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While we often hear people talk about how some types are worse than others, it basically doesn’t get much worse than malignant mesothelioma.  Mesothelioma is virtually always caused when a victim is exposed to deadly asbestos fibers.  The fibers become embedded in a layer of protective tissue known as the mesothelium, where they can metastasize into the deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma.

treatmentThe reason mesothelioma is so horrific is because only 10 percent of patients on average each year are diagnosed before the cancer has fully has metastasized. For the other 90-plus percent of mesothelioma victims, the cancer is already in stages one through four, and there is no cure and are not very many effective treatment options.  To get an idea of how serious malignant mesothelioma is, most patients will be dead within one year of receiving an initial diagnosis. Continue reading →

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While we largely think of asbestos and mesothelioma cases as being civil matters these days, there are various times where state and federal prosecutors will also file criminal charges for alleged violations of environmental regulations and labor laws that breach workers’ rights and safety.

gavel21According to recent news article from WAND 17 News, a man has just pleaded guilty to numerous federal charges that stemmed from allegations of illegal asbestos removal from an old factory in Springfield. Continue reading →

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According to a recent news report from The Harvard Crimson, Harvard University administrators have said asbestos is “everywhere” around the campus, but stressed that the risk of asbestos exposure to any of the students, faculty or staff is minimal.  The recent concern arose as the university has been performing a massive renovations project on the student housing buildings that were built at a time when asbestos was heavily used during most aspects of the construction process.

warningA year prior to this announcement, one student returned to his dorm room and found everything covered in dust that had fallen from the ceiling.  This dust was tested and the presence of deadly asbestos fibers was confirmed.  At this point, there was an investigation into the amount of asbestos and the possible dangers it may pose to people who frequent these buildings. Continue reading →

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In the past two decades, Boston, especially the once industrial waterfront area of the city, has seen remarkable changes.  The water quality has been improved dramatically, and the area is now filled with mixed-use residential and commercial properties and soon will be the home of General Electric Company’s corporate headquarters.

asbestosLike many companies, the headquarters building was once in New York City, and, based on new needs and tax incentives, the company moved its headquarters to Connecticut.  Now the company is planning to break ground on an impressive new complex in Boston.  However, according to a recent news article from the Boston Globe, the futuristic-looking structure that will include what looks like a giant sail can only be built after the existing structures are demolished. Continue reading →

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According to a recent news story from Wicked Local Framingham, a major asbestos lawsuit has been settled for $385,000.  This lawsuit involved seven different parties, including the town of Framingham, Massachusetts, which is just outside of Boston.

moneyThis case primarily involved a waste disposal company located in Milford and its owner. The Massachusetts attorney general alleged that the owner of company took soil that contained asbestos from a construction job site located in Framingham and then illegally dumped the asbestos debris behind a residence in Milford, rather than properly disposing of the material.   Continue reading →

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In Massachusetts, whenever a property owner suspects that he or she has asbestos issues and is going to do any renovation or demolition work, it is first necessary to have a certified inspector come and take samples. These samples are sent to a materials testing lab for microscopic analysis, even if there is little question that the material contaiasbestosns deadly asbestos fibers.

If the presence of asbestos is confirmed, the property owner must hire an asbestos abatement contractor to handle the removal after first submitting an abatement (removal) plan to the state department of health.  All personnel must be properly trained and must be wearing proper safety equipment.  This includes ventilators or respirators.  The purpose for all of this is to keep all workers and the community at large safe from the dangers of asbestos exposure.   Continue reading →

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A recent case from the California Court of Appeal – First Appellate District, deals with what is known as a secondary exposure asbestos case. As the name implies, primary exposure to asbestos occurs when the victim works or lives in an environment where they are being directly exposed to asbestos from the source of contamination. If someone works on a ship, for example, and that ship has asbestos insulation, as most of them did, they would be victims of primary asbestos exposure, and this can obviously cause malignant mesothelioma.

asbestos bootsBecause it typically takes between 20 and 50 years for a person to become noticeably sick with malignant mesothelioma, we are typically seeing cases today where the initial exposure happened decades ago.   Studies have shown that most of these victims of primary exposure are men, because it was more common for men to be working in heavy industry at that time. Prior to that, women worked in industry during World War II, and there were many mesothelioma victims from this group of workers. Continue reading →

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In a recent opinion from the California Court of Appeals – Fifth Appellate District, a civil jury had awarded the plaintiff’s family (surviving spouse and children) approximately $5.8 in connection with this his death from malignant mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is very rare form of cancer almost always associated with exposure to deadly asbestos fibers.  However, it should be noted that, while it is considered rare as compared to other types of cancers, thousands of people suffer and die each year in the United States alone from malignant mesothelioma.

asbestosIn this case, when making their finding of liability and assigning damages, the jury found that defendant was exposed to the deadly asbestos fibers from brakes.  However, the defendant appealed, arguing that the jury’s special verdict form indicated serious inconsistencies, the trial court erred when not giving certain proposed jury instructions, and the course erred also in allowing allegedly prejudicial evidence to be admitted. Continue reading →

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Every year in the U.S., approximately 15,000 Americans die as a result of asbestos-related diseases. This has been true since the 1930s, when it first became widely used in construction materials, ship building and automobile manufacturing. As it now stands 58 countries on this plant have banned the use of asbestos because they know – we all know – just how dangerous it is when the fibers are breathed in.cloverleaf

And yet, the U.S. is not among those nations because in 1991, a federal court overturned the ban on the substance imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, it seems like we might finally change course on this when last yea, President Barack Obama signed an amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act that would finally give the EPA the authority to prohibit the use of asbestos and ban asbestos imports. These plans were still moving ahead, despite Trump’s election.

But now, we have as the new head of the EPA a man named Scott Pruitt. There are a number of reasons for environmental advocates to be concerned about this pick, but one of those is the fact that Pruitt refused in a questionnaire from the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee to promise he would follow through with the asbestos ban.  Continue reading →

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The legal landscape of asbestos liability may soon change dramatically – and not in a way that benefits the plaintiffs suffering asbestos-related diseases, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. Uscapitolbuilding

For several years now, lobbyists for the asbestos manufacturers and industries targeted for litigation due to negligently exposing workers and others to the toxin have been pushing the passage of a law that purports to “further asbestos claim transparency.” Now, that sounds like a nice measure – who doesn’t want more transparency in anything? However, the reality was these companies wanted to make it harder for plaintiffs to seek damages from more than one asbestos manufacturer for their injuries, even though we know these diseases can arise from exposure to the substance from multiple sources.

But the bills were never going to get very far, at least not while President Barack Obama was in office, because Obama had vowed to exercise his veto power, even if the measures passed both the House and Senate. Now, representatives are hoping President Donald Trump will be more receptive.  Continue reading →