangerous, cancer-causing, dusts containing asbestos while he was working with the defendant’s work facility located in Beaumont, Texas.

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Furlong developed malignant mesothelioma and died from the disease in year 2012. Furlong’s widow and his daughter want Dupont to be held accountable for the death of William R Furlong.

The family is seeking at least $100000 in compensatory damages in addition to costs.

Darren Brown, an attorney with law firm Provost & Umphrey will represent the plaintiffs.

In another issue, a Pennsylvania (PA) resident has filed a lawsuit against his previous employers, citing occupational asbestos exposure.

The lawsuit was filed by Milton Schuster Sr. in the Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. The lawsuit names the following companies as defendants: CBS Corp; Crane Co; Foster-Wheeler Corp; General Electric Co; General Electric Co Switchgear Dept; General Electric Capital Corp; General Electric Capital Corp; Goulds Pumps Incorporated; Honeywell Intl (also called Allied Signal); John Crane Co; Ingersoll-Rand Co; Houdaille Incorporated; John Crane Incorporated; Owens Illinois Incorporated; Warren Pumps Incorporated; and Union Carbide Corp.

According to Schuster, he was regularly exposed to toxic fibers of asbestos while working around the products designed, manufactured, marketed, distributed, sold, or used by the defendant companies between 1954 and 1985. According to the suit, Schuster had been working as a machinist.

Schuster was diagnosed by his doctors with asbestos-related lung cancer on 12th December, 2013, according to the complaint. The plaintiff says his disease is a direct result of his exposure to various asbestos-containing products. He says the defendant companies are legally responsible for his present devastating condition. According to Schuster, he did not know that exposure to asbestos products could result in diseases such as cancer. His employers never warned him either, the lawsuit states. Schuster claims that the defendants failed to protect him and other workers from breathing in the carcinogenic fibers of asbestos.

Pennsylvania attorneys Melanie Garner and Michael Leh are representing Schuster.


AG Sues Former Paper Plant Owner over Asbestos Violations

The AG’s Office has filed a suit against Mr. David Padellaro for alleged breaches of the state hazardous materials and asbestos regulations. Padellaro’s company Merrimack St. Redevelopment Authority also is a defendant in this case. The Lawrence-based company is no longer working.

The court has issued a provisional restraining order which prohibits Padellaro from carrying out additional work at the property, if it is not essential for the legal demolition of hazardous buildings which have been destroyed by fires. The Lawrence City has issued orders of demolition for a number of structures at the worksite.

The order halts every salvage and demolition jobs at the worksite, with the exemption of a permitted plan from the Massachusetts State Department of Environmental Protection to complete the demolition project at the buildings damaged by fire, accordingly with asbestos, hazardous materials, and waste cleanup laws, as the Lawrence City ordered.

In year 2010, Padellaro took over the S. Canal St. property situated along Merrimack River site. That property contained a number of structurally unsafe and asbestos-containing structures which have been continuously subject to vandalism and fire, a number of which are now in a risk of possible collapse. This site has been subject to a number of oil spills and releases of hazardous materials as well.

In spite of the issuance of 2 MassDEP administrative orders, Padellaro has kept on metal salvaging works over the past few months without implementing the legally-mandatory safety measures such as wetting the areas of the structure for preventing the emission of asbestos fibers, monitoring air at the time of such operations, adequately dispose of the asbestos debris at the worksite, etc.

According to the suit, Padellaro has allowed to store solid waste illegally at the site. The waste includes concrete, metal, brick and other waste. Additionally, he failed to give the MassDEP the required notice of metal salvaging as well as demolition activities on a number of occasions over the last 3 years, the suit states.

Padellaro also continuously failed to implement protective measures against asbestos emission, such as sealing off work area for preventing exposure to asbestos fibres because of his activities. So far, the MassDEP has incurred in excess of $86000 in costs (for contract and supervision) at the property.

The lawsuit is asking for civil fines, in addition to the costs incurred for the containment, assessment, and cleaning up of dangerous materials at the worksite.


Essex Contractor Fined for Asbestos Violations

Worcester, MA – A demolition firm has been issued a $125000 fine for allegedly mishandling asbestos material at the time of a renovation project conducted at the Crompton & Knowles building located at 95 Grant St.

According to the office of the Attorney General Martha Coakley, contractor McConnell Enterprises, of Braintree, Essex, uncovered piping containing asbestos insulation while demolishing the building in year 2011, which was then left hanging 3 stories above the ground. As a result, workers and other individuals in the site were put at the risk of being exposed to the hazardous fibers of asbestos for a long time period.

McConnell – a licensed asbestos abatement contractor – removed the pipes and other materials containing asbestos ultimately from the structure on Grand St., the office said. Additionally, he failed to handle as well as store the dangerous material properly, left it in unlabeled black polythene bags in an adjacent building where people visit regularly, according to the AG’s office.

