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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.

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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

There was a long period during American history when the general public was largely not aware of the dangers of asbestos. That is no longer the case. These days, most people are aware of the dangers of deadly asbestos fibers, though many erroneously assume the material has been banned in the U.S.

mesothelioma lawyerIn the late 1970s, when the dangers of asbestos became public knowledge, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), attempted to ban the mining of asbestos and the importation of raw asbestos and goods that contain measurable amounts of asbestos.  Unfortunately, this law was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court a couple of years of after it was enacted on grounds that EPA had overstepped its bounds and did not have the authority to create a law that affects interstate commerce without action from congress.

Today, the asbestos industry isn’t exactly thriving in the U.S., but neither is it dead.

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Under state law, there are numerous types of damage one can claim in personal injury or wrongful death civil cases. There are economic damages, such as those for medical expenses, continuing medical care and lost wages. There are also non-economic damages, such as those for pain and suffering and loss of life enjoyment. Beyond that, there are punitive damages (also known as exemplary damages), which are intended to punish a defendant. Punitive damages aren’t available in most Massachusetts personal injury cases, but per M.G.L. c. 229, they may be allowed in wrongful death cases where a corporation committed gross negligence or willful or wanton conduct.

asbestos injury lawsuits

This can be applied in some mesothelioma/ asbestos exposure cases, given that asbestos is a deadly fiber that when breathed into the lungs causes a latent form of cancer that is terminal.

Throughout the last two centuries, companies in the asbestos industry have hidden the dangers of this toxic material from the general public. Unfortunately, it seems some businesses are still allowing workers to be placed at risk for deadly asbestos exposure – and that means they have greater odds of paying punitive damages for their actions. Continue reading

One of the more difficult aspects of litigating a mesothelioma lawsuit in Boston is identifying who is responsible for the harm caused. Beyond that, there may be issues determining which liability insurance company is responsible to pay the claim. Some companies have established trusts to help pay future claims. However, some of these companies don’t exist anymore and tracking down their liability insurance can be tedious.

Even in cases where that information is readily available, insurers are fighting tooth-and-nail to avoid getting involved, looking for any exemption or loophole they can find. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it, but you will need an experienced Boston mesothelioma attorney on your side throughout the process. mesothelioma lawyer

Recently, the New York Supreme Court ruled a liability insurer that provided coverage to contractors and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey must defend those entities against asbestos claims filed by construction workers allegedly exposed to asbestos while building the World Trade Center Complex back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Those workers are only now learning of their illness, and the root cause of it. The insurer fought to extricate itself from these claims, arguing the alleged exposure occurred outside the coverage period. The Supreme Court of the State of New York has ruled the insurer did provide coverage to the defendants during the alleged exposure period, and thus the insurer has a duty to defend.

This doesn’t necessarily mean plaintiffs will win their claims, but it does mean they will have the opportunity to do so – and to collect on any verdicts if they win.

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