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Woman Says Asbestos Exposure Killed Husband

A former plumber’s bereaved widow is asking the deceased man’s colleagues to come forward for helping her fight for justice.

Charles Baker, who was a heating engineer and a plumber, passed away after developing an asbestos-linked cancer in January 2012 when he was 72 years old. Doctors confirmed that he died from mesothelioma, an incurable cancer of the lungs’ lining. Mesothelioma is developed because of inhalation of asbestos fibers and dust. Baker allegedly inhaled the toxic dust while working with TA King & Son, in Sandridge Rd, St. Albans.

Baker died just 9 months after he was diagnosed with the cancer. Now his wife Mrs. Shirley Baker, is requesting the help of her husband’s former colleagues to explain how he inhaled the dangerous fibres from 1955 to 1966.

“During his job, Charles came in interaction with the dangerous mineral on a regular basis. His work was dusty and dirty. Baker told they never warned him regarding the hazardous nature of asbestos and never provided him with any sort of protective wears or mask in order to prevent him from inhaling the toxic fibers,” Mrs. Baker said.

“Charles worked with a lot of people and in so many different buildings in Hertfordshire and St Albans. I am sure that many people are there who are able to help me,” She said.

Baker has 2 grandchildren. He was residing in Lowestoft, Suffolk in 2011 when he became ill. He felt chest pains and initial tests could not find any serious issues. However, subsequent checkups confirmed that he had developed malignant mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of the mesothelium.

Following his death, Mrs. Baker consulted with some attorneys to help find out if TA King & Son could’ve done more for protecting her husband from exposure to asbestos.

The distressed widow says her husband had told her that he had been regularly exposed to asbestos during his ten-year career at TA King & Son as he had to chip off asbestos lagging using a chisel or hammer and blend asbestos paste for lagging pipes and boilers. She says he specifically recalled his works at Saint Michael’s Manor, Saint Albans Abbey, Hill End Psychiatric Hospital, and Saint Albans City Hospital.

Mesothelioma usually appears several decades after the inhalation of asbestos fibers. However, it typically kills the victim within 15 months once appeared. A permanent cure is yet to be discovered for mesothelioma.


Jury Returns Verdict in favor of Defendants in Asbestos Exposure Case

After a 9-week trial, a 12-0 verdict was returned by a jury in Santa Barbara favoring the defense in a case that involved claims of economic damages and bodily injuries in connection with asbestos exposure. The defendants were represented by Uyen Nguyen and Victoria Ersoff of Wood Smith Henning and Berman LLP.

Plaintiffs William Budke, Inger Budke and their children filed lawsuit against Santa Barbara Housing Authority, its Chief Executive Officer, Deputy Executive Officer, and Property and Development Director over bodily injuries, property damage, economic losses, emotional distress and loss of consortium relating to exposure to asbestos and mold in a housing community.

Inger Budke was employed as Resident Coordinator at various apartments that the defendants owned. Budke resided there with family. The plaintiffs alleged that defendant companies failed to remediate the conditions in the apt. which made it uninhabitable. The defendants didn’t properly train the maintenance workers about the remediation and identification of asbestos and mold, the suit states. The companies violated asbestos safety regulations during their remediation and maintenance works all through their properties, according to the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs also alleged that health conditions became poor as they had to reside in an apartment that was not at all fit to live in. According to the plaintiffs, their daughters are suffering from severe allergies and asthma. The youngest daughter of the plaintiffs had severe birth injuries such as neuro-behavioral and neuro-cognitive deficits because of the dangerous conditions in their apartment, the lawsuit states.

After deliberating nearly a day, the jury decided to return a verdict in favor of the defense. They found Inger Budke, one of the plaintiffs, to be causally negligent.

Before the trial, the defendants served offers to negotiate on all the plaintiffs totaling US$54000. However, plaintiffs counsel informed the jury that she’d be asking millions of dollars in punitive and compensatory damages. Now the defendant companies can recover from claimants their lawyers’ fees and costs.