The suit, which was filed in the Suffolk County Superior Court, also states that McConnell did not follow required notification procedures and thus prevented the MassDEP (MA Department of Environmental Protection Agency) from carrying out proper oversight of the asbestos abatement activities.

For securing payment under the company’s demolition agreement with the Worcester City, according to the complaint, McConnell fallaciously certified that the company abided by the applicable regulations and laws, breaching the state False Claims Act (FCA). The suit also cites a number of breaches of the air pollution prevention statute and asbestos regulations of the commonwealth. Additionally, the contractor violated the commonwealth’s solid waste management regulations and statute, the complaint states.

Under the resolution, McConnell has to pay civil penalties of $82500 to the Massachusetts state, in addition to civil fines of $42500 if the company fails to abide by the waste rules over the coming 18 months.

McConnell officials said they would not comment on the issue.

Licensed asbestos abatement contractors are well aware of the handling, removal, storage and packaging requirements which should be followed strictly while dealing with materials containing asbestos and they know about the requirement of providing notification to the DEP prior to the commencement of work, said Kenneth Kimmell, the DEP Commissioner. He said that asbestos is a known human carcinogen and, therefore, abiding by the regulations is vital in order to protect the environment, public and workers.


Ohio EPA Cites Biomass for Asbestos Violations

Ironton, Ohio – Biomass, a company located at South Point, has recently been cited for its shoddy asbestos handling at a building it owns. The Ohio State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could issue the firm a fine of approximately US$25000 per day.

In the mean time, county officials have made a foreclosure action filing against Biomass, asking for in excess of $40000 in back taxes it owes.

In a Friday order, the agency ordered the proprietors of the former S. Point Ethanol factory not to tear down any more structures at the worksite, to hire an authorized asbestos removal contractor for removing the asbestos discovered at the site, and to dispose it off at an authorized landfill on or before 1st June.

Brenda Neville, an attorney from Chesapeake, has been appointed as an asst. Lawrence County prosecutor mainly for handling unpaid taxes, said Brigham Anderson, the prosecuting attorney. Neville has formerly served as a special prosecutor, mainly in criminal issues, whenever there had been a conflict. That capacity has been served by her for the last 17 years.

Neville began working on 1st January. Her 1st lawsuits involved one foreclosure action filed against Biomass (S. Point Biomass Generating). Former S. Point Ethanol property was owned by the company approximately 12 years ago.

This is not the 1st time that Biomass had to be asked to pay taxes, says County Treasurer Mr. Stephen D Burcham. Biomass owes back taxes of $40000 or more for years 2011 and 12, court filings indicate.

Anderson said on Tuesday that they were taking a far more aggressive role for collecting back taxes. He said Brenda is a very good lawyer and that her only responsibility would be the tax collection and enforcement. Anderson said Brenda has served as special prosecutor earlier for many years.

During the inspections carried out last fall, the Ohio EPA found that the company was not handling asbestos-containing materials properly. They found that the company was dumping potentially carcinogenic asbestos materials illegally in an open container. A number of individuals, such as S. Point Mayor Mr. Ron West, had reported to EPA regarding the illegal asbestos handling of Biomass.

Asbestos is strictly regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because the material is a known human carcinogen. Asbestos can cause cancer if its tiny fibres are breathed in. Malignant mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, is incurable.


Woman Develops Malignant Mesothelioma due to Secondhand Asbestos Exposure

Chicago, Illinois – A woman who alleges that she developed malignant mesothelioma through 1st and 2nd hand asbestos exposure to lethal asbestos fibers is suing nearly 40 defendant corporations in a recently filed lawsuit.

The suit was filed by Anne Karasek in the Circuit Court of Cook County, alleging that she had been exposed to deadly asbestos dust and fibers all through her employment and also due to her contact with the hairs and clothing of her 1st and 2nd husbands.

According to the suit, Karasek had been working as an office staff between 1943 and 1985. He was regularly exposed to toxic asbestos fibres through several non-occupational projects like home remodeling and automotive repairs.

Karasek also states that she had been exposed to the cancer-causing fibers from the overalls of her first spouse Mr. Ernest Kamin and second spouse Mr. Walter Karasek. Kamin was working as a maintenance overseer between 1943 and 1955 whereas Walter Karasek was a maintenance mechanic between 1977 and 1985, according to the complaint.

Both the husbands, the lawsuit states, worked with and around products manufactured, marketed, distributed, sold, installed or used by the defendant companies. Some companies named in this lawsuit as defendants are: A W Chesterton Company; Crane Company; and CBS Corporation.

Karasek states that she came to know that she had developed malignant mesothelioma on 13th June, 2013. She says her asbestos exposure was definitely foreseeable and preventable. The defendant companies could or should’ve expected the plaintiff’s asbestos exposure, the suit claims.

Karasek argues that the defendant companies failed to practice ordinary caution and care for her safety. The companies failed to warn both her husbands regarding the hazardous nature of their products and to inform them that even secondhand exposure to asbestos fibers could be fatal.

