Monday, December 28, 2015

Lockheed and Shipyard 2

Lockheed and Shipyard 2:  Designated as a Superfund site, Shipyard 2 as it came to be known, is an area that contributed to extensive asbestos exposure. Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company owned and operated the shipyard from 1959 to 1987. During that time, Lockheed produced several important ships. Unfortunately, this also led to increased exposure to asbestos for many workers.


Lockheed and Shipyard 2:  History of Site


Shipyard 2 is located on Harbor Island on the Duwamish River in Seattle, Washington. At the time Lockheed purchased the site in 1959, there were already signs of asbestos contamination and that shipyard workers were suffering from long-term health consequences. A 1945 report from the Shipyard Safety Conference was known by then-owners Puget Sound Bridge and Dredge Company. This report detailed the health risk of asbestos exposure to shipyard workers. Even with this knowledge, asbestos use was continued as an insulator and mixing agent at the shipyard. Lockheed executives would later admit that the information within this report was never shared with workers.


Shipyard activities first began during World War II. During Lockheed’s ownership of the site, the company held several defense contracts. Throughout the 1960s, Lockheed produced Knox class frigates and seven platform dock ships, including the USS Denver and the USS Juneau. Additionally, workers at Shipyard 2 built Coast Guard icebreakers and submarine tenders in the 1970s. The activities of Lockheed at Shipyard 2 included ship berthing, repair, maintenance, and construction.


Following Lockheed’s discontinuance of operations in 1987, Shipyard 2 sat idle until the following year when the Port Authority of Seattle purchased it. Left behind was discarded asbestos and other potentially chemical contaminants. In March 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added Shipyard 2 to the Superfund National Priorities List and named the site “Lockheed West Seattle.” Lockheed (which merged with Martin Marietta in 1994, becoming Lockheed-Martin) continues to promise to fund studies and cleanup of the site. A work plan was proposed in 2010 and cleanup began in 2011. As of August 2013, the estimated cost of cleanup was $48.1 million.


Asbestos Danger


Asbestos becomes dangerous when it is damaged or disturbed, which releases microscopic fibers into the air. Breathing those fibers into the lungs, particularly over a long period of time, can lead to the development of serious health issues such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Asbestos was extensively used during much of the twentieth century because it provided strength and fire-resistance to products. For these reasons, asbestos was often used in the production of ships, including ships built for the U.S. Navy. Asbestos was also extensively used in the construction of commercial, residential, and industrial buildings.


Compassionate Help


Exposure to asbestos can lead to significant health complications, which often result in large medical costs. In some cases, it may be possible to recover damage awards against those responsible for your exposure. For more information related to asbestos-related claims, contact an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we understand how difficult it is for victims of asbestos exposure and would be proud to use our knowledge to help.


 



Lockheed and Shipyard 2

Friday, December 18, 2015

National Gypsum Company

The National Gypsum Company (NGC) made extensive use of asbestos in its products beginning with its founding in 1925 and not ending until 1970. This over four decades of use caused widespread exposure to asbestos fibers that eventually led to many lawsuits being filed against NGC. This would lead to the company filing for bankruptcy and forming an asbestos settlement trust fund.


History of NGC


NGC is still in business today, with its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. NGC was originally formed to produce light, flexible wallboard products. The company began including a gold bond certificate with its products promising to pay $5,000 to anyone who could prove another company’s wallboard was lighter and stronger. This marketing campaign became so successful NGC acquired a trademark on “Gold Bond.” The company began expanding the Gold Bond product line to other products, including plaster, acoustical tile, and rock wool, among numerous others. Many of these products contained asbestos.


The use of asbestos in NGC products impacted its own employees as well as workers in residential and commercial construction. Specifically, NGC products with asbestos most severely affected sheetrock workers, drywall tapers, and plasterers. Particular danger occurred for those individuals who sawed or cut products containing asbestos.


By 1990, NGC was over $1 billion in debt, largely due to asbestos-related lawsuits. As a result, the company was forced into bankruptcy. In order to complete the bankruptcy process, NGC was required to setup and fund an asbestos trust to pay for then-existing property damage claims, as well as future personal injury claims. NGC transferred more than $5 million in cash and $600 million in insurance policies to the trust. After emerging from bankruptcy, the company began acquiring some of its competitors. Today, NGC has three primary product brands:


  • Gold Bond Gypsum Board;

  • ProForm drywall finishing products; and

  • PermaBase Cement Board.

All of NGC’s current products are certified to be free of asbestos.


A Dangerous Material


When asbestos is damaged or disturbed, microscopic fibers are released into the air. When these fibers are breathed into the lungs, they can lead to serious health issues, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. These health complications often slowly develop over a long period of time. As a result, exposure from decades ago may only now be manifesting itself into a disease that can be diagnosed.


The use of asbestos was not discontinued in the United States until the 1980s even though the dangers of it were known by many manufacturers several years earlier. This placed at risk numerous individuals, including miners, construction workers, and people who worked at shipyards. Family members were also placed at risk when workers returned to their homes because the fibers would often stick to workers’ clothing or hair.


Providing Help


If you believe that exposure to asbestos has caused the development of a health issue, contact an experienced attorney today. At the Silver Law Group, we understand how difficult it is for you and your family to face an asbestos-related disease. Our attorneys will travel to you to provide the help you need.



National Gypsum Company

Monday, December 14, 2015

Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

Asbestos was extensively used in a wide variety of products until the 1980s. The material was popular because it was inexpensive and provided numerous benefits such as its strength and resistance to heat. Asbestos, however, is dangerous under certain circumstances. Due to the nature of asbestos, health issues may not become apparent for many years.


Danger in the Air


Asbestos containing materials are dangerous when the product is disturbed. This causes microscopic fibers to be released into the air. Asbestos is also considered dangerous when it is friable, which means that it can be easily crumbled with little pressure. Friable asbestos is more susceptible to having its fibers released into the air. Sprayed-on asbestos insulation is considered highly friable, whereas asbestos floor tile is not.


If the fibers enter the lungs (or the digestive tract if asbestos is ingested), serious health issues often develop over time. This is because it is difficult for the body’s immune system to destroy the fibers; they do not readily dissolve or breakdown. The body is unable to remove them once they enter the lungs or body tissues. As a result, they remain in those areas of the body and often lead to the development of disease.


Diseases


There are three primary diseases that exposure to asbestos fibers causes:


  • Asbestosis

  • Lung cancer

  • Mesothelioma

Asbestosis is a non-cancerous, respiratory disease that currently has no effective treatment, which usually means it is fatal. Individuals that develop asbestosis are generally workers who deal with asbestos or asbestos-containing products on a daily basis. It is not, for example, caused as a result of exposure because of the neighborhood a person lived in or living with a person who worked with asbestos.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of death related to exposure to asbestos. Individuals who mined, milled, manufactured, or used asbestos containing materials have a higher rate of incidence of lung cancer than the general population.


Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is directly linked to asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is often referred to as the “signature disease” of asbestos exposure. The individuals at risk of developing this disease include workers exposed to asbestos containing products, but also people who lived with those workers and people who resided near mines, factories, or shipyards that were involved with asbestos.


Compassionate Legal Advocacy


Due to its strength and resistance to heat, asbestos was used in thousands of products for much of the twentieth century. Unfortunately, this widespread use caused many people to be exposed to dangerous fibers. If you have been diagnosed with a disease that you believe was caused by exposure to asbestos, contact an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we understand the serious nature of asbestos-related diseases and will work diligently for you.



Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Asbestos Sheets

The use of asbestos sheets for various construction projects began in 1907. These sheets were made from asbestos cement and were used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Asbestos sheets are considered to be of medium toxicity, but they are generally not friable and not banned from use.


Types of Sheets


Before asbestos sheets were used, fires were able to spread very quickly, which often resulted in the complete loss of buildings. The various types of asbestos sheets include:


  • Corrugated sheets: primarily used in roofs and as siding for walls to provide structural support and protection in the event of fire;

  • Sheathing (also called corrugated asbestos-cement sheathing or asbestos building lumber): used in roofing and siding, frequently in renovation projects or additions because it was easy and inexpensive to install; and

  • Flatsheet: used in interior walls and ceilings.

Asbestos sheets are made by mixing cement, water, and asbestos together. Once mixed, the material is layered and pressed between metallic plates in order to remove excess water and to create a corrugated pattern. This pattern appears as a series of parallel ridges that add strength to the sheet. Some of the manufacturers of asbestos sheet included Keasby & Mattison, Johns Manville, Philip Carey Manufacturing Corporation, and National Gypsum Company.


Potential Danger


Asbestos sheets contain between 20-45%asbestos. They can become dangerous when they are damaged. This can occur as a result of power washing, sanding, sawing, drilling, or removing sheets. Any of those activities can lead to microscopic asbestos fibers being released into the air. Additionally, heat, water, weathering, and aging can also weaken sheets, making them more susceptible to being damaged. Construction workers are at the most risk as a result of projects involving installing, removing, renovating, or demolishing asbestos sheets.


Though not friable, asbestos sheets can become friable if they are damaged. A product is friable if it is brittle and can be broken apart with very little force. Prior to any demolition or renovation project, asbestos sheets should be abated and, if possible, they should be removed whole. If asbestos sheets become broken and friable, only a licensed and registered asbestos contractor should handle the abatement process. During the removal, all sheets should be wet in order to help minimize the risk of fibers being released.


When asbestos fibers are breathed into the lungs, they may remain for many years before health complications such as mesothelioma or asbestosis develop. The use of asbestos was widespread for much of the twentieth century. While the use largely ended in the 1980s, older homes or buildings may still contain products that contain asbestos. As a result, care should be taken when renovating these types of structures.


Compassionate Help


If you have been diagnosed with a health condition related to exposure to asbestos, it may be possible for you to hold those responsible for your exposure accountable. For more information, contact an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we understand the difficulty of dealing with asbestos-related diseases and look forward to discussing how we can help.


 



Asbestos Sheets

Thursday, November 26, 2015

New Drug May Help Mesothelioma Victims

Recently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new medication in the treatment of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and melanoma. The drug, called Keytruda and manufactured by Merck, has shown positive results in the treatment of patients with mesothelioma. This is important, as the treatment options for mesothelioma are currently severely limited.


Mesothelioma


An individual may develop mesothelioma after prolonged exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, this was common for much of the twentieth century, as up until the 1980s asbestos was used extensively in numerous products. Asbestos becomes dangerous when microscopic fibers are disturbed and released into the air. When breathed in, these fibers may remain in the lungs for many years before serious issues become apparent. Construction workers, carpenters, and shipyard workers are just some of the individuals who were placed at risk due to their occupations.


New Drug May Help Mesothelioma Victims


Keytruda attacks and kills cancer cells by targeting a protein called Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1). The drug will treat patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer in which the disease has progressed despite the use of alternative treatments. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, in 2015, it is estimated that there will be 1,658,370 new cases of cancer diagnosed in the United States. Additionally, an estimated 589,430 people will die due to the disease.


Dr. Hossein Borghaei, a lung cancer and mesothelioma specialist at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, stated, “[f]or an early-stage investigation into this terrible disease, it’s very encouraging to have the kind of results that the investigators are reporting.” According to one study made up of 25 mesothelioma patients who had unsuccessfully undergone chemotherapy and who had tumors with the PD-L1 protein, 76% showed improvement after around 5 ½ months. Furthermore, 48% of the individuals in the study had their tumors stop growing and 28% had their tumors shrink.


Individuals may find that the side effects of Keytruda are more tolerable than chemotherapy. These side effects include, but are not limited to:


  • An increased feeling of fatigue;

  • Decrease in appetite;

  • Shortness of breath;

  • Impaired breathing;

  • Development of a cough; or

  • Severe immune system-related issues.

According to Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Keytruda will allow physicians to specifically target patients who they believe are the most likely to benefit. Dr. Pazdur explained the progress being made against cancer, stating, “[o]ur growing understanding of underlying molecular pathways and how our immune system interacts with cancer is leading to important advances in medicine.”


Compassionate Legal Help


The development of Keytruda signals a bit of good news for victims of mesothelioma. If you have been diagnosed with this disease, it may be possible for you to recover against those responsible for your exposure to asbestos. Recovery can be critically important for covering the cost associated with medical treatment. For more information, contact an attorney experienced in asbestos-related matters. At the Throneberry Law Group, our attorneys will travel to where you live to provide help.


 


 



New Drug May Help Mesothelioma Victims

Friday, November 20, 2015

Asbestos Use in Adhesives

Adhesives are used to help bond numerous types of materials. Beginning early in the 1900s, it was common for asbestos use in adhesives . Unfortunately, microscopic asbestos fibers are dangerous when inhaled into the lungs. By the 1980s, the dangers were so widely known that asbestos use was largely discontinued.


Asbestos Use in Adhesives


Adhesives are used in flooring, wallpaper, HVAC systems, and many other construction materials. Additionally, they were used to patch seal joints on boilers and pipes on United States Naval ships because, when these adhesives contained asbestos, they were capable of withstanding extreme heat and fire. Fortunately, asbestos-containing adhesives have low toxicity levels and are not friable. As a result of this, the only adhesives banned by the Environmental Protection Agency are sprayed-on asbestos adhesives that contain more than one percent asbestos and flooring felt adhesive.


The majority of liquid, non-roofing adhesives that contained asbestos were created through the use of bagged asbestos. The asbestos was placed into a fluffing machine in order to separate the fibers. Next, resins or solvents were added in a batch-mixing tank, along with pigments or fillers. Once complete, the material was packaged in metal pails, smaller containers, or tubes. By 1985, about 9.6 million gallons of asbestos non-roofing adhesives, sealants, and coatings were being produced. However, throughout the 1980s, the use of asbestos began to decline due to awareness of the danger, coupled with the filing of lawsuits, which increased insurance costs.


Danger of Exposure


Most adhesive materials with asbestos contained up to 25% asbestos. Fibers are released as adhesives break down over time. These fibers can also be released during renovation, demolition, or regulator construction if adhesives are damaged or disturbed. Additionally, seals may wear down and flake or peel away. Some of the occupations at risk of exposure to asbestos-containing adhesives included construction workers, HVAC workers, and Navy veterans.


While the use of asbestos in adhesives largely stopped in the 1980s, older homes or buildings may still contain asbestos-containing adhesives. Some of these adhesives can be abated without the help of a professional. However, black adhesive should always be tested for asbestos. If asbestos is detected, the material should be abated by a professional. It is important to never sand or grind adhesives, as this can release fibers into the air. While adhesives are not considered as dangerous as other asbestos-containing materials, it is still necessary to take precaution against exposure.


Microscopic asbestos fibers are dangerous when released into the air where they can be breathed into the lungs. Once in the lungs, these fibers may remain for many years before the development of serious diseases, like mesothelioma or other cancers, become apparent. Unfortunately, these diseases are often life-threatening and result in significant medical bills.


Compassionate Help


If you have been exposed to asbestos and believe that this may have led to the development of health issues, it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. It may be possible for you to recover needed damage awards from those responsible for your asbestos exposure. At the Throneberry Law Group, our attorneys will travel to you to provide the help you need.


 



Asbestos Use in Adhesives

Monday, November 16, 2015

Crown Cork and Asbestos

An interesting company that continues to be liable for asbestos exposure is Crown Cork and Seal, which is now known as Crown Holdings, Inc. (Crown). Founded in 1892 and headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Crown never actually manufactured a product that contained asbestos. Rather, the acquisition of another company in the 1960s exposed Crown to the risk of potential lawsuits for asbestos-related issues that remain today.


About Crown


Crown has never filed for bankruptcy and, as a result, does not have an asbestos trust fund. Today, the company is the largest metal packaging company in the United States and one of the largest in the world. Crown is involved in numerous markets, including packaging for drinks, foods, health and beauty items, and household and industrial products.


Crown’s liability in relation to products that contained asbestos came about after it acquired the New York-based Mundet Cork Company (Mundet) in 1963. Mundet manufactured cork-lined bottle caps, which was what attracted Crown to purchase the company. But, Mundet also made insulation products and cement, both of which contained significant amounts of asbestos. While Crown sold off all but the bottle-cap division, the company still remains liable for the exposure to asbestos that Mundet was responsible for.


Crown Cork and Asbestos: Who is at Risk?


There were numerous people placed at risk due to products created by Mundet. These included employees of the Mundet insulation and cement division and customers who used Mundet products, which included several oil refineries and the U.S. Navy. The largest use of Mundet products was commercial, which placed repairers and installers at increased risk.


Insulation workers were at particular risk because they used Mundet products for insulating pipes, walls, and boilers in order to keep those products from overheating and becoming susceptible to fire. Frequently, insulators worked in confined spaces, which increased the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibers. Chrysotile asbestos was used in the insulation of pipes because it became strong and cohesive when used along with magnesium.


Family members of workers who dealt with products that contained asbestos were also placed at risk. This is because asbestos dust, which contains dangerous, microscopic fibers, remains on clothing and hair. When a person who came into contact with asbestos dust returned home from work, it was possible that asbestos fibers could be released into the air, which family members may have then breathed in. This was a particular risk for family members responsible for cleaning the clothes of workers exposed to asbestos.


