Sunday, February 26, 2017

Arizona Supreme Court Agrees to Hear “Take Home” Asbestos Exposure Case

JusticeThe Arizona Supreme Court recently agreed to hear the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit of a man who claims he developed serious health issues from asbestos dust brought home by his father while working in an industrial plant. The case could set an important precedent that would allow thousands of other mesothelioma cancer victims to sue for damages and hold wrongdoers accountable for their careless actions.


Commonly referred to as “take home” exposure, this type of mesothelioma cancer lawsuits is a serious point of contention for asbestos companies trying to skirt responsibility for the harm caused to innocent people. While many states like California, Tennessee, and New Jersey have laws on the books allowing take home exposure victims to hold asbestos companies responsible, Arizona has no such law.


Survivors Continue Claim on Behalf of Deceased Relative


The case goes back to 2013 when the plaintiff filed his lawsuit against Reynolds Metal Co., claiming his father’s work clothes were covered in asbestos dust, leading to his devastating mesothelioma diagnosis. When the plaintiff passed away in 2014, his survivors continued the lawsuit on behalf of the estate to carry on his legacy and get justice by recovering for the deceased’s medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.


Many companies once used asbestos in a variety of applications, including industrial and consumer products, knowing full well the white, flaky mineral posed serious health risks but continued its used for decades. Asbestos has been linked to victims developing mesothelioma, an extremely rare form of cancer commonly affecting thin linings of skin around the lungs and abdomen and can take years to show symptoms before victims receive a diagnosis.


Do Asbestos Companies Owe a Duty to Protect Against Secondhand Exposure?


The plaintiffs claimed the defendant owed a legal duty to ensure its work site did not pose a threat to the general public and this obligation was breached by allowing workers to leave its facilities covered in deadly asbestos.However, the case experienced a setback in 2016 when a state Appellate Court ruled against the plaintiffs on the grounds that the suit lacked statutory authority to hold Reynolds accountable for the asbestos exposure.


Furthermore, the Appellate Court expressed concern a ruling for the plaintiff would open up the floodgates for thousands of other plaintiffs to sue various asbestos companies for damages due to take home or secondhand exposure. It is unfortunate that the Appellate Court would take such a stance, especially when it comes to holding negligent parties accountable, promoting public safety, and ensuring victims have the legal recourse to recover for damages.


Nationwide Mesothelioma Cancer Lawyers


If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.


 



Arizona Supreme Court Agrees to Hear “Take Home” Asbestos Exposure Case

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lack of Asbestos Regulations Puts Georgia Citizens at Risk

iabestosisotherasbestosdisease_27A recent report by an Atlanta news outlet has shed some light on the continuing epidemic of asbestos exposure plaguing Georgia citizens, even as legislators continue to ignore the threat posed by the dangerous industrial material. According to the report, state agencies routinely fail to hire licensed asbestos removers to perform delicate renovations of buildings contaminated by the cancer-causing mineral, putting hard working, ordinary people at risk of developing serious health conditions.


The report claims that many Georgia homes built before 1978 used building materials tainted with deadly asbestos, often in joint compounds used to secure wallboards. As an odorless, tasteless compound, asbestos has been described as a silent killer that catches victims by surprise decades later when deadly diseases like mesothelioma develop.


State Legislators Gut Spending for Oversight Agency


The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), tasked with running asbestos abatement programs, was disenfranchised in 2011 after legislators defunded the agency. Until 2011, the DNR had a robust inspection program, citing dozens of companies violating state law requiring asbestos abatement companies to be certified by the government.


However, for almost a decade the DNR has failed to look into thousands of permits to renovate or demolish homes in the state, many of which likely contained asbestos. In fact, one administrator claimed that the DNR only looks into whether a company has a permit to perform asbestos abatement if the agency receives a formal complaint.


Furthermore, county and municipal governments seem to have dropped the ball when it comes to protecting local residents, as state law fully allows these entities to enact their own regulatory and oversight policies, but they fail to do so. The DNR administrator in the news report described the broken process as a sort of “honor system” where unscrupulous contractors could apply for residential demolition and renovation jobs without proving they are licensed to perform asbestos abatement.


