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Over the last 30 years, it’s estimated nearly 1,000 companies have filed for bankruptcy protection largely thanks to their status as defendants in thousands of asbestos injury lawsuits. Most filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy status and have made efforts to reorganize, as well as establish trust pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 524(g), from which current and future asbestos injury plaintiffs can draw. Between 2003 and 2016, industry analysts say these companies and their insurers paid nearly $40 billion to the trust system, growing from 14 active trusts in 2004 to 58 by the close of 2016. These trusts are established with the intention of preserving assets for future and current claimants, relying on projections of near- and long-term claim filing and payment rates in order to manage the flow of money.mesothelioma attorney

In recent years, a number of federal and state-level legislative actions have targeted victims of mesothelioma, often specifically citing the payouts of these trusts, in calling for “greater transparency.” Ultimately, these are efforts to slow plaintiffs down and limit what they can recover.

Let’s take for example the measure being mulled in New Hampshire. Continue reading

A defense verdict in a recent mesothelioma lawsuit in Arizona resulted from a claim alleging illness caused by asbestos in cement pipes.mesothelioma law firm

Cement piping produced in the U.S. and Canada for several decades beginning in the 1930s often contained a mixture of cement and asbestos fibers. The pipes were durable and corrosion-resistant. But of course, asbestos is extremely toxic. Standards for asbestos cement piping in municipal water systems wasn’t enacted until 1953 by the American Water Works Association. Many of these older pipes, which have a stated shelf life of 70 years, are still being used in cities throughout America, even for delivery of drinking water. Many are slated for replacement, and the potential for new exposure of workers during the pipe breakdown and removal process. That’s because while the pipes may not be corroded to the point they pose a danger to our drinking systems (though this may depend on local environmental issues), the fibers are extremely hazardous during breakdown because the fibers have the potential to become airborne.

In the recent Arizona case, Herrera v. CertainTeed Corp., original plaintiff had worked as a pipefitter. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the building materials company after he developed cancer following years of inhaling dust kicked up by his work sawing asbestos cement pipes.

Jurors rejected plaintiffs’ allegations that the materials supplier was aware (or should have known) their cement pipes containing asbestos posed a health risk to workers, but failed to adequately warn them. The family had been asking jurors for $5 million in compensatory damages and unspecified punitive damages, according to CVNContinue reading

A new round of mesothelioma lawsuits in Massachusetts and surrounding states against fertilizer manufacturers may have gained new traction with a recent decision by the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division reviving an asbestos wrongful death lawsuit. asbestos injury lawyer

In Brandecker v. E.B. Mill Supply Co. et al, plaintiff filed on behalf of the victim, a former cabinet maker from New Jersey who reportedly used two bags of defendant fertilizer company’s spreader fertilizer twice annually on his personal lawn in New Jersey. He did so from 1967 to 1980. In the lawsuit, filed in 2012, he alleged this exposure contributed to his development of mesothelioma, a latent but deadly cancer caused by exposure to airborne asbestos fibers. He asserted the Turf Builder product manufactured by defendants contained vermiculite ore, a substance that contained asbestos.

He had also alleged his exposure to the fibers in other settings – primarily at work – also contributed to his developing the terminal disease. He entered into confidential settlement agreements with other defendants, but the claim against the fertilizer company was still pending in 2014 when the trial court granted defense motion for summary judgment. (Plaintiff died in 2012 from mesothelioma; his estate representative carried on as plaintiff, adding the wrongful death claim.)

Now, that summary judgment has been reversed, meaning the wrongful death claim can continue.  Continue reading

Over the past year, there have been allegations of asbestos fibers being present in two different cosmetic products designed for use by children.  Both of these products contained talc, which is common in makeup and also a glitter substance that is supposed to sparkle.  In both instances, an independent materials testing laboratory confirmed the presence of deadly asbestos fibers in some quantity of the children’s products, but the retail chain in which the products were sold across the nation said their own respective testing found no evidence of contamination.

Mesothelioma LawyersRegardless of whether these particular products contained asbestos fibers, there is certainly a chance of asbestos being present in any products that contain talc, unless proper testing methods are used during production to determine if asbestos is actually present. To make matters worse, while producing an asbestos-containing children’s makeup and not warning customers would be an example of negligence, there is no law preventing the manufacturing of such products.

But a new piece of legislation is aimed at closing this loophole. Continue reading

Talcum powered is a powdered form for talc which is a naturally occurring mineral.  It has been found to develop in the same geological conditions as asbestos and for this reason, talcum powder products can contain deadly asbestos fibers. There is also evidence talcum powder itself can cause ovarian cancer and other serious medical conditions. According to a recent news article from NJ.Com, a jury has heard the opening arguments in a case with a plaintiff who claims he developed malignant mesothelioma in his abdomen and lungs.

Boston Asbestos ExposureIn an opening statement, his attorney alleged his 46-year-old client used baby powder manufactured by Johnson & Johnson for much of his life.  It was this baby powder which he claims caused him to development malignant mesothelioma. He was diagnosed in with malignant mesothelioma in 2016.  This is the second products liability lawsuit in which a plaintiff has alleged exposure to Johnson’s Baby Powder caused mesothelioma. Both cases were filed in the jurisdiction in which defendants corporate headquarters is situated. Continue reading

Whenever a plaintiff (or plaintiff’s surviving family members) files a mesothelioma lawsuit in Boston, we are dealing with what is known as a products liability matter. A products liability matter involves a plaintiff who was injured or killed as a result of product manufactured, sold, or distributed by defendant.  In many cases there will be multiple defendants as the law allows plaintiffs to sue anyone in the supply chain of a product as long as they actually had some role in getting the product to the injured plaintiff.  It is possible there must be levels of liability apportioned among the parties, but the courts often leave this job up to defendants as they are in a better position to do so, and it should not matter to plaintiff which company pays which portion of the damages awarded in the event of a successful Boston mesothelioma case.

Theories of Liability in Boston Mesothelioma Cases

asbestos lawsuits BostonAs with any products liability case, there are a variety of legal theories or “causes of action” that may be pleaded in a complaint for damages as dictated by the facts of a case. There can always be the common law claim of negligence, which involves the elements of duty, breach, causation and damages, but there are also claims specific to products liability cases and they are as follows:

  1. Failure to Adequately Warn of a  Known Danger.
  2. Manufacturer or Sale of a Defective Product.

Continue reading

If a plaintiff has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, there is very little question his or her deadly form of cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.  The legal issue is therefore not whether plaintiff was exposed to asbestos, but rather when such exposure occurred and what company manufactured the asbestos products to which plaintiff was exposed.

Boston Mesothelioma In some cases, the answer to this question is fairly easy such as when the plaintiff worked for a company that mined asbestos minerals or a company that manufactured products from those asbestos minerals. However, these cases are not as common anymore because asbestos is no longer in widespread use. Today, many current plaintiffs were exposed while working in the construction trades or at a factory as these plants were often filled with asbestos-laden products. Continue reading

Days after a major retailer of children’s makeup cleared shelves after a customer accused the company of peddling asbestos-laden products, the business is now insisting the products are asbestos-free.

The products were yanked after one customer reportedly tested her daughter’s makeup and alleged asbestos was found. Now, the retailer says it has conducted its own testing (specifically on a brand of glitter makeup) and insists there is no asbestos therein, according to CNN.

Boston asbestos attorneyWhile we must first note that there has been no formal finding of liability at this time or even independent proof that the deadly substance was ever in this product. Still, it’s not difficult to understand why consumers have a tough time trusting large, lucrative companies when it comes to these issues. It’s been established repeatedly that in the past, hundreds of firms willfully lied to the public over the course of 200 years about whether their products contained deadly asbestos fibers or whether those fibers were in fact dangerous. Most of those corporations were involved in mining asbestos or distribution of certain building materials laden with the material.  Continue reading

Many Schools in Boston were built at a time when asbestos was used in heavily during the construction process.  This include tiles, pipes, pipe insulation, wall insulation and many other many other construction materials. Now that these buildings are old and have not been properly maintained over the years in many cases, students, staff and faculty are often facing problems associated with asbestos exposure.

Boston Asbestos Lawyer According to a recent news article from The Boston Herald, a elementary school in Fitchburg, Massachusetts had to close for at least a week after a pipe exploded during the winter recess. This burst pipe resulted in ceiling tiles being damaged, and these were tiles that are known to contain deadly asbestos fibers.  The school board said that it is working with the necessary government agencies and a professional asbestos abatement firm.  Continue reading

Several months ago, one brand of children’s makeup was pulled from store shelves across across the country due to asbestos being found in the products.  According to a recent news article from Quartz, lab tests revealed asbestos in another brand of makeup products designed for use by children.

Asbestos Cases BostonThe recent issue came to light when a mother who purchased some of the cosmetics for her daughter and became concerned they may have contained asbestos.  While there did not appear to be any obvious signs of asbestos in the makeup, it was very similar to other makeup involved in a previous asbestos case.  This particular customer had been working with a materials testing laboratory as part of her occupation and decided to have this makeup tested just based upon an alleged hunch. Continue reading