Because of her regular and long term exposure to asbestos fibers, the suit says, Karasek developed malignant mesothelioma. The cancer caused her to suffer from immense physical pain and high degree of mental anguish, the suit states. Due to her condition, Karasek was prevented from enjoying her regular life activities, the complaint states. Karasek claims that she was forced to spend and became liable for a substantial amount of money for medical and hospital services.

The defendant companies were aware of the dangers of their products, but conspired to withhold the results of studies and conceal them from the employees, the suit states.

Karasek is seeking a judgement in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limit.


Deceased Material Handler’s Family Files Asbestos Lawsuit

The family of a retired material handler has filed a lawsuit over allegations that repeated exposure to deadly asbestos dust and fibers caused him to develop malignant mesothelioma, which ultimately resulted in his tragic death.

Margaret Ann, Carrie McNamara, Ceann McNamara, and Christy McNamara have filed a lawsuit on 24th January in the Circuit Court of Cook County against ICO Polymers Incorporated and ICO Polymers N. America Incorporated. The plaintiffs are suing the companies individually as well as as the successors-in-interest to Centro In., John Crane Incorporated and Wedco Technology Incorporated. Margaret A McNamara is serving as the personal rep. of Donald R McNamara’s Estate.

According to the suit, Donald was regularly exposed to numerous products containing cancer-causing asbestos between 1972 and 1973. The exposure took place while he was working in different capacities such as a material hander. The defendant companies were negligent in exposing their workers such as Donald to hazardous products without providing them with any sort of protective equipment, the plaintiffs say. According to the plaintiffs, the companies were aware of the fact that asbestos is a material that can cause deadly injuries including cancer, but they never warned Donald and other workers about such hazards. Neither Donald nor his co-workers knew that the products with or around which they were working were potentially dangerous, McNamaras claim. Donald’s family argues that the defendants, despite their knowledge about the risks involved in working with and close to asbestos products, allowed the employees to work around their dangerous products and negligently failed to warn Donald and other workers.

As a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos, Donald developed malignant mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of the protective membrane that surrounds the lung, heart and abdominal cavity. The cancer ultimately killed him on 19th July, 2012, according to the lawsuit. At present, there is no effective treatment for mesothelioma. The victims generally die within a few months following the diagnosis. Donald’s family says the defendant companies are legally responsible for his death. Experts say mesothelioma could be effectively treated if the cancer is detected in its preliminary stage. Unfortunately, mesothelioma starts showing its symptoms only at its advanced stages. Therefore, this cancer is literally incurable.

Donald’s family members are seeking damages of more than the minimum jurisdictional limit. William Fahey, an attorney with law firm Cooney and Conway, will represent the plaintiffs.


Two More Asbestos Lawsuits Filed in Cook County Circuit Court

Chicago, IL – Rocky Saadeh, an Illinois resident, is suing a number of companies as the special administratrix of deceased Hosni Saadeh’s estate. MS. Saadeh has filed a lawsuit on 18th November in the Circuit Court of Cook County. More than 30 companies have been named in the suit as defendants.

According to the suit, Hosni Saadeh developed deadly lung cancer because of his constant exposure to hazardous asbestos fibres and dust all through his employment in different capacities. Hosni Saadeh worked as a maintenance mechanic, a machinist, and several other capacities between 1964 and 1985, the suit indicates.

According to the plaintiff, Hosni Saadeh died from asbestos-related lung cancer in 2012 March because of his ingesting, breathing in, or absorbing microscopic asbestos fibres releasing from various products sold or produced by the companies named as defendants in Rocky Saadeh’s lawsuit.

Ms. Saadeh is asking for compensatory damages of at least $50000. Chicago attorney Timothy Martin will represent her in the legal fight.

In another case, a retired crane operator has filed a suit alleging that repeated asbestos exposure during his job caused him to develop malignant mesothelioma, a rare but terminal cancer of the mesothelium.

James C Perry is suing several companies including A W Chesterton in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois. Perry filed her asbestos lawsuit on 30th October, 2012 seeking damages from the defendant companies.

According to the complaint, Perry worked in different capacities, such as crane operator, between 1953 and 1995. The plaintiff says during this period he was continuously exposed to a number of products containing asbestos. These products were made, marketed, supplied, distributed or used by the defendant companies, Perry says.

Perry argues that the defendant companies were negligent in exposing him to a known cancer-causing mineral. The companies definitely knew or should’ve known that asbestos is a dangerous mineral that can cause deadly injuries such as cancer, Perry claims. On 28th October, Perry came to know that he had developed malignant mesothelioma because of his regular exposure to the defendants’ asbestos products, according to the suit. Mesothelioma is an incurable disease. It kills the victims typically within a year after the diagnosis, experts say.

James C Perry is asking for an unspecified amount in damages. David Barrett, an attorney with law firm ‘Cooney and Conway,’ will represent him in his legal fight for justice.