The report went on to highlight one tragic case of a former HVAC technician who developed mesothelioma after decades of work in toxic environments because industrial manufacturers made asbestos contaminated products even though the health effects associated with the material were well known. That gentleman filed suit against his boiler manufacturers, claiming his mesothelioma was caused by the company using asbestos in the products he came into contact with on a daily basis.


Asbestos cancer lawsuits can help victims and their families recover for lost wages, hospital bills and pain and suffering. Many times, multiple defendants can be sued to ensure plaintiffs receive all their just compensation and that victims can live more comfortable, dignified lives as they battle their cancer.


Nationwide Mesothelioma Cancer Lawyer


If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.


 


 



Lack of Asbestos Regulations Puts Georgia Citizens at Risk

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Asbestos Clean Up Firms Hit With Lawsuit Over Unpaid Wages

iabestosisotherasbestosdisease_27Federal investigators recently opened an inquiry into whether several asbestos clean up companies operating in Massachusetts paid crews fairly for all of the work performed renovating asbestos tainted properties in the Boston area. Over the past few years, the U.S. Justice Department has opened up several investigations into worker mistreatment and wage theft involving hard working clean up crews putting their health and safety on the line to make sure others are not exposed to deadly asbestos.


Over the past five years, Boston has seen a boom in asbestos removal projects to remove the mesothelioma-causing insulation from older building flush with the cheap and once widely used substance. However, many of these projects come with a cost to the workers doing the jobs as well as to the office employees who sometimes continue to work inside buildings while restoration goes on.


The targets of the Department of Justice investigation, Absolute Environmental and Absolute Environmental Contractors Inc., are accused of collaborating to suppress workers’ wages and turn a higher profit. According to grand jury witnesses, the companies in question paid workers two different pay rates, one for union work at about $35 per hour and another for “non-union” at a rate about half as much.


Another asbestos removal company, Skinner Services Inc., has come under scrutiny for not paying workers for the time traveling on long trips between job sites and making questionable deductions from employee paychecks. Workers for Skinner Services claim they see very little money at the end of the week after deductions are made, making a difficult job even harder.


Complaints About Asbestos Exposure Went Ignored


In addition to wage theft, some workers in the industry claim they were exposed to asbestos during routine demolition and renovation projects but were ignored by supervisors. Often times, construction workers go on to job sites without proper breathing masks, not expecting to encounter the dangerous industrial material.


Even though regulators take asbestos exposure very seriously, many workers suffer exposure and develop mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer affecting thin tissue lining surrounding the lungs and abdomen. Furthermore, the disease can take years to show symptoms, making it too late to remove deadly tumors before they can spread even more.


Fortunately, the law gives asbestos cancer victims the right to hold wrongdoers accountable for negligent conduct by filing mesothelioma cancer lawsuits to recover for medical bills and lost wages. Speaking to an experienced mesothelioma lawyer about your case can help you understand your legal rights and who can be held accountable to help you live a more comfortable life.


Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer


If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.


 



Asbestos Clean Up Firms Hit With Lawsuit Over Unpaid Wages

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Pennsylvania High Court Gives Public Employees Right to Hold Employers Accountable for Mesothelioma Diagnosis

JusticePublic workers in Pennsylvania recently scored a major victory after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that state employees can hold their employers accountable for failing to take reasonable steps to prevent asbestos exposure. Typically, state agencies are immune from civil suits under the doctrine of “sovereign immunity” which generally bars claims against the state for certain injuries.


In their ruling for Geier v. Board of Public Education of the School District of Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld an Allegheny County trial judge’s ruling that state employees can file mesothelioma cancer lawsuits against the governmental entities they work for. Until recently workers could still bring third party claims against other defendants like asbestos companies but were barred from filing claims against other entities like school districts.


The ruling came in part from an earlier case from 2013, Tooey v. AK Steel, that involved a complicated application of the state’s workers’ compensation laws. Under Tooey, injured workers barred from filing claims under Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws could bring civil suits to recover for their damages like medical bills and lost wages.


Plaintiff Diagnosed with Mesothelioma Over 50 Years After Exposure


The plaintiff in Gier worked at South High School in Pittsburg as a math teacher from 1958 to 1959, where she claims to have been exposed to asbestos from insulation covering steam and water pipes in the school’s highways. In 2013, the plaintiffs received a mesothelioma diagnosis and ultimately succumbed to her condition three years later.


While attorneys for the school district claimed sovereign immunity in the case, the lower court judge ruled the school district’s failure to provide a safe workplace constituted one of the limited exceptions to the state’s Tort Claims Act. In her testimony, the plaintiff identified several instances in which maintenance workers clearly used products containing asbestos and this constituted a violation of its legal duty to maintain its property.


In its opinion, the court noted the plaintiff “sufficiently alleged a dangerous condition of PBE’s utility service facilities and real property substantially contributed to decedent’s mesothelioma and ultimate death.” The plaintiff’s attorneys believe the case could open the door to even more claims against school districts that failed to take care of their employees and students.


Although the plaintiff passed away from her condition before the court handed down this latest ruling, the suit was none the less important to holding wrongdoers accountable and ensuring others have legal avenues to pursue justice. Depending on the circumstances of the case and jurisdiction, surviving family members of mesothelioma cancer victims have their own legal options to bring claims for the loss of their loved ones.


Nationwide Mesothelioma Cancer Lawyer


If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.



Pennsylvania High Court Gives Public Employees Right to Hold Employers Accountable for Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Settle Lawsuit for $25 Million

mineral asbestosOver 1,000 mesothelioma cancer victims recently settled claims against the state of Montana over allegations the plaintiffs developed the deadly asbestos-related cancer in a privately-owned asbestos mine. The settlement is the second such largest in the state’s recent history, after a $43 million resolution another group of 1,000 plaintiffs from Libby, Montana agreed to in 2011 as compensation for their own mesothelioma cancer lawsuit.


The latest settlement is the culmination of hundreds of mesothelioma cancer lawsuits filed by local residents against the state, claiming the government failed to protect them from the known dangers of the asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine located near the town. Plaintiffs from this settlement had not been diagnosed with mesothelioma at the time of the 2011 resolution but have since developed the condition.


Hundreds of Victims Develop Mesothelioma


The plaintiffs’ awards will vary depending on the circumstances of each individual case but will generally receive amounts between $10,500 up to $60,000 to help cover the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, and other damages. Many of the victims also filed claims against railway company BNSF, whose parent company is chaired by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, over allegations that company contributed to the plaintiffs’ mesothelioma.


Experts studying the case estimate at many as 400 individuals living in or around Libby, Montana have died from asbestos related conditions and another 3,000 became ill. Litigation in the matter has gone on for years with the state refusing to take responsibility for not warning Libby residents despite knowing about the vermiculite mine’s dangers since the 1950’s.


The mine’s owner, W.R. Grace, has been the target of over 7,000 investigations by the Environmental Protection Agency into the company’s asbestos business. In 2008, W.R. Grace agreed to fund a $250 million cleanup effort in Libby, which is expected to end soon.


How Does Asbestos Contaminate Vermiculite?


Vermiculite, like asbestos, is a naturally occurring material used in various industrial applications such as insulation and water absorption. Although vermiculite does not naturally contain asbestos, deposits often form side by side with asbestos, which can lead to a deadly mix.


Just like asbestos, miners need to take the mineral from the earth and can be exposed to the substance. Due to the relationship between asbestos and vermiculite, companies working with the substance need to take special precautions to ensure employees and consumers do not develop mesothelioma from exposure to contaminated vermiculite.


When individuals do develop mesothelioma from exposure to contaminated vermiculite, victims can file mesothelioma cancer lawsuits to recover for their damages and hold wrongdoers accountable.


Nationwide Mesothelioma Cancer Lawyer


If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.


 


 



Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Settle Lawsuit for $25 Million

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Researches Identify Genes Linked to Regulating Cancer

Genetic ResearchScientists from the United Kingdom recently published a study outlining a potentially significant breakthrough in the fight against aggressive colon, lung, and breast cancers by identifying the genetic markers regulating cancer growth. In their report, the researchers demonstrated tumor growth may be decreased as much as 75% when scientists targeting one-specific gene and noted that 18 others either aid in tumor growth or can slow down the metastasization.


Furthermore, researchers identified other genes responsible for regulating the body’s immune system, which could help with a patient’s natural response to fighting mesothelioma and other cancers. By stunting tumor growth and energizing the immune system, immunotherapy researchers believe the human body itself may be the key to effectively fighting cancer and getting patients into remission.


Spns2 Gene Linked to Blocking Cancer Growth in Lab Mice


Using lab mice as subjects, researchers significantly slowed town tumor growth in the subjects’ lungs and colon by attacking one specific gene, spinster homologue 2 (Spns2). By eliminating the particular marker, scientists reduced metastasis by almost four times in the subjects’ lungs, a feat that could revolutionize mesothelioma care.


Other studies suggest that 90% of cancer fatalities are caused by the tumors metastasizing, meaning the cancer grows and spreads to other parts of the body, particularly vital organs like the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer, often affecting the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs and abdomen, making the finding in this study especially encouraging.


If caught during its early stages, mesothelioma can be treated with surgery to relieve the tissues of tumors before these growths have a chance to move to vulnerable organs and pose a greater risk. However, there is no cure for mesothelioma and doctors rarely catch the disease in its early stages and therefore must resort to treatments like chemotherapy to slow tumor growth and help patients live more comfortably.


How do People Get Mesothelioma?


Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a flaky white mineral commonly used as an insulation in many industrial applications. At one time, many companies even manufactured commercial products with the material, putting ordinary folks at risk for this deadly disease.


Even worse, these companies knew for decades about the health risks associated with asbestos but continued used of the mineral for the sake of profits. As a result, thousands of hardworking Americans developed the condition, causing them to incur huge treatment costs and loss of some of the best years of their lives. Fortunately, the law gives mesothelioma cancer victims the right to file lawsuits to recover for these damages.


Nationwide Mesothelioma Cancer Lawyer


If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.



Researches Identify Genes Linked to Regulating Cancer

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Do Companies Still Use Asbestos?

iabestosisotherasbestosdisease_27Asbestos is a white, flaky mineral used for its heat resistant properties in various industries including construction, pipe fitting, shipbuilding, and as an insulation. While its physical properties and low cost make it ideal for use in many industrial applications, the mineral is extremely toxic and has a causal link to developing mesothelioma.


Asbestos companies and manufacturers using the material knew about the dangers associates with it but continued using it for years. As a result, hundreds of thousands of victims developed mesothelioma, an extremely rare and deadly form of cancer commonly affecting tissue linings around the lungs and abdomen.


Despite all this, asbestos can still be used in certain products today, like vinyl flooring and cement shingles, though it is heavily regulated. That may soon change as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced adding asbestos to a list of 10 toxic chemicals the agency looks to ban in 2017.


Chemical Regulations Overhauled in 2016


Thanks to changes in the nation’s chemical regulations in 2016, the EPA can now nominate up to 10 toxic chemicals per year for review that can be banned should the agency find they pose a great enough threat to the public good. This first year of reviews is expected to take up to three years to complete, after which the EPA may formally recommend completely eliminating asbestos from use in any commercial products.


“Under the new law, we now have the power to require safety reviews of all chemicals in the marketplace,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator of the of Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “We can ensure the public that we will deliver on the promise to better protect public health and the environment.”


The move is an important step toward eliminating any future exposure to asbestos and hopefully reducing cases of mesothelioma. Even today, innocent people face exposure during renovations of office buildings, apartment complexes, and even our schools.


Often times, negligent businesses do not follow state and federal asbestos laws by hiring unlicensed contractors or disposing of the material in an unsafe way. When this happens, victims can hold wrongdoers accountable by filing mesothelioma cancer lawsuits to recover for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.


Furthermore, surviving family members can file their own claims on behalf of deceased loved ones that once provided the financial and emotional services needed to survive and live with dignity. Due to strict time limits for filing mesothelioma cancer lawsuits, claimants are urged to contact an experienced nationwide mesothelioma lawyer about their situation and begin the claims processes before statutes of limitations run out.


Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer


If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.


 



Do Companies Still Use Asbestos?