Anybody who suffers from asbestos-related health problems has the legal right to sue the responsible companies and win compensation from them. However, the plaintiff should convincingly prove that the defendant companies are really responsible for the asbestos exposure that resulted in his/her health problems. Therefore, the service of an efficient and expert attorney is vital in any case relating to health problems caused by occupational asbestos exposure.


WI Assembly Passes New Asbestos Lawsuit Bill

Wisconsin – The Wisconsin (WI) Assembly has passed measure on last Wednesday that critics say would adversely affect the lawsuits over asbestos exposure.

The bill would need claimants to disclose the number of businesses their lawyers plan to sue. The claimants should reveal any claims they’ve filed against trust funds of bankrupt businesses.

According to the Republicans who back the bill, such a measure would prevent attorneys from concealing multiple claims hoping for maximum awards. They say some claimants do not inform the courts they’re also seeking compensation from the trust funds of the bankrupt businesses and the judges do not have any way to assign the liability properly.

However, the opponents – including the trial lawyers – say the bill is intended to slow down the cases expecting the claimants will pass away and to protect businesses from making compensation payouts.

The bill, which passed on 58-39 vote, was proposed by Wisconsin Republican member Andre Jacque. Jacque said the measure would give more transparency to asbestos claims. It would help the jurors and the judges realize how many defendant companies might be liable for a person’s disease so that they can assign the damages fairly, Jacque said.

The bill will now move toward the Senate for approval.

According to opponents, the bill would extend trials for the victims of asbestos exposure.

Long used as an insulation and fireproofing material, asbestos can contribute several health problems and terminal diseases such as cancer. Several companies that made asbestos products have become bankrupt and established trust funds for compensating the victims. The victims have legal right to file lawsuits against the bankrupt businesses as well as the companies that are running still. The new bill would need claimants to disclose whether they’ve filed any claim against the trust funds. Once this has been done, their court trials couldn’t begin for 6 months.

Joan Claybrook, the Spokeswoman representing the Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign, said she was shocked to that the WI assembly passed such a bill which adds extra burdens for the seniors and veterans of the state who are dying from asbestos-related diseases. “Though asbestos diseases takes several decades to appear, they kill the victims usually within 18 months once appeared,” she said.

“The bill would allow asbestos firms to avoid responsibility as well as accountability at the cost of WI senior citizens and veterans. We honestly hope the Wisconsin Senate members will act appropriately to put an end to this dangerous legislation,” Claybrook said.


60 Companies Sued over Asbestos-related Lung Cancer

One more asbestos suit has been recently added to the fastly growing case list in the asbestos docket of St. Clair County.

Neda Mays, as the special administrator of John Mays’ estate, filed a lawsuit over asbestos exposure in the Saint Clair Circuit Court. The plaintiff doesn’t mention where she is residing.

The plaintiff will be represented by Barry Julian and Randy L Gori of Edwardsville law firm Gori, Julian & Associates.

Neda Mays filed her complaint on 4th April, 2013, in which she sues 60 companies over an asbestos-related lung cancer. The suit states that the companies caused John Mays to develop a fatal lung cancer. According to the plaintiff, John Mays developed the disease as a result of his regular exposure to various asbestos-containing products of the defendant companies all through his employment.

John Mays has done different jobs in his career. He was a bulldozer driver with Job Corps Cooking between 1963 and 1965. Between 1965 and 1967, he worked as a flooring maker. Then he became a wood paneling maker with Evans Products and continued the job until 1969. Finally, between 1969 and 1991, Mays worked as a chemical blender and operator with Humko Chemical, the lawsuit states. He was exposed to asbestos fibers during all these jobs. Additionally, Mays was secondarily exposed to the cancer causing fibers through the work clothes of his dad who had worked as a laborer with Nikki Brothers, according to the suit.

The defendants knew or should’ve known regarding the harmful features of asbestos mineral, but did not exercise proper caution and care for the safety of John Mays and his co-workers and their family members, the lawsuit states.

Because of his devastating asbestos-related health issues, John Mays became disfigured and disabled, incurred huge medical expenses and suffered immense mental anguish and physical pain, according to the suit. Additionally, John Mayes became prevented from continuing his normal employment course, and thus lost huge amounts of money which would’ve otherwise accrued to him, according the suit.

In the 10-count lawsuit, the plaintiff is asking for a judgment of $150000 or more, financial damages of $200000 or more, punitive & exemplary damages of $50000 or more, compensatory damages in excess of $100000. Neda is also seeking unspecified punitive damages, costs and other relief to which she might be entitled.


Ashland Couple Says Workplace Asbestos Exposure Caused Mesothelioma

Charleston, West Virginia – A couple from Ashland, Kentucky, has filed a lawsuit against 56 defendant companies that they think are liable for a malignant mesothelioma diagnosis.

Jimmie E Epling was diagnosed on 7th January, 2013, with malignant mesothelioma, a lawsuit filed on 22nd April in Kanawha County Circuit Court says.

According to Epling, he had the habit of smoking nearly one and a half packs of cigarettes per day between 1963 and 1993. Epling says he quit that habit then. Smokers have an increased risk of developing asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma if they’ve been exposed to asbestos fibers, according to researchers.

The defendant companies exposed the plaintiff to asbestos or products containing the dangerous substance during his career as an operator and machinist from year 1952 till 2000, according to the lawsuit.

Epling is blaming the defendant companies for alleged negligence, violation of warranty, intentional tort, misrepresentation, conspiracy and strict liability. He says the companies never warned him or other employees when asking them to work with and around a cancer-causing substance. Epling was not aware of the dangerous features of asbestos either, he says. The defendant companies made, supplied or used several asbestos products without providing any indication of the hazards associated with them, according to Epling.

Epling, along with his wife Ernestine, is asking for a grand jury trial for getting all these issues resolved. James McKowen, an attorney with WV lawfirm James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C., is representing the claimants.

A visiting judge is expected to preside over the case.

3M Co; A.W. Chesterton Co; Amdura Corp; Bucyrus International; Buffalo Pumps; CBS Corp; Caterpillar; Clark Equipment Co; Certainteed Corp; and Cleaver Brooks Co. are the defendant companies cited in Epling’s lawsuit.

“Asbestos” is commercial name given to a number of fibrous minerals occurring in the nature. These minerals have high flexibility, tensile strength, resistance to electricity, heat, fire and corrosion, and durability. They are very cheap as well. For all these reasons, asbestos was widely used in a number of commercial products for many decades. These products include fireproofing and insulation materials, automotive clutches and brakes, cement, wallboard materials, ceiling tiles, and textile products. Though asbestos has all such useful features, it is a health hazard as well. Inhalation of its fibers could cause chronic respiratory problems and fatal cancers such as lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma.


Northville Township Approves Additional Fund for Powerhouse Demolition Project because of Asbestos Discovery

Northville Township’s Board of Trustees has approved an extra $288000 for tearing down of the power house of former psychiatric hospital.

The board approved spending the money from its general fund for removing asbestos material manually from the powerhouse of former psychiatric hospital, some recent reports say.

A report published in the Observer & Eccentric says the board last week approved using another $288000 from its general fund for the demolition project so that the building could be torn down safely.

In April, at the time of State of Community address, Robert Nix – the Township Supervisor – said to the audience that they have added an extra amount – approximately $350000 – 400000 – to the demolition cost as asbestos material was discovered on the structure.

Asbestos removal is a very expensive and laborious job. Specialist contractor who has license to deal with asbestos should be hired for the task. Despite all these facts, asbestos abatement is a must prior to any demolition project if the material is present in a structure. The reason is that asbestos is a dangerous carcinogen. If asbestos is disturbed, damaged, or broken, its fibres become airborne – means they are released into the air. Airborne fibers of asbestos are easily inhalable. Inhalation of asbestos fibres is linked to a number of diseases and some of them are deadly. Malignant mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of chest and abdomen, and asbestosis, the scarring of lung tissue, are 2 fatal diseases linked to asbestos exposure. Inhalation of asbestos fibres can also cause lung cancer. Due to these hazards, many countries have banned the use of asbestos. It is not totally banned in the United States. However, it is a highly regulated material in the nation. Whoever violates these regulations could be punished with fines and imprisonment.

This demolition project is partly funded by a grant. However, Nix says the township is planning to use the money attained by REIS development – the Michigan University medical center and proposed retail centre – to fund the tearing down project.

According to the report published in Observer & Eccentric, the township supervisor said Northville has the responsibility to finish the demolition project if they wished to qualify for grants in the future which would help fund the cleanup works for the remaining structures on the hospital property and abiding by the brownfield plan was vitally important.


Casper City Cited for Asbestos Violations

The DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) served the Casper City recently with a warning notice for purportedly failing to carry out asbestos test fully prior to the demolition of a housing building.

Casper contracted with a company called Recycled Materials to inspect an abandoned residential building at 1427 Oakcrest Avenue and the Air Quality Division of the DEQ notified that the contractor failed in sampling sufficient material. Additionally, the sampling of plaster material and lathe and acoustic material’s spray was insufficient, according to DEQ’s notice. Asphalt roofing or floor tiles were not sampled at all, the DEQ notice states.

Robinson Contracting Company had removed asbestos already prior to the visit of the DEQ on 28th February however the inspector collected samples of materials that remained.

An analysis conducted in a laboratory found 15% of asbestos material in floor tiles and 5% in tile adhesive.

Asbestos is the name given to a fibrous mineral found in soil and rock. Once it was extensively used as a fire-resistant and insulating building material. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states exposure to asbestos could be dangerous and result in even deadly diseases such as lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. So, asbestos is highly regulated in the United States.

Steve Dietrich, the administrator of air quality, said the agency has issued a notice to the city as well as contractors.

“Both of them have same responsibility,” Dietrich said.

All the cases are separate. The further step for them is to talk with the DEQ for working towards a resolution. According to Dietrich, the meeting will give a chance for the contractor or the city to show any additional info.

The notice sent by DEQ states that breaches are punishable by fines of up to $10000 per day of violation took place or/and an injunction. According to Dietrich, fines are to be calculated and could vary depending on each case’s circumstances.

“We take the regulations concerning asbestos materials very seriously. We primarily want to protect the workers as well as the public,” Dietrich said.

The City Council approved a demolition project report and US$4,701 lien on the property on 16th April. John Patterson, the City Manager, didn’t have details regarding the DEQ case’s status. However, he said the structure had remained vacant for years.

“Finally we took down it for abating the nuisance as it was creating problems in the locality,” Patterson said.


Defendants Move Asbestos Case to Federal Court

One of the 2 dozen or more defendant companies in a lawsuit over asbestos-related lung cancer has removed the case to a federal court.

United Technologies Corporation filed a notice on Monday for removing the lawsuit filed by William Wood in July 2012 from Madison County Court to United States District Court for Illinois’ Southern District.

UTC, along with 27 other defendant companies, was sued by Wood over the lung cancer he developed because of his exposure to the asbestos products made, sold or used by the companies.

Wood worked as a construction and manufacturing worker and electrician between 1960 and 1981. As part of his job, he spent his time at a number of work sites in West Virginia and Ohio, according to the complaint.

Stating that the defendant companies should’ve known regarding the risks linked to asbestos exposure, the 8-count suit filed by Wood is seeking approximately $50000. The companies are sued for their alleged negligence, wanton and willful misconduct, conspiracy, strict liability and negligent elimination of evidence.

Steven Aroesty, a Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik LLC attorney, is representing Wood.

Wood has filed 2 or more other asbestos-related lung cancer lawsuits in Madison County since year 2012.

According to the lawsuit, the defendant companies failed to warn the workers regarding the health risks associated with the handling of asbestos products. Neither did they provide them with any sort of protective equipment for preventing them to be exposed to the dangerous cancer-causing mineral, the suit states. They failed to keep a safe environment for the workers and negligently exposed them to the toxic fibres of asbestos, the plaintiff alleges.

The most frequent source of asbestos exposure in the United States is workplace. In spite of their knowledge regarding the health risks it posed, many companies in the United States used asbestos material in their facilities, putting the workers at the risk of developing fatal asbestos-linked diseases such as asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Asbestos exposure generally occurs at work places like construction sites, navy vessels, shipyards etc. Many people have been exposed to the dangerous substance during construction, renovation and demolition of commercial structures. Those who work in the close vicinity of insulated piping and boilers are also at risk. Additionally, staff and students in old school buildings could be at risk because almost old buildings in the nation still contain asbestos, especially in floor tiles, ceiling tiles and insulation.


State Cites Paterson City for Asbestos and Other Safety Violations

Paterson, NJ – The state Department of Labor (DoL) has found that Paterson City officials committed thirteen serious violations concerning employee health when a number of municipal employees were exposed to dangerous asbestos fibers at the time of a renovation project carried out in the office last year.

The Department of Labor inspection report that was issued March 2013 says the Paterson City did not provide adequate oversight, monitoring, training and safety devices to the workers who peeled tiles containing asbestos from the 2nd floor offices located at 133 Ellison St.

According to the report, for each of its violation, the city is facing a fine of approximately $4500 per day with effect from 18th April if the city does not abide by the safety requirements of the state. The state wouldn’t disclose if any of the fines have been imposed by this time as the case still remains open.

Following the Asbestos investigation, the state Department of Labor carried out 5 extra safety checks at the public work facilities of the city and discovered thirty serious violations. The violations likely carry fines between $2400 and $3600, the DoL documents indicate. However, these violations do not involve asbestos.

Asbestos worries prompted the health department of the city to halt the renovation project in 2012 December. According to officials, the area has been closed since then. Now the city is in an attempt to hire a private firm for removing the dangerous pollutants from its offices.

The Sheriff’s Department of Passaic County is also carrying out a probe into the situation as Paterson purportedly used SLAP (Sheriff’s Labour Assistance Program) inmates for handling asbestos – a known cancer-causing material that is still present in old buildings.

Michael Jackson, the president of the public works department employees’ union, said he does not think state would impose any penalties as the city has already stopped the renovation project that involves asbestos material.

“I am happy that story is out there and now we are needless to bother about it occurring once again,” Jackson said.

Jeffrey Jones, the City Mayor, said he hasn’t yet seen the report issued by the state inspectors. He said that the city requires to implement training program for its employees whoever work in old structures where asbestos and lead are a common presence.

“We really do not like to put anybody at risk,” Jones said.


North Shore District 112 School Teacher Raises Questions regarding Asbestos Abatement

IL – An Illinois school district (the North Shore District 112) had been fined 2 years back for various violations in connection with asbestos abatement projects at a number of its school buildings. The projects were done in year 2007. However, a teacher is seeking answers still.

Steve Bartel, a 5th grade teacher in a Lincoln School, recently approached the school board to ask whether it has cleared the asbestos violations occurred over past several years and to inform the staff as well as the public regarding what happened. She asked not to keep that quiet anymore.

Sherwood and Indian Trail schools were stopped in 2007 July as the IL Public Health Department found record-keeping and asbestos abatement violations. Work was allowed to restart after one month, and the school district maintains that testing on air quality has proved any one’s health wasn’t put at risk in any facilities of it.

Bartel is concerned that asbestos abatement work carried out a year back – in year 2006 – at several schools including Lincoln might have went unnoticed. Those school buildings were probably left dirty, as indicated by what occurred at Elm Place, Indian Trail and Sherwood schools, Bartel says.

However, the officials with the District 112 say that they are fully confident the project was carried out properly.

“There hasn’t been any issue where we are worried regarding anybody’s health being put at risk,” says Bruce Hyman, the President of the School Board.

Andi Rosen, the spokeswoman for the school district, says air quality tests have been carried out on all the school facilities after asbestos abatement, as required by law. He said those tests were conducted by another company – not the company that performed asbestos abatement.

“There wasn’t any indication of hazard. All the projects got clearance afterward. If they’d any worried regarding those works that would’ve been investigated before,” Rosen said.

She says the breaches came from an authorized subcontractor which was carrying out the job in year 2007 and the works in year 2006 were done by a different contractor.

“School districts do not take on such works with employees of their own. We rely on authorized contractors who have license to handle this type of work,” Rosen said.

Exposure to asbestos may cause serious respiratory problems later in life and, at times, it can cause terminal diseases including cancer.