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July 23, 2018

Asbestos firms ready to fight Silver’s ‘slanted legal system’

Now that disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is out of power, asbestos defense lawyers are revolting against what they say is a slanted legal system.

Silver, who had ties to the mesothelioma-suit firm Weitz & Luxenberg, was accused of using his clout to stack the odds for plaintiffs.

A group of 45 law firms that represent companies defending against asbestos lawsuits asked Administrative Judge Peter Moulton this week to put a 60-day moratorium on any pending and new cases to consider their gripes over Silver’s alleged influence.

Moulton replaced Justice Sherry Heitler as head of a special section of Manhattan Supreme Court called NYCAL, or New York City Asbestos Litigation, last month.

Under her tenure, Heitler, at the request of Weitz & Luxenberg, last year lifted a 20-year rule that barred punitive damages in asbestos cases — paving the way for jackpot jury settlements and verdicts.

The court also fast-tracked plaintiffs’ asbestos cases over other civil matters, the defense lawyers said.

Weitz handles more than half the asbestos cases in Manhattan. It won $273.4 million the last four years.

Excerpt from: 

Asbestos firms ready to fight Silver’s ‘slanted legal system’

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Announces Unity and Remembrance Brunch Sunday, April 19

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which combines education, advocacy, and community to prevent exposure and ensure justice for asbestos victims, today announced the Unity and Remembrance Brunch to close out its 11th Annual Asbestos Awareness Conference on April 17 – 19, 2015, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA.

The brunch, which takes place from 9:30-11:30 am on Sunday, April 19, is an annual tradition for the ADAO community and brings together asbestos victims, loved ones, and supporters with select presentations and musical performances in an intimate setting, culminating with an inspirational candle lighting ceremony. This year’s agenda includes:

  • Opening remarks from Dr. Richard Lemen, ADAO Science Advisory Board Co-Chair
  • Keynote speech from Sue Vento, Widow of the late Congressman Bruce Vento
  • Presentation from Lou Williams, Mesothelioma Warrior; Australian Director, Global Ban Asbestos Network (GBAN); and Social Media Awareness Officer, Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia (ADFA)
  • Performance by Jill Cagle, Mesothelioma Widow and Singer
  • Performance of “I’m Not Ready Yet” by Folk Rock Artist, Troi Atkinson
  • Candle Lighting led by Ellen Trunkelrott, ADAO Board Member

“This year’s conference comes on the heels of the introduction of the “The Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act.” (S. 725) led by Senators Barbara Boxer and Edward Markey” which would ensure the EPA could ban asbestos,” stated Linda Reinstein, President and Co-Founder of ADAO. “Our Unity and Remembrance Brunch is a key example of our continued spirit of hope, and the shared commitment to work towards an asbestos free global community. I am hopeful that one day, the tragedy of asbestos will be a thing of the past, negating the need for such a gathering.”

“The Unity and Remembrance Brunch is important to me – I’m dying of mesothelioma,” said Lou Williams. “If only asbestos had been banned in Australia and around the world when the science confirmed asbestos caused disease and deaths, I might not be suffering today from a preventable and deadly asbestos-caused cancer. But I will not die in vain and remain hopeful that through unity, we will one day see a global ban on asbestos. It is my most important dying wish.”

ADAO’s 11th Annual Asbestos Awareness Conference features more than 40 renowned medical experts and asbestos victims from ten countries, focusing on the latest advancements in asbestos disease prevention, treatment for mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases, and global ban asbestos advocacy. To register for ADAO’s 2015 conference, click here.

Despite its known dangers, asbestos remains legal and lethal in the USA and imports continue. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers; as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders. The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers around the world will die every year of an asbestos-related disease, equaling 300 deaths per day.

About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO is the largest non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to providing asbestos victims and concerned citizens with a united voice through our education, advocacy, and community initiatives. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org. ADAO, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, does not make legal referrals.

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Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Announces Unity and Remembrance Brunch Sunday, April 19

Insurer Claims Asbestos Fraud Tainted Pittsburgh Corning Bankruptcy

An insurer that was required to help fund the $3 billion bankruptcy of Pittsburgh Corning Corning has filed court papers seeking the case to be reopened, saying “pervasive fraudulent conduct” by asbestos plaintiff lawyers tainted the proceedings.

The filing by Everest Re and its Mt. McKinley Insurance unit follows the opening of millions of pages of documents in the Garlock Sealing Technologies bankruptcy, which revealed how lawyers representing asbestos plaintiffs deliberately delayed filing claims against bankrupt companies until they had completed cases against solvent ones, in order to avoid cluttering the record with potential evidence of exposure to other firms’ products.

Everest is among the insurers ordered to pay $1.7 billion into the bankruptcy trust formed to settle claims against Pittsburgh Corning, a joint venture of PPG Industries PPG Industries and Corning that made asbestos insulation widely used in ships, refineries and other industrial settings. A judge approved the bankruptcy plan in 2013 and last year a federal district court judge rejected Everest’s challenge to the plan.

Everest’s claims mirror the findings of the bankruptcy judge who slashed Garlock’s estimated asbestos liability from $1.3 billion to $125 million last year after a detailed examination of 15 claims by several different law firms revealed every single one had withheld information about alternative exposures in order to mount a stronger case against Garlock. In that case, Judge George R. Hodges said the evidence suggested a process “infected by the manipulation of exposure evidence by plaintiffs and their lawyers.”

In its filing, Everest accuses several law firms by name of manipulating or hiding evidence including Waters Waters & Kraus of Dallas, New York’s Belluck & Fox Fox, and Motley Rice, the South Carolina firm most famous for helping to engineer the $200 billion master tobacco settlement with state attorneys general in 1998. Some of those same firms are being sued by Garlock for civil racketeering for allegedly withholding evidence to drive up settlement values.

The lawyers say the accusations against them are baseless. Under the terms of most bankruptcy trusts, which are set up and overseen by plaintiff lawyers, evidence of asbestos exposure can be as simple as a work history at a site where asbestos was known to be used. They say companies like Garlock made a business decision to settle lawsuits, frequently in bulk, in order to avoid the cost of litigation. It’s not the job of plaintiff lawyers to help them obtain evidence to reduce the value of those claims, those lawyers say; if manufacturers wanted evidence of other exposures, they could have questioned coworkers or used shipping records and other documents to show the presence of insulation, for example, which most independent medical experts say is far more dangerous than other forms of the mineral.

Garlock was able to question some of the lawyers under oath, however, and got revealing admissions about how lawyers delayed filing trust claims until after they’d concluded cases against solvent companies. In its filing, Everest cites a few examples, including that of Robert Treggett, a Waters & Kraus client who won a $24 million jury verdict against Garlock after a trial in which his attorneys repeatedly deflected questions about whether Treggett had been exposed to dangerous Unibestos insulation.

Garlock “didn’t bring proof that there was Unibestos on that ship. They couldn’t. It’s not true,” Treggett’s attorney said in closing arguments, and he was able to keep Unibestos off the jury form. Yet Treggett filed a claim in the PPG bankruptcy, attesting to the same exposure he’d denied at trial.

See the article here – 

Insurer Claims Asbestos Fraud Tainted Pittsburgh Corning Bankruptcy

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Praises Senate for Passing the Bipartisan 11th Annual "National …

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which combines education, advocacy, and community to prevent exposure and ensure justice for asbestos victims, today praised the Senate for the passage of a resolution establishing the Eleventh Annual “National Asbestos Awareness Week.” This important educational week raises public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure and coincides with the international educational campaign – Global Asbestos Awareness Week. The Senate Resolution is led by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and cosponsors – Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Harry Reid (D-NV), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Despite its known dangers, asbestos remains legal and lethal in the USA and imports continue. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers; as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders. The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers around the world will die every year of an asbestos-related disease, equaling 300 deaths per day.

Linda Reinstein, President and Co-Founder of ADAO, expressed her gratitude commenting: “On behalf of ADAO, I would like to thank Senator Markey, Co-Sponsors, and full Senate for unanimously passing the 11th Annual ‘National Asbestos Awareness Week’ Resolution. We are extremely pleased to have such strong bipartisan backing of this critical resolution once again so that we can continue our concerted efforts to educate the public on the dangers of asbestos and build a legacy of hope for victims of asbestos each year.” She continued, “Most Americans can’t identify asbestos or manage the risk associated with repairs, renovation, construction, or disasters. The powerful 15 facts outlined in the resolution underscore the dangers of asbestos. Since 1900, the USA has consumed 31 million metric tons of asbestos, which has caused one of the largest man-made disasters. Each year, 10,000 Americans die from preventable asbestos-caused diseases. We are hopeful and encouraged by efforts to reform the outdated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) from 1976 that has failed to ban asbestos and protect Americans from nearly 84,000 chemicals that have been grandfathered into commerce.”

“My decision to lead the sponsorship of this resolution was an easy one to make as I firmly believe that the key to ending asbestos related deaths is education and prevention and I applaud ADAO for its work to help further this important goal,” stated Senator Edward Markey. “The establishment of the Eleventh Annual Asbestos Awareness Week comes on the heels of my co-introduction, with Senator Barbara Boxer, of another important piece of legislation – the Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act, S. 725 – which seeks to protect children and communities from the dangers of toxic chemicals and specifically calls for a ban on asbestos. I remain enormously encouraged by the bipartisan efforts taking place to end exposures to toxic substances like asbestos.”

Senator Barbara Boxer said: “Asbestos is one of the most dangerous substances known to humankind – it takes 10,000 lives a year. National Asbestos Awareness Week is an important reminder of why we need to fight to ensure that our families and children are protected from this lethal hazard. That is why Senator Markey and I recently introduced S. 725, the Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act, which specifically addresses the threat posed by asbestos.”

ADAO has worked with members of the Senate since its founding in 2004 to unanimously pass annual asbestos awareness resolutions and has secured three U.S. Surgeon General asbestos statements in 20092013, and 2014 educating Americans about the dangers of asbestos and steps to prevent exposure. A copy of the resolution can be found here.

ADAO will hold its 11th Annual Asbestos Awareness Conference on April 17 – 19, 2015, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA. More than 40 renowned medical experts and asbestos victims from ten countries will speak on the latest advancements in asbestos disease prevention, treatment for mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases, and global ban asbestos advocacy. To register for ADAO’s 2015 conference, click here.

About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO is the largest non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to providing asbestos victims and concerned citizens with a united voice through our education, advocacy, and community initiatives. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org. ADAO, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, does not make legal referrals.

Contact:

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

Kim Cecchini

Media Relations

202-391-5205


Kim@asbestosdiseaseawareness.org

Original article:  

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Praises Senate for Passing the Bipartisan 11th Annual "National …

Sheldon Silver-linked law firm has hand in asbestos funds

Weitz & Luxenberg, the law firm accused of exploiting its connection to Sheldon Silver in New York City’s asbestos court, has come under fire in another lucrative arena — multibillion-dollar bankruptcy trusts.

The East Village firm, which gained more than 100 mesothelioma clients in an alleged kickback scheme by the disgraced assemblyman, sits on 15 advisory committees for trusts set up by bankrupt companies to compensate victims — including Weitz’s own clients.

The loose system fosters a “fox guarding the hen house” culture, says a article published last month by Measley’s Asbestos Bankruptcy Report.

Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver

The 15 trusts guided by Weitz have paid out $12.2 billion between 2006 and 2013. Other trusts, which may also pay Weitz clients, have doled out $51.6 billion, the report says. Lawyers typically get at least 25 percent of the payments.

It’s unknown how many Weitz clients got payments — or whether any were funneled through Silver.

Perry Weitz, a partner in the firm, helped set up trusts for major companies such as Owens Corning, USG, and Kaiser Aluminum, his Web site boasts.

Trusts for asbestos-injured workers — who can file claims and also take active companies to court — still hold about $30 billion.

The system is rife with double-dipping abuse. Lawyers file trust claims blaming a client’s asbestos illness on bankrupt companies, but often hide those claims in lawsuits blaming active companies for the same illness.

For instance, Weitz & Luxenberg won a $25 million verdict against DaimlerChrysler in 2006 in a special Manhattan asbestos court where the firm files 50 to 70 percent of the cases.

At trial, Weitz shot down defense arguments that bankrupt Johns Manville, which made insulation and roofing, shared some blame for the worker’s exposure. “How should they be responsible?” the firm asked.

But a year after the trial, Weitz filed trust claims for the same client seeking payments from Johns Manville.

A Weitz spokesman said the firm had no comment.

In 2011, Weitz asked Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Sherry Klein Heitler to drop a requirement that plaintiffs disclose before trial any trust claims they had filed or intended to file.

Heitler, who was replaced as chief asbestos judge last week, denied the motion, but tweaked the rule, saying lawyers did not have to reveal trust claims “they may or may not anticipate filing.”

Her wording left wiggle room for potential fraud, Cardozo Law School professor Lester Brickman told The Post. Brickman, a leading expert on asbestos litigation, testified before Congress lastmonth in favor of a bill to curb the double dealing.

After Silver’s indictment last month, Weitz & Luxenberg claimed it was “shocked” that the former Assembly speaker had steered $500,000 in state grants to Columbia-Presbyterian mesothelioma researcher Dr. Robert Taub, who in turn referred the 100-plus patients.

See the article here – 

Sheldon Silver-linked law firm has hand in asbestos funds

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Applauds Sens. Boxer and Markey for Introducing The Alan Reinstein and …

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which combines education, advocacy, and community to help ensure justice for asbestos victims, today announced its support for the Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act, introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Edward Markey (D-MA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight. The bill provides critical safeguards to protect children and communities from the dangers of toxic chemicals and specifically calls for a ban on asbestos.

The legislation, aimed specifically at reforming the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), includes these key provisions:

  • Protects children and vulnerable populations from harmful toxins
  • Provides stronger safety standards and quicker safety reviews of chemicals
  • Ensures exposure from chemical spills and leaks are addressed
  • Requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to act quickly to consider a ban on asbestos
  • Maintains states’ rights to protect people from dangerous toxic chemicals

The bill is named in honor of two cancer victims – Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer. Alan lost his battle to mesothelioma in 2006 at the age of 66 and was the beloved husband of ADAO President Linda Reinstein, who co-founded ADAO in 2004. Trevor Schaefer, a victim of toxic exposure, was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 13.

Ms. Reinstein stated: “ADAO applauds Senator Boxer and Senator Markey for their leadership in helping to take further steps to eliminate exposure to asbestos, a known carcinogen that has caused the most occupational deaths in history. This bill, named after my late husband Alan, represents not only his courageous battle with mesothelioma, which he lost nine years ago, but it also represents the hundreds of thousands of other asbestos victims – past, present, and future – along with Americans who’ve been affected by other toxic chemicals. Asbestos is still legal and lethal in the United States, and the Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act will enable the EPA to, once and for all, ban asbestos. ADAO has worked with a coalition of more than 450 organizations, who support real TSC reform. I am certain everyone will be supportive and grateful for its introduction and passage.”

Conversely, ADAO strongly opposes the legislation introduced earlier this week by U.S. Sens. David Vitter (R-LA) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) inappropriately named the “The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act”. The bill purportedly designed to protect the public from toxic substances would allow asbestos to remain legal and widely used in the U.S.

“The fact that the Vitter-Udall bill will not even restrict, much less ban, the deadly substance that claims 30 lives a day is nothing short of a national travesty,” said Reinstein. “Any Senator who supports this industry proposal is in essence supporting the continuation of the toll asbestos has already had on millions of American families. The bill, embraced by the chemical industry, will only expose future generations to asbestos and many other highly toxic chemicals.”

Despite its known dangers, the U.S. has failed to ban asbestos and imports continue. Each year, asbestos claims the lives of 10,000 Americans. Exposure to asbestos, a human carcinogen, can cause mesothelioma, lung, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers; as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders. The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers around the world will die every year of an asbestos-related disease, equaling 300 deaths per day.

About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO is the largest non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to providing asbestos victims and concerned citizens with a united voice through our education, advocacy, and community initiatives. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.

Contact:

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

Kim Cecchini

Media Relations

202-391-5205


Kim@asbestosdiseaseawareness.org

Source: 

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Applauds Sens. Boxer and Markey for Introducing The Alan Reinstein and …

Garlock Asbestos Settlement Tied to Quality of Opposing Lawyers, 'High Risk' Facts, Venue

DALLAS, March 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Recently released documents in the Garlock Sealing Technologies’ bankruptcy show that the company decided to settle asbestos claims filed by attorneys from Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, PC, partly because the Texas-based law firm has some of “the best trial lawyers in the country” and the risk of taking the cases to trial was too high.

In a series of internal “major expense project approvals” released March 4, Garlock’s own advisers provided the justification for settling hundreds of asbestos exposure lawsuits. The documents devote multiple pages to cases handled by Simon Greenstone’s predecessor firm, Simon, Eddins & Greenstone.

One document recommended that Garlock approve a $3.1 million settlement involving 19 of the firm’s lawsuits that were awaiting trial in Los Angeles in 2008. The settlement came to roughly $163,157 per case.

“The deal, although rich, is favorable and advisable,” the document states. “First, the per case average is down from what we have recently paid on mesothelioma claims handled by Simon, Eddins & Greenstone in not only California, but in other jurisdictions as well. In the recent past, we have paid Simons (sic), Eddins & Greenstone $300,000 and above on various mesothelioma claims.

“Second, the deal provides certainty relative to very high risk cases, in an extremely bad jurisdiction, being handled by some if (sic) the best trial lawyers in the country,” the document states.

The Garlock communications also reference “high risk” facts and concerns about trial venue.

Garlock sued Simon Greenstone in 2014, claiming the company had been duped into settling certain lawsuits brought by mesothelioma victims fatally injured by asbestos products. The recently released documents provide further justification of Simon Greenstone’s assertion that Garlock settled with Simon Greenstone’s clients because it was a good business decision, according to attorney Michael W. Magner, who represents the firm in that suit.

“Garlock is simply trying to reduce the amount of money it must pay to those harmed by its products,” Mr. Magner says. “As anybody can tell from reading the major expense project approvals, it is clear that Garlock based its decision to settle on the facts of the case, the venue and the quality of the legal representation.

“We have said all along that unsealing the record would prove that Garlock’s suit is nonsense, and these documents are the smoking gun,” Mr. Magner says. “Garlock’s attempts to reduce what the company owes its victims are nothing but revisionist history and an attempt to discourage victims of asbestos products from seeking just compensation. Garlock made a considered decision to do what most civil litigants do: settle. If the company isn’t happy with how those cases turned out, it has no one to blame but its own officers, attorneys and consultants.”

For more information or to obtain electronic versions of the major expense approval reports, contact Amy Hunt at 800-559-4534 or amy@androvett.com.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/garlock-asbestos-settlement-tied-to-quality-of-opposing-lawyers-high-risk-facts-venue-300046630.html

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Garlock Asbestos Settlement Tied to Quality of Opposing Lawyers, 'High Risk' Facts, Venue

Moon Area parents voice concerns about asbestos removal

Some parents in the Moon Area School District are concerned about the district’s plan to remove asbestos from two elementary schools during the nine-day spring break instead of over summer vacation.

About 20 parents attended two sessions Tuesday to discuss the removal of asbestos-containing vinyl floor tiles as part of $26.2 million in improvements planned at Allard and Brooks elementary schools.

The asbestos removal is scheduled to begin the evening of March 27 and be completed by April 2 to allow time for Allegheny County to review the project and for the district to install flooring and return furniture to rooms. The district’s spring break is March 28-April 5.

Will Nicastro, department manager with Professional Services Industries Inc. of Pittsburgh, said the floor tiling is “non-friable,” meaning it is resistant to crushing or pulverizing by hand, and it should be easily pried from the floor.

Testing and multiple cleaning processes will be used throughout each phase of the removal project, he said.

Some parents said they felt reassured after hearing the presentation, while others remained adamant that the project should be done over summer break, with the start of the 2015-16 school year delayed by one week.

School directors Jerry Testa and Michael Hauser were the only board members who attended either of the Tuesday sessions. Mr. Testa said he would prefer to delay the start of the 2015-16 school year.

“Based on what I heard tonight, I am even less comfortable than when I voted last Monday,” Mr. Testa said, referring to the Feb. 9 board meeting where directors voted 7-2 to approve plans that included the bidding of the asbestos projects. He and Mr. Hauser were the two dissenters.

It may be less expensive for the district to have the work done over spring break because firms are busy in June with summer construction projects, said Joe Kuchnicki, principal contractor with PSI.

PSI would prefer to do abatement work while students are not in building, he said, although local districts, including Montour and Mt. Lebanon, have done this type of abatement while students are in the building by closing off sections of the school from use. Doug Finke, PSI project manager, said other districts, such as North Hills, have conducted this type of abatement during weekends.

Some were concerned the time frame was too short for the work.

“I don’t want it done helter skelter,” said Basel Masry, an Allard parent. “By rushing it, you are setting it up for a fail.”

Mr. Kuchnicki called the timeline “somewhat of an aggressive schedule, but it is meet-able.”

At the Brooks session, where parents also brought up that concern, superintendent Curt Baker said, “The risk level is exceptionally low. There is no reason to put it off.”

PSI will not be the firm removing the asbestos as indicated during the Feb. 9 board meeting. It will monitor the contractors that are hired to complete the projects. Air quality testing will be completed by PSI throughout the abatement process. On-site tests will be performed before and during the project, including areas outside of the sealed work areas. Final air quality readings will be completed at the company’s main laboratory in Pittsburgh.

Open bidding on the project is to end March 2. The school board is scheduled to vote to select the firm or firms on March 9.

Further asbestos abatement, including insulation and boiler room work at Brooks and window work at Allard, will be completed during the summer. The window work will be done in conjunction with the installation of new windows.

Abatement also is expected to occur during the summer at R. Hyde Elementary in preparation for transforming it into a district learning center.

Sonja Reis, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.

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Moon Area parents voice concerns about asbestos removal

ADAO Announces Global Experts to Present at the 2015 Conference

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which combines education, advocacy, and community to help ensure justice for asbestos victims, today announced the speakers scheduled to present at the upcoming 11th Annual Asbestos Awareness Conference, “Where Knowledge and Action Unite” , April 17-19 2015 at the Crystal Gateway Marriot in Arlington, VA. ADAO also will be celebrating its 11th year of asbestos awareness success since the organization’s inception in 2004. ADAO is the only U.S. nonprofit that organizes annual conferences dedicated to preventing and eliminating asbestos-caused diseases.

Nearly 40 renowned experts and asbestos victims from ten countries will present the latest advancements in disease prevention, global advocacy, and treatment for mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases. The April 18, 2015, conference includes four powerful, cutting–edge sessions:

  • Progress and Challenges from the Frontline
  • Medical Advancements: Diagnosing and Treating Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos-Related Diseases
  • Prevention: What Is It? Where Is It? What Do I Do?
  • Advocacy: Global Ban Asbestos Action

The conference underscores ADAO’s new “Hear Asbestos. Think Prevention.™” campaign, which is focused on continual global efforts aimed at preventing asbestos exposure to help end the tragedy of asbestos disease. ADAO began as a grassroots advocacy, spurred by Alan Reinstein’s mesothelioma diagnosis, beloved husband of the organization’s Co-Founder and President, Linda Reinstein.

“I look at where ADAO has come since I began this journey as the confused and angry wife of an innocent asbestos victim and it has made me realize even more how we are all connected by a strong thread of hope that weaves itself across continents and lives,” stated Ms. Reinstein. “As we celebrate the 11th year anniversary of ADAO and welcome our global supporters and speakers to this year’s conference, I’m reminded more than ever that there is strength in numbers.”

Collaborating with organizations around the world for a global asbestos ban since its inception in 2004, ADAO has become a leader in social media advocacy and community outreach for asbestos victims, their families, and loved ones to share support, resources, and provide hope. ADAO has shifted education and awareness activities into high gear – with an unparalleled effort to educate the public and medical community about asbestos-related diseases and preventing exposure. Responsible for three Surgeon General asbestos warnings and ten Senate Resolutions designating April as Asbestos Awareness Week each year, ADAO is recognized as one of the largest organizations fighting for justice on behalf of asbestos victims in the US and abroad.

The recently finalized conference list of speakers includes a highly esteemed group of research, advocacy, and medical experts from ten countries:

  • Arturo Aguilar, Filmmaker, Mexico
  • Syed Mezab Ahmed, World Asbestos Congress, Pakistan
  • Troi Atkinson, Mesothelioma Patient and 2015 Honoree, USA
  • Emily Bankhead, Mesothelioma Widow and 2014 Honoree, USA
  • Dr. Brad Black, Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director at Center for Asbestos Related Disease and ADAO Science Advisory Board, USA
  • Jill Cagle, Mesothelioma Widow and Singer, USA
  • Dr. Robert Cameron, University of California, Los Angeles and The West Los Angeles VA, USA
  • Barry Castleman, ScD, Author of the “Asbestos: Medical and Legal Aspects,” and ADAO Science Advisory Board, USA
  • Mark Catlin, Service Employees International Union, USA
  • Earl Dotter, Photojournalist, USA
  • Geoff Fary, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency, Chairman, Australia
  • Professor Dean Fennell, Chair of Thoracic Medical Oncology, University of Leicester and 2015 Honoree, United Kingdom
  • Dr. Raja Flores, Chairman, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Mount Sinai Health System and Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization Science Advisory Board, USA
  • Dr. Arthur Frank, Professor of Public Health and Chair Emeritus of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Drexel University School of Public Health and ADAO Science Advisory Board Co-Chair, USA
  • Fernanda Giannasi, Associação Brasileira dos Expostos ao Amianto (ABREA), Brazil
  • Marc Hindry, Association Nationale de Défense des Victimes de l’Amiante (ANDEVA), France
  • Dr. Philippe Gomes Jardim, The Brazilian Labor Public Ministry, Brazil
  • Doug Larkin, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, Co-Founder, USA
  • Richard Lemen, PhD, MSPH, Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS (ret.), Rear Admiral, USPHS (ret.) and ADAO Science Advisory Board Co-Chair, USA
  • Dr. Guadalupe Aguilar Madrid, Mexico
  • Dr. Luis Antonio Camargo De Melo, General Labour Prosecutor, Brazil
  • Captain Aubrey K. Miller, M.D., M.P.H., Senior Medical Advisor, Office of the Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, USA
  • Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH, Professorial Lecturer Dept of Environmental & Occupational Health Milken Institute School of Public Health George Washington University, USA
  • Patrick J. Morrison, Assistant to the General President for Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine, USA
  • Sandra Neuenschwander, Mesothelioma Mother, USA
  • Dr. Christine Oliver, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization Science Advisory Board, USA
  • Ellen Patton, Mesothelioma Patient and 2015 Honoree, USA
  • Dr. Jorma Rantanen, Professor at International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) and 2015 Honoree, Finland
  • Linda Reinstein, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, President/CEO, USA
  • Barry Robson, Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia (ADFA), Australia
  • Domani Tripam, Mesothelioma Daughter, USA
  • Ellen Tunkelrott, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization Board Member, USA
  • Sue Vento, Widow of the late Congressman Bruce Vento, USA
  • Cameron Von St James, Mesothelioma Husband, USA
  • Yvonne Waterman, Ph.D. LL.M., The Netherlands
  • Dr. John Wheeler, Associate Director for Science at CDC/ATSDR, USA
  • Lou Williams, Mesothelioma Patient and Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia (ADFA), Australia
  • Jordan Zevon, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization Spokesperson and Musician, USA

Despite its known dangers, there is still no global ban on asbestos, and it continues to claim lives. Exposure to asbestos, a human carcinogen, can cause mesothelioma, lung, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers; as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders. The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers around the world will die every year of an asbestos-related disease, equaling 300 deaths per day.

ADAO will hold its Eleventh Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference on April 17 – 19, 2015, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA.

About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO is the largest non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to providing asbestos victims and concerned citizens with a united voice through our education, advocacy, and community initiatives. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.

Contact:

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

Kim Cecchini

Media Relations

202-391-5205


Kim@asbestosdiseaseawareness.org

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ADAO Announces Global Experts to Present at the 2015 Conference

Wallsend asbestos widow Chris Knighton welcomes new rules for asbestos compensation

Asbestos-related cancer sufferers are to receive up to £54,000 extra under new compensation rules brought in by government

Asbestos widow Chris Knighton has welcomed new rules for asbestos compensation.

The government has announced that asbestos-related cancer suffers are to receive up to £54,000 extra in compensation.

Under new rules for the government’s Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme, compensation will rise to match 100 per cent of average civil claims, up from the current 80 per cent, which could mean an increase of up to £54,000 a person, according to Ministers.

The change has been welcomed by Chris, who has dedicated her life to campaigning to help those affected by the deadly condition since her husband Mick died from the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma in 2001.

The Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund, based in Wallsend, North Tyneside, has raised more than £1m for research and supported hundreds of people.

Chris, 68, said: “I feel very pleased. It has been a long haul for this to come about and it does give people the opportunity for compensation that would otherwise not have had.

“There is still a long way to go and sadly this decision should have been taken a long time ago as those with mesothelioma don’t have the luxury of time.

“Those with the condition want to know that their family will be financially provided for when they are no longer here and this is why the new rules are so important.”

Chris Knighton
Chris Knighton

Those diagnosed with asbestos-related mesothelioma from February 10 2015 will benefit from the payment increases.

Mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the lining of internal organs such as the lungs, which is usually connected to exposure to asbestos.

The North East is a blackspot for the disease, because asbestos was used in shipbuilding, construction and the automotive industry.

Ministers introduced legislation in 2013 to provide payments to those who cannot trace their former employer’s insurer.

But the compensation on offer was lower than the average compensation people would expect to receive by going through the courts – and MPs have been campaigning for the payments to be increased.

The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme has already paid out over £19m in its first 10 months of operation.

Work and Pensions Minister, Lord Freud said: “For years, many victims of this truly terrible disease have been failed by successive governments and the insurance industry. With this scheme we are continuing to help the many victims and families that mesothelioma has left without financial support.

“From today we are raising compensation payments to 100% of average civil claims. It is partly thanks to the success of the insurance industry in tracing liable insurers and employers that we are able to make these changes as part of our on-going commitment to support mesothelioma sufferers.

“Though the majority of suffers are able to claim compensation through the liability insurance held by their employer, a significant minority cannot.

“Due to the length of time between asbestos exposure and cancer diagnosis, many employers and their insurers no longer exist and so the liable successor organisations are often untraceable.”

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson
Blaydon MP Dave Anderson

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said: “I’m delighted to hear this news, this is what campaigners have asked for many years.

“At last people who were denied justice by dilatory ex-employers and their friends in the insurance industry will be properly compensated, it’s long overdue but welcome.”

Around 2,100 people in the UK are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. It is almost always fatal with most of those affected usually dying within twelve months of diagnosis.

A ‘standardised mortality ratio’ (SMR) is used to identify blackspots, where a figure of 100 would be the expected number of deaths, given the age of the population.

But in North Tyneside the figure is much higher, at 309, and in South Tyneside it is 303, reflecting the high incidence of mesothelioma in those local authority areas.

Across the Tyne and Wear Metropolitan County the figure is 235 and in the North East it is 170.

Ministers said the number of people claiming compensation under the scheme had been higher than expected.

Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, a soft material that used to be widely used in building construction as a form of insulation and to protect against fire.

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Wallsend asbestos widow Chris Knighton welcomes new rules for asbestos compensation