February 18, 2019

Ex-congresswoman could get payout from court tied to Silver

Judges have helped turn Manhattan’s special asbestos court into a gold mine for Sheldon Silver’s law firm — and a former Long Island congresswoman could also reap the rewards.

In a 2011 case brought by the ex-speaker’s firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, Justice Martin Shulman, Silver’s Lower East Side neighbor and fellow synagogue member, opened the floodgates for heavy smokers to win huge sums by blaming their lung cancer on asbestos. They include former Long Island Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, 71.

The retired lawmaker claims in a $100 million-plus lawsuit that she was exposed to the toxic chemical as a child when her father and brothers unwittingly brought asbestos fibers home from their shipyard jobs. The Democrat had smoked for 40 years. Silver’s firm filed her suit in 2013.

Silver, the disgraced Democratic kingmaker booted last week from the Assembly-speaker post he held for two decades, raked in $5.3 million in salary and referral fees from Weitz & Luxenberg despite doing no legal work.

In indicting Silver, US Attorney Preet Bharara called the cash bribes and kickbacks.

But those payments are peanuts next to the hundreds of millions the East Village firm netted while Silver, hired in 2002 for his “prestige and perceived power,” wielded huge influence over the state judiciary.

“Silver was gold. That’s why they hired Shelly,” said a source familiar with the firm.

A series of rulings by judges in New York City Asbestos Litigation, a special Supreme Court section known as NYCAL, have enriched the firm and paved the way for bigger settlements and verdicts, critics and experts say. The firm files more than half the NYCAL cases — and collects most of the winnings.

In a 2011 case, Shulman set high damages for two steamfitters — both smokers for more than 25 years — who worked with gaskets containing asbestos and later died of lung cancer. The jury found Goodyear Tire and Rubber and Goodyear Canada partially responsible. Shulman let stand an $8.5 million verdict for one man and cut another’s $13.5 million verdict to $6 million.

“There is no bigger gift he [Shulman] could have given to Weitz and Silver,” said an asbestos defense lawyer, who fears it set a precedent.

Phil Singer, a Weitz & Luxenberg spokesman, said smokers have a higher risk of cancer when exposed to asbestos, and that Shulman upheld the high award because of the workers’ “horrific pain and suffering.”

The average award for a NYCAL asbestos case — nearly $16 million per plaintiff between 2010 and 2014 — is two to three times larger than those in other courts nationwide, data show.

Weitz & Luxenberg could win millions more from a ruling by chief asbestos Justice Sherry Klein Heitler last year. At the firm’s urging, she lifted NYCAL’s 20-year moratorium on punitive damages.

NYCAL’s prior chief judge, Helen Freedman, had imposed the ban as “the fair thing to do” because wrongs were committed 20 or 30 years before, often by a predecessor company.

In lifting NYCAL’s ban, Heitler said punitive damages should be sought only in rare cases of egregious conduct. But Weitz & Luxenberg has since indicated it may seek the extra payments in every case.

The firm defended its victories. “The verdicts we’ve achieved are a direct result of these corporations’ outrageous misconduct and wanton disregard for their victims. They had nothing to do with Sheldon Silver,” Singer said.


Ex-congresswoman could get payout from court tied to Silver

Asbestos clean-up bill for two ships could top €1m

Industry insiders have estimated it could end up costing the taxpayer around €1m to remove asbestos from two Naval Service vessels which were supposed to be free of the potentially lethal substance.

Work to remove asbestos started on sister ships LÉ Ciara and LÉ Orla on May 28, despite a consultancy firm giving them the all-clear 14 years ago.

The firm has since closed, which means it is highly unlikely the clean-up costs can be recouped. Ultimately the bill will fall to the taxpayer.

The Defence Forces confirmed that work on removing asbestos from the LÉ Ciara is now complete. It is expected the ship will become operational in the coming weeks. The clean-up on LÉ Orla is still ongoing.

The Defence Forces press office said it estimated that this will be completed sometime in the next four months.

The press office said it would not be releasing the costs of the clean-up while the work is ongoing.

However, industry sources say the bill could be anything up to €14,000 a week, especially as asbestos has to be exported to Germany as there are no suitable sites here capable of disposing of it safely.

If these asbestos clean-up costs are accurate, it means the final bill could be around €1m.

The LÉ Aoife was found to have asbestos in a gasket in an engine and the substance was also detected in LÉ Eithne’s forward pump room.

Both ships will undergo a further examination as part of a fleet-wide asbestos survey ordered by Naval Service senior officers.

It is unlikely that asbestos will be found onboard the fleet’s newer ships as the substance was widely used in the 1980s in the ship- building industry, especially in engine rooms to insulate pipes and boilers.

At the time, it was considered the best and most cost-effective insulating material and was also fire-resistant.

Meanwhile, Siptu industrial organiser Jason Palmer said his members — civilian workers at the Naval base — who were exposed to asbestos on the vessels have all had medical screening.

This has also been completed for all Naval Service personnel who were potentially in contact with the substance.

He said the Department of Defence had confirmed it will put a plan in place to ensure that ongoing screening will take place for them, as it can take up to 40 years for asbestos symptoms to manifest themselves.

Mr Palmer said asbestos-awareness training had been completed by union members on the base and some have already started a course on the safe removal of the substance.

“Discussions are ongoing about getting the remainder trained in that,” Mr Palmer said.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved


Asbestos clean-up bill for two ships could top €1m

Shrader & Associates, L.L.P., Announce New Representation Resources for Shipyard Asbestos Claims

Houston, TX (PRWEB) March 28, 2014

Asbestos was once a widely used material for building and manufacturing. The material offers excellent resistance to fire and heat, it absorbs sound well, and it is relatively inexpensive to acquire. Consequently, people who worked in the construction and manufacturing industries were greatly exposed to asbestos, including workers who build ships and other types of floating vessels at shipyards. With time, however, asbestos began to fall out of favor when illnesses were linked to exposure to the material. Shrader & Associates, L.L.P.—with offices in Houston, Texas and Glen Carbon, Illinois—has become one of the foremost law firms in the provision of resources for people seeking to file shipyard asbestos exposure claims.

Perhaps the best known illness linked with asbestos is mesothelioma. Although a rare form of cancer, it is lethal precisely because of its rarity. Even after inhaling or ingesting the material, it takes a rather long time—in most cases 20 to 50 years—for the signs to show up. Over time, the mesothelium, which is the protective lining that covers internal organs like the lungs and heart, develops malignant tumors. Symptoms of mesothelioma include chest pain, shortness of breath and coughing.

With shipyard workers in particular, approximately 14 of every 1,000 workers out of the 4.3 million that insulated World War II ships died from mesothelioma. This does not include the number of those who succumbed to asbestosis, a chronic inflammatory condition also caused by exposure to asbestos.

Because of the dangers it presents to those exposed to the material, the United States has come up with years of legislation to regulate the use of asbestos, or ban it outright. Shrader Law & Associates L.L.P. now provides consultation services for those suffering from asbestos-related diseases. Attorneys with the firm take the time to review the specifics of the victim’s claim. Then the lawyers will guide the clients accordingly: advising them of their rights to be compensated for their suffering and to file a claim in the court of law. It is usually up to the clients to decide on whether proceeding with a legal case is ultimately worth it. Shrader & Associates, L.L.P. is already well known for their efforts to secure compensation for people suffering with asbestos-related ailments.


Based in Houston, TX, Shrader Law & Associates L.L.P. specialize in representing people suffering from the effects of exposure to asbestos. The firm has also worked on claims involving other substances or products like vinyl chloride, thickening gel and pharmaceuticals. For consultation, Shrader Law & Associates, L.L.P. can be reached by dialing 713-782-0000.

See original article here: 

Shrader & Associates, L.L.P., Announce New Representation Resources for Shipyard Asbestos Claims

Shrader Law Announces New Shipyard Asbestos Resources

Shrader Law Announces New Shipyard Asbestos Resources

Individuals Affected By Asbestos Exposure Now Have Improved Options

Houston, TX (PRWEB) December 19, 2013

Shrader Law is a reputable law firm that specializes in mesothelioma litigation, and it now offers enhanced resources for those who were exposed to asbestos in shipyards.

Whether individuals have been suffering with mesothelioma for months or years or are just starting to show symptoms of mesothelioma related to asbestos exposure, they can obtain the information they need through Shrader Law. The law firm’s website provides individuals with enhanced resources regarding where shipyard asbestos exposure took place, dates when individuals may have been exposed to it, and common symptoms that individuals who have been exposed to this material may exhibit. Individuals often want to know more about their potential exposure to asbestos before talking to a lawyer about their rights, and they can find the information they need online at Shrader Law’s website.

Shrader Law is a full-service litigation firm that specializes in all types of asbestos cases. The firm understands what it takes to successfully obtain a settlement through negotiations or a ruling in the client’s favor in a courtroom. From the initial consultation, when a lawyer will review the client’s rights and options in detail, to the final stage of a court ruling, this is a law firm that will stand by its clients while also fighting for their rights and interests.

Exposure to asbestos can ultimately lead to the development of mesothelioma, a serious and life-threatening condition. This form of cancer can cause pain and suffering, expensive medical bills and heartbreak for friends and family of the individual. