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Month: June 2019

News

Study Confirms Disproportionate Impact of Mesothelioma on Navy Veterans

Among the most tragic aspects of malignant mesothelioma, the rare and fatal form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, is the remarkably high rate of the disease in America’s military veterans, and particularly those in the Navy. Navy veterans represent approximately one third of those diagnosed with the disease, and the reason for this is assumed to be the more expanded use of asbestos-contaminated equipment in Navy settings. A recent study conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University has taken a closer look at the incidence of mesothelioma in this population, and their work has made two things clear: one is that Navy veterans are at higher risk for the asbestos-related disease than is true of any other branch of service, and the other is that there are specific jobs held by Navy veterans that put them in even greater jeopardy.

The Vanderbilt mesothelioma study looked at a previously-identified group of veterans known as “atomic veterans.” The group had been exposed to radiation between 1945 and 1962 as part of the nuclear testing conducted in the Pacific Ocean and the Nevada desert. The medical information on this group of 114,000 had already been gathered in several epidemiological studies, and the researchers were able to use these studies to determine the cause of death by all involved. They also used historical records provided by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to identify the job responsibilities (and asbestos exposure) for each veteran.

What the researchers found was that those who served in the Navy had the greatest risk of being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, and that those in the Navy who worked in environments that exposed them to greater concentrations of asbestos had a disproportionately high risk for dying of mesothelioma. Among those working in high asbestos exposure environments (which made up only 20% of jobs), those who served in the Army, Air Force and Marines had no increased risk for mesothelioma, while the Navy vets who worked in those jobs represented 55% of mesothelioma diagnoses.

Exposure to asbestos has caused untold misery in the form of malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis and other terrible diseases. If asbestos has affected your family and you need information on how to fight back, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.

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Mesothelioma Victim’s Family Wins Right to Seek Justice from Ford Motor Company

One of the most daunting aspects of considering a mesothelioma lawsuit against those responsible is the sheer size and power of those you will be battling. The companies that used asbestos in their products and those that supplied work environments are some of the most recognizable names in the world, and it can be intimidating for an individual to pursue justice against them. Despite this, the American justice system provides a platform that allows a level playing field, and one where the little guy can often prevail. This was recently seen in a Louisiana court room, where a federal judge told Ford Motor Company that the family of a former mechanic who had died of mesothelioma had the right to file wrongful death claims against them on multiple grounds.

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As Mesothelioma and Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits Are Won, Science Establishes Link Between Talc and Disease

In recent months, people diagnosed with both ovarian cancer and malignant mesothelioma have been filing and winning lawsuits against consumer companies like Johnson & Johnson’s, Colgate-Palmolive, Avon Products and others. The plaintiffs in those cases have accused the companies of negligence and responsibility for their illnesses, asserting that the talc that the companies used in their products was contaminated with asbestos, a carcinogenic material found in close proximity to talc deposits and mines. In defending themselves, the companies have asserted that there is no link between talc and cancer, but now a researcher from the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit, Michigan may have identified that link, giving victims additional evidence to support their assertions.

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Latin American Country Leaves U.S. In The Dust With Asbestos Ban

It’s been more than seven years since Colombian journalist Ana Cecilia Nino died of malignant mesothelioma, and an even longer amount of time that advocates have been struggling against the impact of asbestos contamination in their country, but last week the country’s congress put an end to the issue by placing a comprehensive ban on all mining, exporting, production, sale or use of asbestos in the country. The country is only the seventh in the world to have such a stringent ban in place, though internationally there are 60 countries that have banned the carcinogenic material. Despite these progressive steps being taken by other countries, the United States continues to lag behind, placing questionable controls on the asbestos industry and refusing to move forward with a ban that many had hoped would soon be in place.

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Will Fears of Mesothelioma Finally Drive FDA Oversight of Cosmetics?

Though the public’s awareness of malignant mesothelioma has long been limited to late-night attorneys’ ads, the rare and deadly asbestos-related disease has been at the top of several news cycles since asbestos was found in children’s cosmetics. Added to the growing number of multi-million dollar lawsuits being filed and won against Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder after allegations that its talc was contaminated with asbestos, and it is no wonder that there is a growing push for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to have greater regulating authority over the personal care industry.

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Despite OSHA Regulations Designed to Protect Against Mesothelioma, Missouri Contractors Fail to Protect Employees or Public

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor that is tasked with ensuring safe and healthy conditions that protect workers from injury and illnesses like malignant mesothelioma. Through the years the agency has established numerous safeguards and rules specifically surrounding the treatment of asbestos, a material that is blamed for tens of thousands of deaths and illnesses globally each year, but many contractors fail to comply with these rules in an effort to save time and money. A recent investigation by OSHA in the state of Missouri determined that two Kansas City-based contractors tasked with doing rehabilitation work at Kansas State University’s Hale Library failed to adhere to asbestos removal standards, putting their employees and the public at risk. 

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$325 Million Awarded to Woman Who Claimed Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder Caused Her Mesothelioma

Donna Olson’s diagnosis with malignant mesothelioma came in 2016, just one year after the former Brooklyn resident had given up her lifelong practice of using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder on a daily basis. She stopped because of news reports that the product had been linked to cancer as a result of possible asbestos contamination. Unfortunately, it was too late. By 2017 she and her husband had filed a lawsuit against the consumer product giant, and by the time the case got to trial she was too ill to attend. Last month the jury gave her and her husband a combined $25 million to compensate them for her pain and suffering, and this week the same jury came back with a remarkable $300 million in punitive damages against the company. It was a resounding decision, and one of the largest that the company has faced from a jury so far.

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71-Year-Old Billionaire Sentenced to Jail Over Mesothelioma Deaths

A Swiss billionaire who has repeatedly been accused of complicity and involuntary manslaughter in the exposure of thousands of people to asbestos and the risk of mesothelioma was sentenced to four years in prison by a jury in Turin, Italy. Stephan Schmidheiny is the scion and former majority shareholder in his family’s company, Eterit Genova, which used asbestos in its materials and plants and exposed both its workers and nearby residents to the toxic material.

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