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The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled against a mesothelioma victim who sued GE for asbestos exposure during his career building power plants in the 1970s.gavel21-300x200

The ruling is the latest to tackle the issue of statutes of limitations in cases where diagnosis is made decades after exposure. Auto manufacturers have won similar verdicts in cases where it could not be determined whether a victim’s exposure was caused by original or replacement parts installed during routine maintenance.

The verdict in Sterns v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. No. SJC-12544 is the latest to tackle the issue of the long dormancy period between asbestos exposure and a mesothelioma diagnosis, which is also an intense focus of medical researchers who continue to search for a cure. Our Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyers continue to follow each of these high-court decisions that impact mesothelioma victims and their families.

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Shares of Johnson & Johnson were down in mid-week trading after a California Jury awarded $29 million to a woman who said asbestos in the company’s talcum powder products caused her mesothelioma. Our mesothelioma lawyers in Massachusetts continue to carefully follow each of these talcum powder cases and are committed to fighting for the rights of women and children who have been harmed. talcumpowder-300x225

CNBC reports Johnson & Johnson is facing thousands of similar lawsuits as it continues to insist its talcum powder is safe and free of asbestos. The company said it would appeal the verdict, which occurred in California Superior Court in Oakland.

More than 13,000 talcum-related law suits have been filed. Johnson & Johnson lost a similar case in Los Angeles last year, where a jury delivers a $21.7 million verdict. The company also failed to reverse a $4 billion verdict in Missouri, where 22 women had blamed their ovation cancer on use of Johnson Johnson products. Johnson & Johnson is one of the nation’s largest consumer product companies and is currently valued at  more than $350 billion.

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When it comes to providing care to mesothelioma patients and protecting consumers from the risks of asbestos exposure, the United States lags significantly behind effort in the United Kingdom.

Based on population, the United Kingdom has the highest rate of mesothelioma diagnoses in the world, with about 2,700 new cases annually. Mesothelioma UK notes asbestos exposure occurred across a much broader range of society than those working in the construction and building sector, many of whom have long been identified as facing high risk of developing mesothelioma.mesothelioma attorney

Because of the lengthy period between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma diagnosis, typically 25-40 years, the United Kingdom is facing an increasing number of patients being diagnosed with the deadly cancer. The same is expected to hold true in the United States, as the aging Baby Boomers are the generation most exposed to the wide use of asbestos products. From the 1940s-1970s, asbestos was used in a wide array of construction and building products.

The United Kingdom is seeing mesothelioma diagnoses across many employment sectors, including tradespeople, engineering, factory workers, construction, education, healthcare, and the armed forces. As our Boston mesothelioma lawyers recently reported, U.S. military mesothelioma cases are among the most common in the United States, particularly among Navy veterans, where asbestos was commonly used aboard ships for its heat-resistant and insulating properties.

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If ever there was proof that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is derelict in its duty to protect the public, perhaps it’s the news this week that Sri Lanka is the latest nation to ban import of Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder, amid growing proof of asbestos contamination. The Daily Mail reports the license for A.Baur & Co to import the product expired in December, the Daily Mail reported. gavel2-300x200

Our Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyers reported late last year that Johnson & Johnson continues to defend itself from liability over asbestos contamination in its iconic baby powder. A report by Reuters News Service claimed Johnson & Johnson knew for years its baby powder contained asbestos but did not warn the public. Meanwhile, a New Jersey court has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $80 million in damages to a man who said the talcum powder was responsible for his diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma.

Johnson and Johnson disputes the Reuters report as it continues to defend itself against an avalanche of civil lawsuits. Meanwhile, you can still buy the company’s talcum powder at virtually any store in the United States.

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2018 brought some advances in treatment and some legal victories for mesothelioma victims and their advocates.

The liability of Johnson & Johnson over asbestos contaminated talcum powder was probably the biggest headline of the year. But our Massachusetts mesothelioma lawyers have noted a number of legal and medical victories this year.talcumpowder-300x225

The Johnson & Johnson case illustrates why litigation is a primary threat to these companies. Internal documents, memos, emails and other evidence continue to show defendant companies often ignored or supressed evidence, while marketing their deadly products as safe for use by consumers. In 2016, J & J and other defendants suffered three large verdicts for exposure to its baby powder in St. Louis, Mo.: $72 million, $70 million and $55 million. In 2017, the American Bar Association identified talcum powder liability as a material threat to defendants and the insurance industry.

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Trust funds may already be available for victims of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. With a latency period of 30-40 years, most diagnosed are senior citizens exposed to asbestos in the 1960s, 1970s, or 1980s. A naturally-occurring mineral used for its insulating and fire-retardant properties, its carcinogenic properties were hidden for decades by some of the nation’s largest corporations. At the height of asbestos use, American corporations mined nearly 1 million tons of the mineral and used it to manufacture more than 3,000 different products.gavel-300x199

Unfortunately for victims, time is often far too short after diagnosis. Those diagnosed have a median survival of just 18 months. Having access to a trust fund can provide assurance and peace of mind. However, asbestos litigation is among the most complex areas of product liability, personal injury and wrongful death law.

New England military veterans and shipyard workers face some of the highest risks when it comes to being diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma a year will be diagnosed in the United States.navyasbestos-300x225

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a common construction material used for decades before the deadly fiber’s carcinogenic properties were fully known and disclosed to the public. The Environmental Protection Agency banned new uses in 1989. But to this day it’s a material commonly found in many older buildings. Believed relatively harmless if left undisturbed, the dangers come when asbestos tiles, insulation or other material crumbles, frays or otherwise becomes airborne. The latency period between exposure and diagnosis is typically 30-40 years, with average age at diagnosis being 59 years old in the United States.

In a departure from standard mesothelioma treatment practices in the United States, the British Thoracic Society has published new treatment guidelines that recommend against radical surgical options.

The Mesothelioma Management Guidelines just published by the British Thoracic Society now recommend against aggressive surgery to treat advanced mesothelioma.The decision follows an analysis of the potential harm and poor outcomes experienced by patients undergoing extra pleural pneumonectomy (EPP), extended pleurectomy and decortication (P/D), and partial pleurectomy (PP), which are frequently offered in the United States. The British society makes an exception when such procedures are being conducted as part of a specific study or clinical trial. A recent report in the Clinical Respiratory Journal, which correlated hundreds of previous studies and clinical trials, concluded such aggressive surgical options were not providing enough benefits to offset adverse effects. The new guidelines explicitly recommend against offering EPP at all pleural mesothelioma patients, against offering EPD unless as part of a clinical trial, and that radiation therapy should only be used with the goal of offering pain relief and quality of life improvement rather than for a curative approach.

The issue illustrates the challenge in finding appropriate treatment options to treat this aggressive cancer.hospital-6-1518170-300x200

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In most cases, asbestos exposure occurs when a person is working in an environment where deadly asbestos fibers are present. Decades ago when asbestos was used in a wide variety of industries, millions of workers were exposed to asbestos while working in factories or working on construction projects, not to mention the countless number of workers who were exposed while working in the asbestos mining and production industry.

Boston mesothelioma Lawyers There are however some cases where asbestos exposure occurred due to exposure from common products found in the home.  In these cases, we are often dealing with children who were exposed at a young age, and then became very sick much earlier in life than typical mesothelioma plaintiffs in the Greater Boston area. Continue reading

According to a recent News Article from The Guardian, Johnson & Johnson has been found liable in a class action lawsuit in which 22 women alleged to have developed ovarian cancer after years of using talc products manufactured by the defendant.  In this case, the jury awarded $4.7 billion in damages to the various plaintiffs.

asbestos exposure attorneyCourt records indicated six of the 22 plaintiffs died from ovarian cancer, and the jury was convinced by allegations Johnson & Johnson took conscious efforts to cover up the fact that there was asbestos present in many of the company’s products through more than four decades of marketing them to consumers. Continue reading