Some of the products that Mundet created that contained asbestos included:


  • Mineral wool finishing cement;

  • Mineral wool insulating cement;

  • Cork 85 percent magnesia asbestos insulation;

  • Block insulation; and

  • Pipe covering.

Compassionate Legal Advocacy


Exposure to asbestos fibers can lead to serious health consequences such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. If you believe you may have developed a disease related to asbestos exposure, contact an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we understand the difficulty of dealing with asbestos-related diseases. We look forward to discussing how we can help you.



Crown Cork and Asbestos

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Asbestos in Vinyl Products

Vinyl was first produced in the 1920s and continues to be used today. Made up of plastic resin, vinyl is used in many building and housing applications due to it being simultaneously flexible, sturdy, and durable. Unfortunately, some vinyl products may be dangerous because they contain asbestos.


Asbestos in Vinyl Products


The use of asbestos was common in vinyl because it made the product stronger and better insulated, while also being relatively inexpensive. Vinyl was used in all different kinds of structures such as residences, schools, and commercial buildings. Some of the common products asbestos was used in include:


  • Vinyl sheet flooring;

  • Vinyl wallpaper; and

  • Vinyl Asbestos Tile (VAT).

There were numerous companies that manufactured vinyl products that contained asbestos, including:


  • Armstrong World Industries;

  • Congoleum Corporation;

  • GAF Corporation; and

  • Synkoloid Corporation.

Vinyl Products and Asbestos Exposure


In comparison to other products that contained asbestos, vinyl products are considered less dangerous. This is because asbestos in vinyl is not highly toxic and typically not friable. A product that is friable is susceptible to being broken, releasing fibers into the air through small amounts of pressure. As a result of this, the use of asbestos in vinyl was not prohibited. However, the use of asbestos began being phased out in the 1980s due to the health concerns that exposure to asbestos fibers raised.


While the use of asbestos in new products largely ended in the 1980s, older buildings and residences may still contain products with asbestos. However, if the material with asbestos is in good condition, the risk of exposure is relatively low. This is particularly true for products like tile or wallpaper, which are both considered non-friable. But, cutting, sanding, or disturbing these products can still release fibers into the air.


The most dangerous vinyl product is vinyl sheet flooring. This product often came in very large pieces, which were cut down to size to fit the particular application. It was common for vinyl sheet flooring to have an asbestos backing that is considered friable, meaning disturbing or damaging the product is likely to release fibers.


Due to the fact that vinyl wallpaper and floor tiles contain asbestos that is not considered friable, abatement of those products typically does not require a license. This means that a homeowner that comes across these materials can perform the removal themselves. If doing so, it is important to always wear proper personal protective equipment and dampen all tiles and wallpaper before removing them to limit the chance asbestos dust will be released. Importantly, vinyl sheet flooring must be handled by a professional.


Helping Victims


Individuals exposed to asbestos fibers may be at an increased risk of developing serious health issues such as mesothelioma or asbestosis. If you have been diagnosed with a disease that you believe may be related to asbestos exposure, contact an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, our attorneys will travel to where you live to provide you the help you need.



Asbestos in Vinyl Products

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mobil and Asbestos

The Mobil Oil Corporation, now known as ExxonMobil and headquartered in Irving, Texas, was founded as part of the breakup of the Standard Oil Company. Due to the nature of its industry, the company made extensive use of products that contained asbestos. As a result, many former employees have developed health issues arising out of their exposure to asbestos fibers.


History of the Company


Mobil Oil began as a result of the order for Standard Oil to break apart into smaller companies after the U.S. Supreme Court found that the company violated federal antitrust laws. In 1931, two of the companies that were spawned out of the breakup, Vacuum Oil and Standard Oil of NY (Socony), merged into Socony Vacuum and sold a product called Mobilgas. In 1955, the company changed its name to Socony Mobil Oil, before becoming Mobil Oil in 1966.


Mobil merged with the Exxon Corporation in 1999, becoming ExxonMobil. Today, it is the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company in the world. ExxonMobil operates 38 oil refineries in 21 countries, capable of a combined daily refining capacity of 6.3 million barrels. The company produces and sells crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas.


Importantly, the company has never filed for bankruptcy, which means it has not been required to set up an asbestos trust fund in order to assist victims of exposure to asbestos.


Mobil and Asbestos


In order to produce oil and manage oil refineries, a significant amount of heavy-duty industrial equipment must be used. This equipment is used in the drilling and harvesting of products like oil. Historically, this equipment, which produces a great deal of heat, often contained asbestos. This was because asbestos, which is non-flammable and heat resistant, was widely considered to be the best insulation material for any equipment or vessel that contained anything that was flammable, such as oil and gas.


Some of the different products that the company made or used that contained asbestos include, but are not limited to:


  • Vessels;

  • Carriers;

  • Pipelines;

  • Reactors;

  • Furnaces;

  • Heat exchangers;

  • Boilers; and

  • Protective clothing worn by its refinery workers.

The asbestos placed certain employees at a significant risk of exposure while they worked for the company, including insulators, metal workers, engineers, electricians, and chemical workers.


Dangers of Exposure


When asbestos is disturbed, it can release microscopic fibers into the air. After prolonged, sustained exposure to these fibers, individuals may be at risk for the development of serious diseases, such as mesothelioma and other cancers. While the use of asbestos was widely discontinued in the 1980s, the effects of exposure in some cases may not develop for decades. Unfortunately, when issues arise, they are usually highly dangerous.


Helping Victims


For more information about how to seek damages for the harm you have suffered as a result of exposure to asbestos, contact an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we travel to victims of asbestos exposure to provide them with help. We look forward to hearing from you to discuss your situation.



Mobil and Asbestos

Monday, October 26, 2015

Asbestos in Fire Prevention Products

The use of asbestos in products to help provide protection from fire first began centuries ago, but it became increasingly more common during the early twentieth century. Asbestos is a very effective material to provide fireproofing and fire protection, but it is also very dangerous when its microscopic fibers are inhaled. Since the 1980s, the use of asbestos has almost entirely been discontinued.


Fire Protection


Asbestos was an inexpensive additive used in numerous fire-resistant products. Beginning in the mid-1800s, asbestos was used in textiles, woven into fabrics to make them more resistant to fire. Some of the resulting products included suits for firefighters, laboratory gloves, and theater curtains. These textiles were also used in other fire-resistant fabrics, clothes, insulations, and coatings.


The use of asbestos was also quite common in construction materials to help with preventing fires. Some of these products included:


  • Roofing shingles;

  • Wallboard panels;

  • Concrete;

  • Tar paper;

  • Plastic cement; and

  • Ceiling tile.

Asbestos is particularly well suited for all of the above mentioned applications because it is non-flammable and non-combustible, with a melting point of around 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, asbestos is made up of very strong, flexible fibers.


Dangers of Asbestos in Fire Prevention Products


In the 1970s, both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) completed studies that led to a determination that the use of asbestos should be restricted. The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) determined that the use of fire-proofing spray containing asbestos should be completely prohibited. However, NESHAP revised that decision in 1990, advising that asbestos-containing spray may be used, but that any such spray must contain either less than one percent asbestos or have the asbestos encapsulated with a binder.


Fire-proofing spray was particularly dangerous because it is a wet, foam-like material upon its application. As the spray dries, it becomes much more friable, which means it becomes more susceptible to crumbling. Additionally, over time, the spray continues to dry out and become even more friable.


It is important to note that the specific level of asbestos content varies by the particular product. For example, ceiling tiles averaged around ten percent asbestos, whereas some textiles were made entirely of asbestos. The occupations at the highest risk of exposure are construction workers and firefighters. This is because renovation projects or a fire can lead to the damage and disturbance of fibers.


Asbestos becomes dangerous when its microscopic fibers are released into the air and breathed into the lungs. Exposure to these fibers can lead to the development of serious diseases, including mesothelioma and other cancers. While the use of asbestos was largely discontinued in the 1980s, products containing asbestos still exist in many homes and other buildings today.


Compassionate Help


The use of asbestos was extremely common for much of the twentieth century, which caused many people to be exposed to dangerous fibers. For information about the legal remedies available to victims of exposure to asbestos, contact an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we will travel to you to help.



Asbestos in Fire Prevention Products

Friday, October 23, 2015

General Motors and Asbestos

One of the nation’s most recognized companies, General Motors (GM) has been manufacturing automobiles for over 100 years. As the company grew, it entered other industries as well. Many of the products that GM and its subsidiaries created contained asbestos and, because of the size of GM, the number of people impacted by the company’s use of asbestos is extensive.


History of GM


GM was founded in Flint, Michigan on September 16, 1908 by William Durant. At that time, GM only owned the Buick Motor Company. However, Durant would go on to purchase more than 30 companies with the intention of bringing all of them together under the GM label. These companies included Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, and Cadillac. Today, GM is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan.


As the company began expanding, it entered other industries apart from the manufacturing of automobiles. For example, it acquired subsidiaries like Frigidaire and the Delco Appliance Corporation. Additionally, GM helped during World War II by producing tanks, naval ships, and planes. Today, GM also provides consumer lending services.


General Motors and Asbestos


The disturbance of asbestos causes microscopic fibers to be released into the air, which can be breathed into the lungs. Those fibers can cause serious health issues, like the development of mesothelioma and other cancers. An individual may live for several years after exposure to asbestos fibers before any health complications become apparent.


GM purchased products containing asbestos from numerous outside companies, which led to the company being named in a number of lawsuits. For example, Borg-Warner produced clutch parts that contained chrysotile asbestos, which GM used from the early 1960s into the 1980s. The majority of the lawsuits involving GM related to brake linings and clutch facings. GM used asbestos (or products that contained asbestos) in brake and clutch assemblies from the 1930s to the 1980s. Asbestos was also used in adhesives, gaskets, and electrical parts.


Individuals at significant risk included automobile mechanics, warehouse employees, brake and clutch assemblers, and boiler workers. Risk of asbestos exposure also extended to sales people of automobile parts and consumers. Many parts were widely available at stores to enable consumers to work on their own cars. GM subsidiaries, like Frigidaire and Delco manufactured products that contained asbestos to insulate boilers and ovens. This placed individuals who repaired or installed these products at risk, as well as consumers.


The company filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and emerged from it the same year. As a result of its bankruptcy, GM was forced to create an asbestos trust fund. This was completed in 2012 and contains $625 million for the benefit of victims of exposure to asbestos that can be traced to GM.


Helping Victims


If you have developed health issues as a result of exposure to asbestos, it may be possible for you to recover for the damage you have suffered. For more information about potential legal remedies, contact an attorney with experience handling mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cases today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we will travel to you to provide our help.



General Motors and Asbestos

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Asbestos in Automotive Parts

The automobile industry was one of the driving forces behind the growth of the United States. Today, automobiles are everywhere you look and have been for decades. They provide reliable and easy access to transportation. Unfortunately, they also contained significant amounts of asbestos.


Asbestos in Automotive Parts – Products Containing Asbestos


Asbestos was used in automobile parts because of its heat-resistance capabilities. It was commonly used in brake and clutch components. Other auto parts that contained asbestos include hood liners, gasket materials, heat seals, and valve rings.


As part of normal use, asbestos brake linings wore down as a result of friction, releasing large amounts of microscopic asbestos fibers. These fibers often became trapped within the brake housing. When auto mechanics or owners opened the housing, the dust containing asbestos was released into the air and breathed in. Similarly, clutch systems naturally wore down and caused asbestos to become ground down and released into the air as dust.


An estimated 900,000 auto mechanics were exposed to asbestos fibers from brake and clutch parts. Despite the risks of exposure to asbestos fibers, the use of asbestos never completely ended. Asbestos can be found in linings within high-end foreign automobiles and in some aftermarket products.


Due to the sheer size of the automotive industry, the number of companies that manufactured products that contained asbestos are numerous. Some of these companies include automobile manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors, and Daimler-Chrysler, as well as parts manufacturers and suppliers including but not limited to:


Abex, Federal-Mogul,


Bendix- a division of Honeywell,


Pneumo Corporation,


Pep Boys,


Advance Auto Parts,


Fisher Auto Parts,


Raymark Industries,


Genuine Parts Company,


O’Reilly Automotive, Inc.,


Autozone,


Ren Auto Parts, and


Austin Auto Parts


It is important to keep in mind that the companies named above are just a fraction of the companies that made automotive products with asbestos.


Dealing with Products Containing Asbestos


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued warnings to mechanics to assume that all brake systems contain asbestos. In addition, OSHA has informed of cleaning techniques that may release asbestos fibers into the air:


  • Using a vacuum cleaner;

  • Using compressed air to clean drum brake systems; and

  • Wiping parts with a dry rag.

OSHA prefers automotive repair shops to use one of the following specific practices to control asbestos dust if they perform more than five brake or clutch jobs per week:


  • Negative-Pressure Enclosure/HEPA Vacuum System Method: Through this method, a special box made up of clear walls or windows is fitted tightly around a brake or clutch assembly thereby keeping any asbestos fibers from escaping into the air; or

  • Low Pressure/Wet Cleaning Method: This method involves the use of a low pressure spray that wets the assembly in order to keep dust from escaping into the air. The runoff is collected in a catch basin.

Helping Victims of Asbestos Exposure


Automobiles have been allowing us to travel easily and inexpensively for over 100 years. Unfortunately, for a large portion of that history, automobiles were manufactured with products that contained asbestos. If you believe that you have been injured as a result of exposure to asbestos, speak with an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we travel the country to provide compassionate legal representation to victims of asbestos exposure.


 



Asbestos in Automotive Parts

Thursday, October 15, 2015

W.R. Grace and Asbestos

Founded in 1854, W.R. Grace (Grace) is responsible for one of the largest asbestos contamination cases in U.S. history. The contamination caused severe harm to its employees and to the residents of the community of the contamination site. The harm forced the company to file for bankruptcy, organize an asbestos trust fund, and face criminal charges. Despite these obstacles, Grace continues to operate today, with its headquarters in Columbia, Maryland.


W.R. Grace and Asbestos History


Grace purchased vermiculite mines and a processing mill in Libby, Montana in 1963, continuing operation there until 1990. The company employed up to 200 people and produced up to 200,000 tons of vermiculite per year. Unfortunately, vermiculite mines are often a source of asbestos as well. This was the case for Grace’s mine and it posed a significant risk to the people who worked in the mines and to those who lived in the area. It is estimated that more than 400 Libby residents have died due to exposure to asbestos fibers.


The Zonolite Mountain mine was closed in 1990 after large amounts of airborne asbestos fibers were detected. This discovery led to numerous asbestos-related lawsuits filed against Grace. These lawsuits included those of residents who lived near the mine, as well as construction workers and homeowners who came into contact with the numerous materials produced by Grace that contained asbestos.


Grace produced specialty chemicals and materials primarily for the construction industry. Some of the products Grace produced included fireproofing materials, plaster, roofing and deck materials, and additives for concrete and cement. The company shipped these products both domestically and internationally.


Criminal Charges


In 2001, criminal proceedings were filed against Grace by the U.S. government. The company, as well as seven of its executives, was charged with concealing information about the health issues that were caused by exposure to the mine. During the case, records were uncovered that showed the company was aware of harm being caused to employees and residents as early as the 1970s, though nothing was done to limit that danger or warn individuals of the risk.


In addition to the criminal charges in 2001, the company also filed for bankruptcy. In 2009, Grace was ordered to pay the U.S. government in excess of $54 million in order to cover the cleanup costs of its mine. The company established its asbestos trust in 2008 and emerged from bankruptcy in 2014. Today, the mine is considered a Superfund site. Superfund is the name given to an environmental program designed to clean up abandoned areas where hazardous materials exist. The disturbed asbestos caused contamination in residences, schools, businesses, water, and soil.


Help for Asbestos Victims


Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause significant health issues, such as mesothelioma and other cancers. For victims of asbestos exposure, it may be possible to recover damages from those responsible for your exposure. If you would like more information about claims that may be possible as a result of your exposure to asbestos, speak with an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Firm, we travel to you in order to help you with your claim.



W.R. Grace and Asbestos

Friday, October 9, 2015

Johns Manville

With origins of its company tracing back to before the Civil War, the Johns Manville Corporation is responsible for a significant amount of the asbestos-containing products sold in the United States. Exposure to microscopic asbestos fibers can lead to the development of mesothelioma and other serious health conditions. In some circumstances, it is possible for victims to recover monetary damages for the harm caused through asbestos-related claims, including mesothelioma litigation.


History of the Company


The H.W. Johns Manville Corporation is the result of a merger between the H.W. Johns Manufacturing Company, which used asbestos to manufacture fire resistant roofing, and the Manville Covering Company, which manufactured asbestos heat insulation. After the merger was completed in 1901, the company began manufacturing insulation and construction products for commercial, industrial, and residential buildings.


Some of the products manufactured by the company include products for roofing, insulation, automotive sheet cylinder packing, acoustical products, and cement, all of which contained some amount of asbestos. The company was also involved in the World War II effort, manufacturing insulation products for Naval Vessels and other war-related products that contained a mix of asbestos and silica. As U.S. involvement in the war increased, the demand for Johns Manville products also increased.


In 1958, the company entered the fiberglass market and by 1974 it had become an industry leader in the manufacturing of fiberglass as well as PVC pipe and asbestos cement pipe. In addition to its manufacturing activities, Johns Manville also owned asbestos mines, including the Jeffrey Mine, an open pit mine located in Canada. The company also exported a significant amount of raw asbestos abroad.


Bankruptcy


The Johns Manville Corporation filed for bankruptcy in 1982 and eventually reorganized in 1988. As part of its bankruptcy reorganization, the company created a trust fund to pay claims made by victims of asbestos exposure that could be traced to the company. It was discovered that the company was aware of the potentially deadly effects of exposure to asbestos fibers, but took steps to conceal that information from workers and consumers.


The Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust was originally funded with cash, Johns Manville securities, and insurance proceeds. The company was the first asbestos-producing company to file for bankruptcy and establish a trust fund in order to settle all injury claims. To date, hundreds of thousands of victims have been compensated, with over $4 billion in damages paid. The State of the Trust contains quarterly filings with the court that details important financial information related to the trust.


Johns Manville, with over 7,000 employees worldwide, continues to operate today, with its global headquarters in Denver, Colorado. In addition to many of the same industries it has served historically, the company has expanded into industries such as aerospace and wind energy.


Helping Victims


The Johns Manville Corporation is just one of the numerous companies that contributed to the widespread use of asbestos products in the U.S. for much of the twentieth century. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of exposure to asbestos, speak with an attorney with experience in mesothelioma and other asbestos-related claims. At the Throneberry Law Group, we strive to you to help you obtain the compensation you need.



Johns Manville

Monday, October 5, 2015

Asbestos in Insulation

Asbestos contains microscopic fibers that, when released into the air, can be breathed into the lungs, where they can remain for several years before serious health issues become apparent. Exposure to these fibers can cause serious health issues, including cancers like mesothelioma. Insulation was the largest source of exposure to asbestos for workers throughout the 1900s.


Insulation Use


Insulation provides many benefits, including energy conservation, sound deadening, reduction of electrical conductivity, and help with the retention of hot and cold temperatures. Asbestos was particularly well-suited for these purposes, as it is fire resistant and a poor conductor of electricity. In addition, it was cheap and durable. The use of asbestos in insulation products began in the late 1800s to help protect against high-temperature pipes. By 1874, asbestos insulation products were commercially produced and sold on a large-scale basis.


Asbestos was used in (and can still be found in some) homes, buildings, ships, cars, and manufacturing facilities. In homes and other buildings, asbestos insulation was used in attics, ceilings, walls, around pipes, boilers, furnaces, and electrical boxes. Bans on the use of asbestos did not occur until the 1970s. In 1991, the ban was lifted, but products cannot contain more than one percent asbestos.


The five main categories of insulation that contained asbestos include:


  1. Attic: used for heating, ventilation, and cooling (air conditioning) systems. The most widely recognized brand was Zonolite.

  2. Pipe: often used to control temperatures of hot pipes, particularly those in the building of ships. Today, it is often crumbly, making it particularly dangerous due to fibers being released into the air. Air Cell was a common type.

  3. Block: applied to concrete blocks of homes and other buildings in order to maintain hot and cold temperatures; it provides protection from outside temperatures.

  4. Wall: controls the temperature inside a structure, like a home. It is placed inside the drywall between the studs. Often, wall insulation needed to be cut, which released fibers into the air, increasing exposure to fibers

  5. Spray Applied: popular because it was simple and inexpensive to apply to spaces to help control temperatures. The National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) prohibited the use of spray-application materials containing more than one percent asbestos unless encapsulated with a bituminous or resinous binder.

One of the largest manufacturers of insulation products that contained asbestos was Johns Manville. Workers at particular risk of exposure to asbestos related to insulation included insulators, plumbers, electricians, and pipefitters.


Help for Asbestos Victims


If you believe that you or a loved one have been harmed by exposure to asbestos, it may be possible for you to recover for the damages you have suffered. For more information, speak with an attorney experienced in asbestos-related claims today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we travel across the nation to assist victims in the pursuit of recovery for the damages they have suffered. We look forward to hearing from you and discussing how we can help.



Asbestos in Insulation

Friday, September 11, 2015

Asbestos Abatement

Though the use of asbestos was largely halted in the 1980s, its widespread use for much of the twentieth century means it is not uncommon for people to come across asbestos in their homes or other buildings today. If this happens, it does not mean panic should set in, but there are precautions that should be exercised. By treating asbestos with caution, injury can be avoided.


Asbestos Abatement: Repair Versus Removal


Asbestos was extensively used in insulation and other products that required heat resistance. Asbestos becomes dangerous when it is damaged or removed, which releases microscopic fibers into the air. When breathed in, these fibers may remain in the lungs for many years before serious health complications appear, such as mesothelioma or other cancers.


Asbestos that is damaged or that may be disturbed should either be repaired or removed. A repair involves the sealing or covering of the asbestos (or the product containing asbestos). Sealing or encapsulation occurs when material is treated with a sealant that either binds the fibers together or coats the material, which prevents any fibers from being released. Alternatively, covering or enclosure involves the placement of something over or around the material containing asbestos in order to prevent the release of fibers.


In some cases, removal is required. This is often necessary when remodeling or other work will likely disturb materials containing asbestos. Removal may also be necessary when a product with asbestos is excessively damaged.


Inspectors and Contractors


Inspectors inspect a home or building, make assessments of the conditions, obtain samples used for testing, and give advice on what should be done. Additionally, inspectors can also monitor the air to discover whether asbestos fibers were released, determine whether corrective action was completed following proper procedures, and ensure any cleanup was done correctly. In contrast, contractors actually perform the repair or removal of asbestos or materials containing asbestos.


Under federal law, there is no requirement that individuals who inspect, repair, or remove asbestos in detached, single-family homes be trained or accredited. However, some states or localities do require such training or accreditation. Before allowing someone to begin work, individuals should request documentation of the professional’s completion of federal or state-approved training.


The following are some things to expect when hiring an asbestos professional:


  • For an inspector: An inspector should complete a visual inspection of the entire home and collect samples for analysis in a lab. After the inspection is complete, the inspector should provide a written evaluation which details the exact location of all asbestos, the extent of any damage, and his or her recommendations for correction and prevention of harm.

  • For a contractor: A written contract should be provided which sets out the plan, cleanup, and applicable regulations that must be followed (these may include notification requirements and removal, handling and disposal procedures). Following completion of the contractor’s work, an inspector or independent air testing contractor should perform air monitoring.

Legal Help for Victims of Asbestos Exposure


Exposure to asbestos can have severe consequences. If you believe that you have been harmed as a result of being exposed to asbestos, speak with an attorney experienced in asbestos-related diseases. At the Throneberry Law Group, we provide compassionate legal advocacy for victims of asbestos-related diseases.



Asbestos Abatement

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Discovery in Mesothelioma Cases

An important part of any lawsuit is the discovery process. Discovery is a pre-trial phase of a lawsuit in which all parties involved request and gather information related to the case. Due to the complex nature of mesothelioma claims, the discovery phase is critical. For victims in mesothelioma claims, it is important to be prepared for extensive questioning related to many different aspects of the person’s life. While this may seem personally invasive, it is a necessary step in the development of the claim.


What Does Discovery in Mesothelioma Cases Entail?


Discovery occurs before a trial begins and allows each party to obtain evidence from all opposing parties. In order to collect this evidence and information, the parties make use of interrogatories, requests for depositions, production of documents, and admissions. A majority of the information that will be involved in the case is exchanged during this phase of the lawsuit.


The information and evidence collected during discovery helps to give the attorneys a clearer idea of how the lawsuit may unfold if it continues all the way to trial. As a result of this, many settlements occur during the discovery phase, after the attorneys have a better sense of the potential chances of success.


Victims of mesothelioma who file a lawsuit seeking damages will be faced with thorough questioning and personal requests by the defendant. Some of the information that will likely be requested includes the following:


  • Employment history;

  • Medical history;

  • Family history of asbestos-related diseases or cancer;

  • Whether the victim is a smoker or was in the past;

  • Where and how the exposure to asbestos occurred;

  • Whether the victim’s employer instituted any regulations intended to limit asbestos exposure; and

  • The initial date and frequency of exposure.

It is important to be aware that the above are just some of the questions that may be raised by the defendant. There will likely be many more related to the victim’s exposure, diagnosis, and treatment. One way in which a victim will provide answers is through the use of interrogatories. These are like questionnaires in which written answers are provided.


Another way in which evidence and information is collected is through depositions. During a deposition, answers to questions are provided while under oath. Additionally, depositions are recorded and videotaped for documentation purposes. Both parties to the lawsuit will also contact the victim’s family members, co-workers, and former employers to collect more information. The victim’s primary healthcare provider will also have to answer questions related to the medical condition and treatment of the victim.


Some depositions last for only a few hours, while others may span over the period of several days. The length of time depositions last depends on a variety of issues, such as the complexity of the case. The entire discover phase typically lasts several months.


Compassionate Help for Victims


For more information about methods of recovery for mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, speak with an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we travel the country to provide representation to victims of these aggressive diseases.



Discovery in Mesothelioma Cases

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Asbestos Class Action

Individuals exposed to asbestos fibers are at risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Exposure was widespread up until the 1980s, when the dangers of exposure were officially recognized by the federal government. Unfortunately, by that time, many individuals had already been exposed to dangerous levels of fibers. As a result, there have been many asbestos-related claims against the manufacturers and employers that were responsible for causing exposure to victims.


Danger of Asbestos


Asbestos contains microscopic fibers that, when disturbed, are released into the air where they can be breathed into the lungs. They may remain in the lungs for several years (in some cases, even decades) before any damage is detected. Exposure to these fibers has been linked to the development of cancer, including mesothelioma. The cost of treating these diseases or conditions is often quite significant. As a result, victims frequently turn to lawsuits against those responsible for their exposure to recover damage awards that can help pay for medical expenses.


Asbestos Class Action:  Should I Join a Class Action?


A class action lawsuit involves a group of people collectively filing a claim against a defendant. The lawsuit is filed on behalf of a group of people who are “similarly situated.” This means that a group of plaintiffs all have similar injuries caused by shared circumstances that raise the same legal issues. The court determines whether the similarities are sufficiently close enough and whether forcing all of the plaintiffs to file separate lawsuits would be overly burdensome.


An individual may be asked to join in a class action lawsuit if it is thought that the individual is similarly situated to the other plaintiffs. If this happens, the individual may elect to join the class action, but this will eliminate his or her ability to file an individual lawsuit against the defendant for the same injury. Alternatively, the individual can elect to “opt out” of the class action, which preserves his or her right to pursue an individual claim at a future date.


Due to the large number of claimants in a class action lawsuit, the result is typically a settlement agreement. This may be highly desirable for an individual who does not want to go through the expense and duration of a trial. However, joining a class action can also have negative consequences. For example, whether through a settlement or success at trial, the award will be divided among all of the claimants in a class action. Because of this, an individual, if successful, often ends up with a larger award by filing an individual claim than if they joined a class action. Before deciding whether or not to join a class action, it is important to consult with an attorney in order to protect your legal rights.


Helping Victims


Exposure to asbestos fibers can result in devastating diseases such as mesothelioma and other cancers. If you believe that you have developed a disease due to exposure to asbestos fibers, speak with an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we provide compassionate representation to victims of asbestos fiber exposure.



Asbestos Class Action

Monday, August 24, 2015

What is Asbestos?

The Industrial Revolution led to a rapid increase in the use of asbestos that continued until the mid-1970s. Asbestos could be found in just about every product made during the twentieth century and also found its way into homes and other buildings. Unfortunately, asbestos can be very dangerous, leading to the development of mesothelioma and other cancers.


What is Asbestos?


Asbestos is a group of minerals that occur naturally as bundles of microscopic fibers. When released into the air, the fibers can be breathed in and remain in the lungs for long periods of time. An individual may have these fibers in their lungs for decades before serious complications develop.


There are two main types of asbestos – chrysotile (known as white asbestos) and amphibole. Chrysotile was the most common type of asbestos used in industrial applications. Chrysotile fibers wrap around themselves in the shape of a spiral, which has led to chrysotile being referred to as “serpentine” or “curly” asbestos. Amphibole asbestos is straight and needle-like. It includes several different types of asbestos, including amosite (brown asbestos), crocidolite (blue asbestos), tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite. Both chrysotile and amphibole are known to cause cancer and can lead to the development of mesothelioma.


Evidence that breathing in asbestos fibers causes scarring of the lungs was found during the first half of the 1900s, but for many decades the dangers of asbestos fibers were downplayed or ignored because of the benefits of asbestos. Asbestos is strong, heat-resistant, and does not conduct electricity. As a result, it became tremendously well-suited for insulation applications, including in ships, homes, and other structures. While asbestos use sharply declined beginning in the 1980s, it can still be found today, particularly in older homes or buildings.


What to Do After Exposure to Asbestos


If you believe you have come into contact with asbestos, the first step is to assess the level and length of exposure. If you were in contact with a small amount of asbestos fibers and for a short period of time, the danger that any health issues will arise is probably low. However, prolonged exposure of high levels can significantly increase your risk of developing cancer. This level of exposure often occurred with people whose work history involved dealing with products with asbestos. For example, individuals such as carpenters, shipbuilders, or power plant workers were often exposed to high levels of asbestos fibers while on the job.


It is important to speak with your doctor about your exposure to asbestos. Additionally, it may be advisable to see a specialist in asbestos-related diseases. Your doctor may recommend that you undergo regular chest x-rays or CT scans and lung function tests. Evidence indicates that early detection of asbestos-related disease can be important in treatment and lengthening the victim’s life.


Finally, there are symptoms to watch out for that, if they arise, are reason to contact your doctor immediately. These symptoms include shortness of breath, new or worsening cough, pain and/or tightness in the chest, trouble swallowing, or unintended weight loss.


Compassionate Help


If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is likely that you will face significant costs for medical treatment. In some cases, it is possible to pursue a damage claim against those who are responsible for your exposure to asbestos. For more information, speak with an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we provide expert and caring legal representation to victims of exposure to asbestos



What is Asbestos?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Statute of Limitations in Asbestos Litigation

For individuals who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, a claim for damages may be made against those responsible for the exposure to asbestos. These claims can result in significant awards being granted to victims. However, an important aspect of these claims is the statute of limitations.


What is the Statute of Limitations in Asbestos Litigation?


The statute of limitations is the time a victim has to file a lawsuit against those responsible for the injuries caused. For personal injury cases, this period of time usually begins to run from the moment the injury occurs. When the injury occurs is usually fairly easy to determine. For example, if a person is hurt in a car accident, it is easy to determine when that accident occurred. Determining when the limitations period begins to run is important because once the period ends, a victim is usually barred from making a claim. The specific length of the statute of limitations varies by state and by the type of claim involved, but it is usually between one and six years.


In asbestos-related claims, statute of limitations issues are complicated by the nature of asbestos diseases. Asbestos becomes dangerous when microscopic fibers are released into the air and breathed into the lungs. These fibers can remain in the lungs for several decades before any issues caused by such exposure become present. Furthermore, exposure to asbestos fibers that results in the development of disease often occurs over an extended period of time, as opposed to a specific moment, such as in the case of a car accident. Therefore, pinpointing exactly when the injury occurs is very difficult.


Due to asbestos fibers’ long dormancy period, if the statute of limitations began running at the time of the injury (at the time of exposure to asbestos fibers), the period would most likely run before the victim ever became aware of any health issues. As a result of this, for asbestos-related claims, instead of starting the limitations period from the time of injury, the period begins at the time of discovery. The discovery rule in asbestos claims can be traced to the 1973 case of Borel v. Fibreboard Paper Prods. Corp.


The effect of the discovery rule is that the statute of limitations period does not begin until the victim knows or should have known of the injury. In other words, the limitations period does not begin until the effects of exposure to asbestos begin to manifest or show themselves. Under most circumstances, this moment is when a diagnosis is made. In most states, the statute of limitations period for asbestos-related claims is one or two years.


Fighting Asbestos Diseases


Combating asbestos-related diseases often requires significant medical treatment, which can become quite costly. As a result of this, victims frequently consider making claims against manufacturers or employers responsible for their exposure to asbestos. For more information about these types of claims, speak with an experienced mesothelioma and asbestos disease attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we provide compassionate legal advocacy for victims of these aggressive diseases.



Statute of Limitations in Asbestos Litigation

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Benefits of Hiring a Mesothelioma Attorney

Being diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease is a very serious issue. Combating these diseases will require significant medical treatment, which can end up being very expensive. As a result, many victims of these diseases seek the aid of a mesothelioma attorney in order to obtain assistance in pursuing monetary awards through personal injury claims.


What Can a Mesothelioma Attorney Provide?


Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases develop after an individual is exposed to microscopic asbestos fibers. Unfortunately, exposure was quite common during much of the twentieth century. By the 1980s, the dangers of exposure to asbestos fibers were widely known and the use of asbestos was discontinued. However, these diseases, in particular mesothelioma, may not develop for many years (in some cases up to 40 years) after the initial exposure. As a result of this, these types of claims are often very complex.


Asbestos-related cases are often quite complex because they involve both legal and medical issues. A diagnosis many years after the exposure can make proving the claim more difficult. This is because a causal connection between the exposure and the development of the disease must be proven. With many years between exposure and diagnosis, a common defense is that there are intervening causes for the development of the disease. A mesothelioma attorney experienced with these types of cases will know how best to counter this defense.


A mesothelioma attorney is valuable because these types of claims are often made against large companies, which devote extensive resources to defend against these types of claims. These companies often have a great deal of experience defending against claims like this. An attorney devoted to handling only asbestos-related claims can provide you with the same type of experience as these companies possess.


Usually, an attempt to reach a settlement agreement between the victim and the defendant is made before the claim goes to trial. Because of this, a mesothelioma attorney’s experience with what is a fair settlement offer is very important. A mesothelioma attorney will advise on whether to reject the offer and take the claim to trial. Some of the factors that will impact this decision include the progression of the disease and the likelihood of success at trial.


Finally, a victim of an asbestos-related disease may be seriously ill or need to spend a great deal of time receiving medical treatment. A mesothelioma attorney can help by filing required documents and making appearances in court or at settlement negotiations on the claimant’s behalf. This can be important in allowing the victim to focus on fighting against the disease.


Dedicated Mesothelioma Attorneys


At the Throneberry Law Group a mesothelioma diagnosis is personal. We can start helping you immediately by answering questions and serving as a resource for you and your family.   For more information, speak with an experienced attorney today. At the Throneberry Law Group, we provide compassionate help for mesothelioma victims.


 


 



The Benefits of Hiring a Mesothelioma Attorney

Monday, July 27, 2015

Health Insurance and Mesothelioma

Health Insurance and Mesothelioma


For victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, the costs of diagnosis and treatment are significant. These costs are quite often high enough to make it difficult, if not impossible, to afford without the assistance of health insurance. But, individuals should be aware of limitations that insurance has when it comes to these serious diseases.


Covering the Cost


Asbestos-related diseases, like mesothelioma and other cancers, can result in significant cost to victims. Typical surgeries associated with cancer treatment cost around $40,000 (and that does not include the most aggressive or complicated surgeries). An eight-week chemotherapy cycle costs around $30,000. Monthly radiation costs around $2,000.


While most insurance plans provide coverage for diagnostic testing and treatment for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, it is dependent on each particular plan. Even when these things are covered, it is typically only after high deductibles are met and will have high copayments.


In addition to private insurance, the U.S. government provides certain individuals with coverage. Medicare provides insurance for individuals 65 years of age and older who have a sufficient work history. There are four different types of Medicare:


  • Part A: provided to all individuals covered by Medicare, it covers in-patient hospital care, as well as in-patient care in nursing, hospice, or home facilities;

  • Part B: for an additional premium, it covers visits to doctor’s offices, laboratory costs, medical equipment, and ambulance services;

  • Part C: for an additional premium, it is a combination of Part A and B, and is provided by private insurance companies as supplemental insurance;

  • Part D: providing assistance for prescription medication costs.

Medicaid, the other large government program, provides assistance to low-income individuals. Under certain circumstances, mesothelioma treatment is covered under this program.


An issue that individuals may encounter in relation to their insurance coverage is the network of healthcare providers. For example, mesothelioma is a rare disease, making finding experts within an insurance policy’s network difficult. Unfortunately, this may make going outside of the network in order to find the best care through the use of a specialist necessary, which will increase the cost of treatment.


Affordable Care Act


The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which went into effect in 2014, provided important changes that impacted mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disease, including:


  1. Easier obtainment of insurance for low-income families;

  2. Minimum insurance standards for items like cancer screenings, treatment and follow-up care;

  3. Prevention of companies from dropping individuals with life-threatening diseases (like mesothelioma);

  4. Providing for patients with pre-existing conditions (like cancer) to obtain coverage; and

  5. Eliminating annual and lifetime maximums that insurance plans will pay for cancer patients.

Compassionate Legal Help


Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are often devastating. For more information on obtaining assistance in seeking the needed benefits to help you combat these insidious diseases, contact the experienced attorneys at the Throneberry Law Group today. We understand the difficulty of fighting asbestos-related diseases and diligently fight for the victims we represent.


 


 


 


 



Health Insurance and Mesothelioma

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Asbestos and Power Plants

Power plants are massive facilities that generate and distribute energy across the nation to businesses, residences, and other structures. The development of these plants helped spur the growth of America during the twentieth century. But, along the way, they caused workers to be exposed to dangerous asbestos fibers, which can lead to serious health complications, like mesothelioma and other cancers.


Asbestos and Power Plants


Power plants generate and harness useable power and, in the process, generate tremendous amounts of heat. As a result, the risk of potential fire is a major concern. Historically, asbestos was used to help mitigate this risk. Asbestos is a poor conductor of electricity and is resistant to heat and fire. Because of this, asbestos was widely used in insulation materials, which went into walls, wires, pipes, generators, and other machinery. Asbestos was effective at helping to prevent fire and overheating.


The use of asbestos was especially high in plants that produced electricity and in power distribution centers. During the standard operation of these facilities, asbestos fibers were often released into the air. Other places related to power plants in which asbestos was used included transformer stations, lignite mining plants, and off-site workshops.


Further placing workers in power plants at risk was the specific clothing they wore while at work. Power plant workers wear special insulated, protective clothing that, until the 1980s, also contained asbestos. Unfortunately, though many employers were generally aware of the risks of exposure to asbestos, they frequently did not inform workers of those risks.


Plant workers that were most at risk were blue collar workers. These included individuals who installed and/or maintained pipes and electrical appliances in the plant. Additionally, work involving the upgrading of machinery was dangerous, as it involved the cutting and sawing of products that contained asbestos. Further, many plant workers sprayed asbestos pulp directly onto heated materials, potentially causing exposure. Today, exposure to asbestos fibers is much more controlled and limited, though it may still occur in older plants or in plants that have not had asbestos-containing materials removed.


Asbestos Fibers


When asbestos is disturbed, it releases microscopic fibers into the air that can be breathed into the lungs. Exposure to these fibers, particularly over a long period of time, can result in the development of cancer or other serious diseases. The symptoms of the exposure may not appear for several years, or even decades. Therefore, individuals who worked in power plants many years ago, particularly before the 1980s, may have suffered life-threatening exposure to asbestos fibers, with the symptoms just now being diagnosed.


If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another disease caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, it may be possible for you to recover much-needed compensation to help with your medical battle. For more information about how this may be possible, speak with the experienced attorneys at the Throneberry Law Group. We provide compassionate and expert representation for victims of asbestos exposure.


 


 



Asbestos and Power Plants

Asbestos Risk to Insulators

Insulation is used to help in controlling and maintaining the temperature inside of buildings and homes. Unfortunately, for much of the twentieth century, insulation contained asbestos. The dangers of exposure to asbestos include the development of mesothelioma and other cancers. Individuals who are employed as insulators are at increased risk of exposure to asbestos fibers, particularly if this work occurred before the 1980s.


Asbestos Insulation 


Asbestos insulation was the largest source of exposure for workers throughout the 1900s. It was used in homes, buildings, ships, cars, and manufacturing facilities. Insulation is beneficial because it conserves energy, reduces electrical conductivity, and retains hot and cold temperatures. Before the 1980s, asbestos was extensively used in insulation materials due to its resistance to fire and heat, as well as it being a poor conductor of electricity.


Insulation was and continues to be used in attics, walls, ceilings, flooring, siding, pipe wrapping, and inside of boilers. Today, fiberglass is used instead of asbestos. However, many materials containing asbestos remain in buildings. As a result, individuals performing work on buildings or homes should be cautious about the possibility of asbestos exposure.


Asbestos Risk to Insulators


From a historical perspective, the risk of exposure to asbestos fibers was significant. For example, insulators were at great risk when they measured and cut insulation to fit around steam pipes. After cutting this insulation, insulators often stretched it open and slipped it over the pipe. Finally, the insulation was fastened securely with asbestos-containing adhesive, staples, tape, or wire bands.


The cutting, opening, and fastening of the insulation over the pipe all released microscopic fibers into the air. When breathed in, these fibers could remain the lungs for several years before developing into mesothelioma or other asbestos-related cancers. Further increasing the danger for insulators was the enclosed nature of the jobsites that they often worked in, even if they themselves were not working with products that contained asbestos. For example, a carpenter using materials that contained asbestos may have caused insulators to be exposed to dangerous asbestos fibers.


While the use of asbestos was discontinued by the 1980s, asbestos still remains in many buildings and homes today. Quite often, pipe insulation that contains asbestos is crumbly, making it dangerous because fibers are then easily released into the air. The most common form of loose-fill attic insulation is Zonolite, which was installed in millions of homes.


Insulation products that contained asbestos include:


  • Pipe covering;

  • Block;

  • Cement;

  • Felt;

  • Board;

  • Coating;

  • Seals; and

  • Tapes

Before beginning a renovation or remodeling project, it is important to make sure asbestos is not in a place which may be disturbed. If you suspect that products that will be affected by the work contain asbestos, you should contact an expert in asbestos identification and removal to ensure your safety.


Compassionate Legal Advocacy


If you believe that you have been harmed by exposure to asbestos, you should speak to a mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease attorney as soon as possible. At the Throneberry Law Group, we have personal experience in understanding the difficulty of dealing with these issues. We look forward to hearing from you.


 


 



Asbestos Risk to Insulators

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Asbestos Risk to Insulators

Insulation is used to help in controlling and maintaining the temperature inside of buildings and homes. Unfortunately, for much of the twentieth century, insulation contained asbestos. The dangers of exposure to asbestos include the development of mesothelioma and other cancers. Individuals who are employed as insulators are at increased risk of exposure to asbestos fibers, particularly if this work occurred before the 1980s.


Asbestos Risk to Insulators:  Dangers of Insulation


Asbestos insulation was the largest source of exposure for workers throughout the 1900s. It was used in homes, buildings, ships, cars, and manufacturing facilities. Insulation is beneficial because it conserves energy, reduces electrical conductivity, and retains hot and cold temperatures. Before the 1980s, asbestos was extensively used in insulation materials due to its resistance to fire and heat, as well as it being a poor conductor of electricity.


Insulation was and continues to be used in attics, walls, ceilings, flooring, siding, pipe wrapping, and inside of boilers. Today, fiberglass is used instead of asbestos. However, many materials containing asbestos remain in buildings. As a result, individuals performing work on buildings or homes should be cautious about the possibility of asbestos exposure.


From a historical perspective, the risk of exposure to asbestos fibers was significant. For example, insulators were at great risk when they measured and cut insulation to fit around steam pipes. After cutting this insulation, insulators often stretched it open and slipped it over the pipe. Finally, the insulation was fastened securely with asbestos-containing adhesive, staples, tape, or wire bands.


The cutting, opening, and fastening of the insulation over the pipe all released microscopic fibers into the air. When breathed in, these fibers could remain the lungs for several years before developing into mesothelioma or other asbestos-related cancers. Further increasing the danger for insulators was the enclosed nature of the jobsites that they often worked in, even if they themselves were not working with products that contained asbestos. For example, a carpenter using materials that contained asbestos may have caused insulators to be exposed to dangerous asbestos fibers.


While the use of asbestos was discontinued by the 1980s, asbestos still remains in many buildings and homes today. Quite often, pipe insulation that contains asbestos is crumbly, making it dangerous because fibers are then easily released into the air. The most common form of loose-fill attic insulation is Zonolite, which was installed in millions of homes.


Insulation products that contained asbestos include:


  • Pipe covering;

  • Block;

  • Cement;

  • Felt;

  • Board;

  • Coating;

  • Seals;  and

  • Tapes.

Before beginning a renovation or remodeling project, it is important to make sure asbestos is not in a place which may be disturbed. If you suspect that products that will be affected by the work contain asbestos, you should contact an expert in asbestos identification and removal to ensure your safety.


Compassionate Legal Advocacy


If you worked as an insulator and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, you should speak to a mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease attorney as soon as possible. At the Throneberry Law Group, we have personal experience in understanding the difficulty of dealing with these issues. We look forward to hearing from you.


 


 



Asbestos Risk to Insulators

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Asbestos Exposure for Plumbers and Pipefitters

Risk of Asbestos Exposure for Plumbers and Pipefitters


Plumbers and pipefitters, particularly those who worked between the 1940s and 1980s, are at increased risk of exposure to asbestos due to the specific materials that they dealt with as a result of their occupation. This exposure puts these individuals at risk of developing mesothelioma and other serious asbestos-related diseases. While the use of asbestos was discontinued decades ago, new cases of asbestos-related disease continue to be diagnosed today.


Plumbers and Pipefitters


Pipefitters are responsible for the design, installation, and repair of pipe systems in large commercial buildings or manufacturing facilities. For smaller projects like residential homes, similar work is performed by what is known as a plumber, as opposed to a pipefitter. However, for both pipefitters and plumbers, these pipe systems transport water, steam, air, gas, and human waste. Pipefitters and plumbers require specialized knowledge due to the high pressure that the pipes are placed under.


For much of the twentieth century, asbestos was the preferred material to be used with pipe systems due to its high heat and fire resistance. Asbestos was commonly used as thermal insulation for pipes, boilers, ducts, and tanks. Pipefitters and plumbers may have also been exposed while using repair materials. These materials included joint compounds, cement, valves, gaskets, pipe coating, and welding rods.


Further increasing exposure risk was the often very close quarters in which pipefitters and plumbers worked. While working in very tight spaces, any asbestos fibers released into the air were more likely to be breathed in. Fibers were very often released when cutting, sawing, or sanding asbestos paper to fit a particular application. This also occurred when pipes or other products containing asbestos were cut or drilled to fit specific dimensions.


Most pipe insulation took the form of either air cell (which may refer to either a brand name or a generic term for insulation) or block insulation. Air cell was used to wrap air supply ducts and may also be known as Asbestocel or Carcycel. Block insulation was a combination of asbestos and binders that, together, formed large blocks for insulation. Some forms of block insulation included Amosite sheeting and asbestos sponge felt.


Dangers of Exposure


Disturbing asbestos releases microscopic fibers into the air that, when breathed in, may remain in the lungs for several years or, in some cases, decades before the harmful effects become apparent. While many of the diagnosed cases of asbestos-related disease resulted from exposure during the period before the 1980s, asbestos can still be dangerous today. While asbestos use has long been discontinued, it was not removed from all buildings. Therefore, it is important to contact a professional before beginning a remodeling or renovation project of a home or building that may contain asbestos.


Helping Victims


If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos related cancer, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At the Throneberry Law Group, we fight for victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.


 



Asbestos Exposure for Plumbers and Pipefitters

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mesothelioma Treatment Costs

Mesothelioma is a devastating disease that often develops as a result of exposure to asbestos fibers. In combating this disease, the financial costs are often significant. This can create, along with the battle with the disease itself, a great deal of emotional distress for victims and their families.


Development of Mesothelioma


Individuals exposed to microscopic asbestos fibers may be at risk of developing mesothelioma. The risk of exposure was highest during the period between the 1940s and 1980s. However, it is still very possible to encounter asbestos today. There are three major types of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial. Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lung’s protective lining, is the most common form, accounting for about three-quarters of all mesothelioma cases.


Mesothelioma Treatment Costs


It has been estimated that the total cost of mesothelioma treatment can range between $150,000 to over $1 million. The cost varies for different individuals, depending on factors such as the age of the victim, the stage of the mesothelioma, and the overall health status of the victim. Costs for mesothelioma include, but are not limited to, the following:


  1. Physicians and other healthcare providers;

  2. Hospitalization, including potential surgery;

  3. Chemotherapy;

  4. Radiation treatment; or

  5. In some cases, airfare or driving expenses and lodging in order to travel to facilities that provide treatment.

Additionally, the two most common medications used in treatment, Alimta and Cisplatin, cost around $4,100 for one treatment cycle. Under most circumstances, more than one cycle will be required with no guarantee that it will result in a cure.


Earlier diagnosis increases the chance for survival, which, of course, is the best possible outcome. But, earlier diagnosis often leads to higher costs of treatment. This is particularly true of asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma because the effects, historically, often did not become apparent until there was very little that could be done in terms of treatment. As the ability to diagnosis mesothelioma earlier becomes possible, the amount and range of treatment options increases, which increases costs.


Mesothelioma Treatment Costs:  Paying for Treatment


Some of the treatment for mesothelioma are covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. If an individual does not have the costs fully covered by those sources, financial assistance information is available through social services units at hospitals, the Cancer Information Network, or the American Cancer Society. Needing financial help is common, particularly for individuals who are forced to stop working as a result of having mesothelioma. This is often why pursuing legal action against manufacturers or employers responsible for the exposure to asbestos is so critical to victims.


Compassionate Legal Advocacy


Even today, new diagnoses of mesothelioma are made in victims who were exposed to asbestos fibers decades ago. Unfortunately, because of the potential long dormancy period of asbestos fibers in the lungs, this will likely continue for many more years. If you believe that you have been harmed as a result of exposure to asbestos fibers, contact the experienced mesothelioma law attorneys at the Throneberry Law Group.


 



Mesothelioma Treatment Costs