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Month: June 2014


Ascension Parish Resident Files Mesothelioma Lawsuit in Orleans Parish

New Orleans, Louisiana – A man from Ascension Parish is suing a number of businesses over allegations that they exposed him regularly to toxic asbestos fibers and thus caused him to contract malignant mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the membrane covering the lung, chest and abdominal cavities. Mesothelioma is always deadly, according to medical experts.

Edward Leblanc has filed a suit against BorgWarner Morse Tec Incorporated, Bourg’s Auto Repairs Incorporated, CSR Ltd., Dana Companies, Genuine Parts Company, Ford Motor Company, Honeywell International Incorporated, MeadWestvaco Corporation, Mid-City Motors Incorporated, Parker-Hannifin Corporation, Precision Brake and Clutch Incorporated, PneumoAbex LLC, Union Carbide and Robinson Brothers Ford Lincoln. The suit was filed in the Orleans Parish Central Dist. Court on 3rd August.

The defendant companies allegedly failed to provide harmless equipment for their employees, failed to warn the petitioner about the hazardous nature of asbestos and consequences of asbestos exposure, failed to properly monitor the air to know the presence of asbestos fibers in the area of work; and failed to ventilate the work area properly.

In his lawsuit, the plaintiff is asking for an unspecified sum in damages for all the related medical costs, all lost revenues, physical pain, sufferings, mental anguish, emotional pain, court costs, attorneys’ fees and any other relief to which he could be entitled.

A New Orleans, Louisiana law firm is representing Edward Leblanc in this case.

Hon. Michael G Bagneris, the Division ‘H’ Judge for the Orleans Parish Civil District Court (Division H) in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, will be presiding over this case.

Malignant mesothelioma is a very rare cancer which occurs in the thin membrane (mesothelium) that lines most of the internal organs. Though it is rare, mesothelioma is aggressive as well as deadly. As of now, there is no known cure for malignant mesothelioma. However, treatments are there to improve the victim’s life quality and extend the survival.

Depending upon the part of the mesothelium affected, mesothelioma can be divided into different types. In most cases, mesothelioma affects the tissue which covers the lungs, which is known as pleural. In this case, it is known as pleural mesothelioma or pleural malignant mesothelioma. At times, mesothelioma affects the abdominal tissue and is called peritoneal mesothelioma. In rare cases, mesothelioma affects tissue covering the heart. Then it is known as pericardial mesothelioma. All these forms of mesothelioma are fatal. Victims generally die within 8 to 12 months after the diagnosis.


Oklahoma Woman Sues Companies over Mesothelioma Death

Illinois – A woman from Oklahoma has filed a lawsuit after the death of her father because of exposure to asbestos fibers.

Nicole Lockett, a Tulsa (OK) resident, is suing 21 defendant companies individually and as the special executor of deceased Randle R Lockett’s estate. The lawsuit was filed on 27th February in the circuit court of St. Clair County.

In her lawsuit, Nicole alleges that the defendant corporations caused Randle – who died recently – to develop mesothelioma by regularly exposing him to a number of products containing hazardous asbestos all through his employment. Randle had worked in the United States military and at different other sites, according to the suit. As part of his duty, Randle had to maintain as well as repair silos, the lawsuit says.

The plaintiff argues that the defendant companies should’ve known of the dangerous effects of exposure to asbestos. However, they negligently failed to exercise proper caution and care for the safety of Randle. Because of his deadly asbestos-related condition, Randle suffered physical disability and disfigurement, the suit claims. Additionally, he incurred substantial medical expenses and suffered enormous physical pain and emotional anguish, according to the lawsuit. The condition also prevented Randle from pursuing his regular course of employment, Nicole Lockett states. Thus he lost large amounts of money which would’ve accrued to him otherwise, the complaint says.

In her complaint, Ms. Lockett is asking for a judgement of in excess of $50000, punitive damages in a sum enough to punish the defendant companies for their wrongdoings, compensatory damages of in excess of $200000. She is also seeking any other relief to which she could perhaps be entitled. A Glen Carbon law firm is representing Nicole Lockett in this case.

Mesothelioma is a fairly rare cancer which occurs in the mesothelium, the thin membrane which covers most of the internal organs. This cancer is aggressive as well as deadly. Though there are several treatments, none of them can fully cure mesothelioma. Treatments are just to relieve certain symptoms and extend the survival. Mesothelioma patients generally die within a year after their diagnosis.

