Articles Posted in Mesothelioma in New England

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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If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is a virtual certainty that you were exposed to asbestos at some point during your life.  While there are a lot of legal questions that you will have if you have been given that malignant mesothelioma diagnosis, the first concern of you and your family is likely what are the treatment options.

treatment mesothelioma The first thing to understand is that, as discussed in a recent news article from the Law Vegas Review-Journal, is that malignant mesothelioma is a very rare disease.  That is both good news and bad, but for anyone who has already been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is generally bad news. Continue reading

A new study found the highest asbestos-related cancer rate in New England, specifically in Maine.

Asbestos has been used all over the world in many different applications for hundreds of years.  However, it was during the Industrial Revolution that began in the mid 1800’s when the heaviest use of asbestos began.

Maine AsbestosAsbestos itself is a mineral that occurs naturally and is comprised of six silica elements.  While it doesn’t seem remarkable at first glance, it can withstand extreme amounts of heat, fire, electricity and caustic chemicals.  It is also chemically perfect to serve as bonding agent in many applications such as construction adhesive.    The downside, as we all known today, is that asbestos causes a very aggressive type of cancer known as malignant mesothelioma. Continue reading

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

An asbestos tort reform bill has gained traction in Congress with approval from the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Luckily for those afflicted with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, it’s unlikely to gain enough traction to become law.senate

Although the measure has a name that implies “fairness,” it is in actuality anything but fair for victims. The Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2016 was given the green light largely along partisan lines in January. The measure would prohibit class action litigation unless every single member of the class suffered exactly the same injury as the named plaintiff.

Additionally – and pertinent to mesothelioma victims – is that any damage settlement from an asbestos bankruptcy trust (funds set aside by companies bankrupted by asbestos litigation) would need to be made public. Continue reading

Mesothelioma is a very rare cancer that forms in a layer of tissue know as the mesothelium, hence the name mesothelioma. While most people associate mesothelioma with lung cancer, it is not technically lung cancer. It is an entirely different form of malignant cancer that often forms in the lungs, abdomen, or chest.

judgeWhile it is medically possible to develop malignant pleural mesothelioma (lungs), malignant pericardial mesothelioma (chest), or malignant peritoneal (abdomen) mesothelioma without ever having been exposed to toxic asbestos fibers, the chance of that happening is extremely remote. In reality, almost all cases of malignant mesothelioma are caused by exposure to deadly asbestos.  During the process of diagnosing a patient with malignant mesothelioma, the asbestos fibers will generally still be visible in the cancerous tissue, so the body has no ability to break them down, which is one of the major reasons they are so dangerous.   Continue reading

In New England, we are fortunate to have a rich history and many older structures to connect us to it. Some of these buildings have been extensively remodeled and re-purposed for modern usage, but others must unfortunately be razed to make way for new construction. One of the problems with many of these old buildings is they were constructed during a time in which asbestos was heavily used in virtually all aspects of the residential, commercial and industrial construction process.

tires.jpgIn order to rehabilitate an aging building, or even demolish it, it is first necessary to remove (abate) all of the asbestos in a safe manner, so as not to expose workers, neighbors and the community in general to any unnecessary risk.

However, proper asbestos abatement is not a quick and easy job, and it is by no means cheap, so many of these beautiful old buildings are allowed to deteriorate into a complete state of crumbling disrepair, where they can no longer be used or repaired, and demolition is the only viable option – once they can find someone willing to foot the bill for asbestos abatement.
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Asbestos is no longer used in the vast majority of construction projects in the United States due to environmental regulations. While efforts to entirely ban the substance proved unsuccessful decades ago, when a congressional ban was repealed, the use of asbestos was largely discontinued.

oldhouse.jpgHowever, many old buildings across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts still contain large amounts of the toxic material as they were constructed and renovated prior to the ban in the 1970s. Asbestos was heavily used due to its cheap cost to mine and manufacture and its natural ability to resist fire, heat, electricity and caustic chemicals.

As these old and sometimes historic buildings crumble into a state of disrepair, the asbestos once contained in siding materials, roofing materials, insulation products, and flooring material is allowed to literally turn to dust. That dust is highly toxic, as, when the fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in a layer of tissue known as the mesothelium. When asbestos is in a crumbling state where it can be crushed by the pressure of a human hand, it is known as friable asbestos. This is the most deadly form of asbestos other than pure asbestos powder. Asbestos powder did not have many industrial or commercial applications, but it was used in the past for rather unfortunate purposes, such as fake snow on Christmas ornaments.
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Firefighters in Boston put their lives on the line every day and night to help keep others safe. They face a lot of risks on the job, including burns from raging fires, smoke inhalation, falling debris, roadside dangers when rescuing car accident victims and a various other job-related hazards. When they signed up for the job and entered the academy, they knew the risk they would be facing.

But one risk they should not have to fear is asbestos exposure in their own firehouses.

firefighter-711365-m.jpgAccording to a recent news article from The Boston Globe, Boston Fire Commissioner, Joseph E. Finn, has discussed the awful state of disrepair into which Boston’s fire stations have fallen. He is now happy to be able allocate $26 million of the department’s budget to replace two of the worst fire stations and modernize others.

This is one piece of a larger plan to get one of the country’s oldest departments a much needed update.

While these two stations slated for demolition and replacement are in the worst state of disrepair, the city’s 31 other fire stations are not exactly in great shape either. This is a result of years of neglect and various piecemeal attempts to patch up problems in the past. It is important to keep in mind that firefighters do not only have to work in these stations, but also have to live in them for at least part of every week.
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Many old and historic buildings in Boston and across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts were built during an era in which asbestos was heavily used during construction. According to a recent article from WAMA, a new large-scale redevelopment project is now in the works in Ludlow, Massachusetts.

tower-in-the-sky-1148256-m.jpgThe project site is situated along a mile and half river walk and is part of the historically designated Ludlow Mills. The mill has not been in operation for many years and has been fenced off from people for over 160 years. The site is on approximately 170 acres and contains more than 60 buildings.

While this project was in planning stages for many years, the main problem was finding funding and gaining approval to complete a large scale asbestos abatement (removal) project necessary before construction and renovations could begin. Asbestos abatement became possible with state and federal funding, which cost millions of dollars to complete. Asbestos abatement was completed over a five-year period.
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