Articles Posted in Asbestos Exposure

There are many old buildings in Boston including closed factories, churches, the ubiquitous three-decker homes and many other types of structures that have fallen into a state of disrepair. Instead of demolishing these old buildings, industry trends and historic codes are leading people to purchase the buildings and covert them into alternative use residential dwellings. An old church in South Boston is now a high value condo building, and this is a continually growing trend.

asbestos lawsuits BostonOne of the features of these alternative use residences is that those living there like the vintage feel so developers try to find vintage materials so they can be “repurposed” for use in the condos.   Whether we are talking about old wood from a ship or factory, or an old industrial wire spool as a table, vintage items are a hot commodity. Even homeowners who purchase a three-decker with the intention of rehabilitation like to shop at thrift stores and sellers of reclaimed building materials for inspiration and supplies and some of these supplies contain asbestos.

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When a landowner wants to renovate or demolish a property that is suspected of containing asbestos, as many commercial, residential and industrial buildings in the Greater Boston area do, there is a strict protocol that must be followed.  If this protocol is flouted, it can result in work stoppage orders, administrative fines and criminal charges. More importantly, workers and others in the community are placed at risk for exposure to the deadly asbestos fibers.

Greater Boston Area Asbestos Case Settled

Boston mesotheliomaAccording to a recent news article from Mass Live, a land developer in Worcester, Massachusetts was just fined $100,000 and required to hire a contractor to perform an asbestos audit on eight of the company’s projects as terms of a settlement reached with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Continue reading

Mesothelioma cases are unique torts in the sense that a cause of action does not arise for many years after initial exposure to deadly asbestos fibers. All courts impose some time limit on virtually every type of case – both criminal and civil, and mesothelioma lawsuits are no different. However, the question of how long you have to file your mesothelioma lawsuit will depend on a number of factors. Primarily, the court will want to know when you knew or should have known there was a potential your illness was causally linked to asbestos exposure.

asbestos lawsuits Boston

Like Massachusetts, Maryland imposes these time limitations as well, though there are some differences. According to a recent news article from Forbes, there are currently approximately 30,000 mesothelioma cases awaiting trial in Maryland. In that state, the highest court is slated Dec. 1st to hear an appeal of a 2015 decision regarding the 20-year statute of repose in an asbestos injury lawsuit.

If the court affirms the appellate ruling, thousands of these people whose exposure occurred prior to the 1970s will have their claims dismissed, per the 20-year statute of repose. While 20 years may be ample time to file litigation in most injury cases, mesothelioma cases differ because of the long latency period of the disease.  Continue reading

Talc is a naturally-occurring mineral that forms under the same geological conditions as asbestos.  This is similar to vermiculite, which also tends to form alongside asbestos.  While both of these minerals are distinct from asbestos, they are often contaminated with the deadly asbestos fibers and that means using products made from talc can lead to mesothelioma and other serious medical conditions including other types of cancer.  Even when used alone, talc has been shown to cause serious medical illness, largely in women, as talc was and still is used in many baby powder products.

Boston mesotheliomaAccording to a recent news article from Bloomberg, Colgate-Palmolive, a major manufacturer of talcum-powder (baby powder) products has just entered in an agreement to settle a lawsuit.  In this lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged she developed mesothelioma due to the deadly asbestos fibers contained in the company’s talcum-powder products which she used for many years. Continue reading

For the past decade, so-called nanotechnology has been all the rage in the manufacturing community as well as in marketing to consumers. Nanotechnology is a manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular and supramolecular scale. Nanotubes are a type of nanoparticle that can be used as an electrical conductor or insulator and can be large enough to create piping through which other nanoparticles can be channeled.

A recent study from Cell press published in Science Daily, has found that some of these nanotubes can cause mesothelioma in mice.  This is significant because mesothelioma is a very rare cancer that is currently believed to be caused virtually exclusively by exposure to deadly asbestos fibers. This could be a major public health crisis because while asbestos is being used and less, the nanotechnology industry is exploding.

Boston MesotheliomaWhile the popular science fiction movies of the 1990s commonly depicted nanotechnology as involving tiny robots that perform all sorts of functions at a microscopic level, real science is nowhere near that level sophistication.  Current nanotechnology involves the use of materials that are so small they are measured using a nanoscale, and we are talking about microscopic materials. Continue reading

Asbestos has not been produced in the United States for decades, and while it is still being imported in small quantities, the real danger lies in the asbestos that fills many of the older buildings in Boston and the rest of the nation.

According to a recent news article from the Boston Herald, the current presidential administration is attempting to step back from the mandated review of asbestos and other toxic chemicals that was established by U.S. Congress and the Obama administration.  This includes a review of the dangers posed by what is estimated at millions of tons of asbestos in buildings across the county.

Boston MesotheliomaWhen asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become trapped in a layer of tissue called the mesothelium that serves as a protective membrane from most of the internal organs in the human body.  Once these fibers become trapped, they can metastasize into the deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma. Continue reading

In the summer 2017, the news headlines were filed with information about what has become known as the Marco Polo fire.  The fire occurred in Hawaii in the 36-story Marco Polo condominium on the Big Island. When the blaze erupted,  four people died and 13 more were injured in the efforts to suppress the fire and evacuate the building including one firefighter.

asbestos injury lawsuitsWhile the fire was a massive tragedy, the damage did not end with the loss of the $100 million building.  The condo building was built in 1971 at a time when asbestos was used in most aspects of construction and manufacturing. Continue reading

According to a recent news article from CBS Boston, a construction crew in Wilmington were tearing down a home that was filled with asbestos.  Authorities allege there were no  abatement permits or proper protocol being followed and the demolition work resulted in a cloud of asbestos filling the air putting many lives in jeopardy.

asbestos lawsuits BostonTown officials did give a permit for the demolition, but admitted they allowed the firm to make a good faith statement that they had handled the asbestos issues and were not requiring any showing of proof. Continue reading

This year millions of  people have displaced from their homes due to hurricanes, forest fires and other natural disasters. While many think of the obvious problems such as loss of life, property, and personal injury, there is another danger in the form of asbestos exposure. This is not only true in the South and Southwestern United States, but also in areas such as Boston with many older buildings that were constructed at a time when asbestos was used in just about every aspect of construction.

Boston Mesothelioma Asbestos was use heavily from the 1800s through the early 1980s. It is actually a naturally occurring mineral made up of six silica elements, and has been used by humans for thousands of years, but it was not until the Industrial Revolution that it was used so heavily.  The reason it was used so heavily at first, was because it has the somewhat remarkable ability to resist heat, fire, caustic chemicals, and electricity.  It was then discovered the inert nature of asbestos could also make it seemingly perfect to use a bonding agent in glues and other construction adhesives and joining compounds. It is seemingly perfect and not actually perfect because the fibers are deadly if inhaled or ingested. Continue reading

According to a recent news article from The New York Times, a jury has just awarded $417 million to plaintiff after she became stricken with ovarian cancer linked to talc in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder.  In this case, the jury found a link between the talc in baby powder and ovarian cancer.

asbestos dust BostonJohnson & Johnson presented evidence that there is no such link between talc and cancer, but a great deal of scientific and empirical evidence seems to indicate that such as link does exist and they believed this to be the case as well.  Continue reading

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