Depending upon the affected body part, mesothelioma can be divided into different types. In most cases, mesothelioma affects the pleura, the membrane which covers the lungs. This type is known as pleural mesothelioma. Other types are often rare. When mesothelioma affects the abdominal tissue, it is called peritoneal mesothelioma.


Louisiana Man Wins $5.95M Asbestos Case

New Roads, Louisiana – A jury in Iberville parish has recently awarded a Louisiana resident $5.95M after a court trail in which 3 companies, including Dow Chemical Company, were proven to be liable for his malignant mesothelioma diagnosis.

Sidney Mabile had filed a lawsuit against Dow Chemical Company, Stewart Seacraft and McDermott Shipyards in the eighteenth Judicial Circuit Court over the deadly asbestos-related cancer he was suffering from, which is called malignant mesothelioma.

The jury decided that Mabile had been exposed to hazardous asbestos fibers during his occupation. He had been working as an electrician with the Plaquemine facility of Dow Chemical – one of the largest petrochemical plants in the state of Louisiana. During the court trial, the attorneys represented the plaintiff revealed the internal documents which disclosed that Dow had carried out a cost-benefit analysis which showed it would be less expensive for the organization to switch its plants over to the systems that didn’t use raw asbestos than the company would for paying eventual compensation to its employees. Mabile had been employed at one of the facilities that utilized raw asbestos as part of its chemical production process even though the toxicity of the material was already known, the suit states.

Linda Lim, the representative of the public & government affairs, said Dow Chemical was responsible for just one-third of the damages. However, Lim said, the company would appeal the verdict. She said the company was highly disappointed with the verdict. According to Lim, there was convincing evidence that Mabile’s mesothelioma wasn’t caused by his job at the facility of Dow, which was demonstrated clearly during the trial. The company is now going to pursue the rights through appellate process and post-trial motions, she said. Lim said they would keep on vigorously defend all the asbestos lawsuits filed against Dow Chemical.

Sidney Mabile was represented by a Baton Rouge (LA) attorney. Dow Chemical also was represented by a Baton-Rouge (LA)-based law firm.

Mabile’s attorney said his client was not the only Dow employee hurt by asbestos exposure. He said numerous other workers also have been suffered similar injuries. The lawyer said hundreds of similar cases might possibly be forthcoming.

Asbestos exposure, especially long-term exposure, is linked to several severe health conditions such as asbestosis and lung cancer. Mesothelioma is a cancer exclusively caused by the inhalation or ingestion of microscopic asbestos particles when they are airborne.


Pennsylvania University Receives $10M Grant for Asbesots Study

The Pennsylvania University has received a grant of $10 million from the NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for studying asbestos and the impact of the mineral on the Ambler suburban community.

Though the asbestos factory of the town closed several decades back, now it is one of the designated superfund sites of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to the unusually high rate of an asbestos-linked cancer known as malignant mesothelioma among the residents.

Trevor M. Penning, the Director of the Centre of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, said it was the nation’s 2nd largest asbestos dump site which covers nearly 35 acres. The tenants of the community have been highly concerned regarding the dangerous asbestos waste for a very long time, he said. Therefore, every project in this grant in fact addresses the concern of the community, Penning said.

The grant is going to fund 6 research projects that are being carried out by different researchers. The researchers include Joseph Testa (Fox Chase Cancer Centre) and Ian Blair (Penn).

One of the projects would study if fungi-infected plants could break down the asbestos mineral form to a comparatively less hazardous form.

Other researchers think about developing a blood test for evaluating the exposure to asbestos and linked disease. They would also try to find out if a flaxseed antioxidant can prevent asbestos-related disease.

All the data would then be provided to the residents of Ambler. They have been discussing with the researchers regarding their questions and concerns.

The actual uniqueness of this grant is that it was one of the rare examples whereby environmental health researchers have been approachable to the requirements of a community when its environmental health is challenged, Penning said. He said the results would also be useful to all other asbestos dump sites across the United States.

Asbestos is a mineral mined from nature, which was extensively used until the 1980s by most industries in the United States. Despite its good properties and low cost, the use of asbestos has been highly restricted and regulated since the 1980s due to its hazardous nature. Exposure to asbestos and inhalation of its tiny fibers are linked to several severe health conditions such as asbestosis and pleural plaques. Asbestos exposure could also cause lung cancer. Malignant mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the mesothelium, is the most dangerous asbestos-related condition.


Woman Seeks Deposition for Future Asbestos Exposure Case

Beaumont, Texas – A woman from Jefferson County is asking for a deposition for a potential case in the future over allegations that the lung cancer of one of her relatives was a direct result of her occupational exposure to asbestos fibers.

A petition has been filed by Nancy Gregory for recording the testimony of deceased James Gregory by deposition 3rd July in the United States Dist. Court in Jefferson County in expectation of a possible lawsuit against E I Du Pont de Nemours and Company. The petition cites wrongful death.

The complaint states that James Gregory had been exposed to toxic dust and fibres of asbestos during his job with DuPont and, as a result, was diagnosed later with deadly lung cancer. Typically, asbestos-related diseases take a few decades to appear following the victim’s original exposure to asbestos fibers. However, these diseases are either incurable or extremely hard to cure, according to medical experts.

Nancy Gregory is asking for deposition as the disease of James Gregory is likely to be fatal. A Beaumont (Texas) law firm is representing her in this case.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and several other federal and state agencies have certain regulations and laws which should be strictly followed while working near or with dangerous products containing asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral known to cause cancer. It has been proven that malignant mesothelioma, an incurable form of cancer which affects the mesothelial cells, is caused exclusively due to the victim’s inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers in the past.

Nearly 3000 United States citizens are diagnosed every year with mesothelioma and even more dies from asbestos-related lung cancer, studies indicate. Signs of diseases like malignant mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer do not generally come out until several decades after the victim’s initial asbesots exposure. Therefore, the correct diagnosis of asbestos-related diseases is very hard.

Asbestos-related cancers are caused by breathing in or ingestion of microscopic asbestos fibers. When the toxic fibres enter the human body, they could cause substantial genetic changes in the healthy mesothelial cells. Over time, these mesothelial cells die while tumors start growing in their place. According to medical experts, exposure to asbestos fibers is the only risk factor and cause for malignant mesothelioma, whereas lung cancer could be caused by other reasons as well, such as exposure to radon or smoking cigarettes.


Mesothelioma Victim Files lawsuit

Chicago, IL – A man has filed a lawsuit over allegations that he developed mesothelioma – an incurable type of cancer that affects the mesothelial cells – because of his regular exposure to toxic dust and fibers of asbestos during his job.

Timothy Mulholland has filed a suit on 27th May in the circuit court of Cook County against Riley Power Incorporated, Wheeler Energy Corporation and United States Steel Corporation, in addition to a number of other businesses.

The lawsuit further states that Mulholland was exposed to or breathed in asbestos fibers while dealing with or working near the products designed, made, sold, marketed, advertised, installed or used by the defendants. According to Mulholland, he was exposed to the carcinogenic mineral all through his employment. He had been working as a bricklayer, naval reservist, welder, home remodeler and fitter, the suit states. Apart from this, Mr. Mulholland was exposed to toxic fibers of asbestos through a number of non-occupational projects, the suit claims.

According to the suit, Mulholland was diagnosed in 23rd April with malignant mesothelioma, a disease which is developed exclusively because of breathing in or ingesting asbestos particles. He says the defendant corporations are liable for his medical condition. The companies negligently failed to warn workers such as Mulholland regarding the risks involved in their jobs or about the dangerous nature of the products that they are regularly work with and around.

While allowing employees to work in a dangerous environment, employers are supposed to take enough measures for protecting the health of the workers. However, the plaintiff says, he was never provided with any protective equipment which could have prevented him from breathing in the deadly fibers of asbestos through the various products of the defendants. The companies knew or should have known of all the potential hazards associated with their products. However, they never warned workers like Mr. Mulholland about the risks, the suit claims.

Mulholland claims he was diagnosed with mesothelioma on April 23. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer which is almost always incurable. Though it decades for the disease to start showing initial symptoms, it can kill most of the victims within a year. Treatments are only for relieving the major symptoms of the cancer and extending the survival.

In his lawsuit, Mulholland is asking for an unspecified amount in damages. A law firm based in Chicago, Illinois, will be representing Mr. Mulholland in his legal battle.


Dozens of Businesses Sued in Mesothelioma Case

Chicago, IL – A man has filed a lawsuit against General Electric Company and dozens of other corporations over allegations that his terminal cancer – known as malignant mesothelioma – was caused by his exposure to the defendants’ products. He says those products, which were designed, manufactured, sold, supplied, used or installed by the defendant corporations, contained asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral known to cause fatal diseases including cancer.

The suit was filed by George A Mehok on 2nd June in the circuit court of Cook County. The complaint names General Electric, Kellogg Company, Henry Pratt Company and a several other corporations as defendants.

According to the suit, Mehok was exposed regularly to the products designed, marketed, manufactured, sold or used by the defendant companies during his job. Those products contained hazardous asbestos and the plaintiff was not aware of it, the suit indicates. Neither he nor the other workers knew regarding the consequences of exposure to asbestos-containing products, Mehok argues. The suit indicates that Mehok had been working as a laborer in different capacities. He was exposed to the toxic fibers of asbestos through several non-occupational projects as well, the complaint says.

According to Mehok, he was diagnosed by his doctors in 6th March with malignant mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of cancer which affects the mesothelial cells. He says it is his occupational exposure to asbestos fibers and dust that resulted in his present condition, as asbestos ingestion or inhalation is the only known cause of mesothelioma. Mehok says the defendant corporations are liable for his injuries.

Mesothelioma typically affects the protective membrane that surrounds the lungs, abdominal cavity or heart. In the United States, nearly 3000 individuals are diagnosed with this fatal cancer every year. Majority of them developed the cancer because of exposure to asbestos fibers that took place during their job. Sometimes secondhand exposure (exposure through the overalls of asbestos workers) also causes mesothelioma. Medical experts say mesothelioma is always deadly. Though long-term exposure to asbestos fibers is the cause of most mesothelioma developments, even one-time exposure could also result in the deadly cancer. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), there is nothing like ‘safe levels of asbestos exposure’.

In his lawsuit, George Mehok is asking for damages in excess of the jurisdictional minimum, in addition to court costs, attorneys’ fees and medical costs. A Chicago-based personal injury law firm is representing Mehok in this case.


City to Cite Hotel Owner for Violation of Condemnation Ordinance

Hot Springs, Arkansas – After receiving a notification on Wednesday from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that brownfield grant funding for FY 2014 wasn’t awarded, the Hot Springs City continues to pursue several avenues to expedite the removal and cleanup of debris from the fire at Majestic Hotel. The Hotel is presently owned by Park Properties LLC owner Gary Hassenflu. Park Properties is based in the Kansas City.

It was on 27th February that the hotel caught fire, spurring a massive firefighting effort. A massive rubble pile was left behind in the downtown Hot Springs following portions of the structure that posed a public health threat were torn down.

The Board of Directors in Hot Springs condemned the structure formally on 18th March, 2014, giving the owner of the property one month’s notice to start cleanup properly. The city is now planning to cite Gary Hassenflu under a penalty clause that allows a judge to issue fines of $250 to $500 per day for his breach of the condemnation ordinance as the 1 month notice has expired. At present, more than 70 days passed after the expiry of the 1-month notice.

Additionally, in 2013 December, Hassenflu was issued a failure to secure the citation, informing him of failure to abide by the vacant structure code of the city. The court continued the date until 11th June when the judge could fine Mr. Hassenflu $250 for each day the remaining parts of the hotel remains unsecured.

The ADEQ (Arkansas Department of Environmental Protection) received the Phase 1 environmental assessment of the city as complete on 30th April, 2014, as part of the participation of the city in the voluntary cleanup program. The agency has confirmed the presence of materials containing asbestos. The finding makes the city eligible for potential federal funding assistance.

ADEQ has to approve the removal of the debris, asbestos cleanup, and the cleanup of the demolition site.

Asbestos is a highly regulated material due to its carcinogenic properties. Asbestos fibers, when airborne, could be breathed in quite easily. Inhaled asbestos fibers lodge in the lungs and could cause severe health conditions and respiratory problems later. Asbestosis, a chronic scarring of the lung tissues, is one of the dangerous conditions linked to asbestos exposure. Inhalation of asbestos particles could also result in diseases like lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma.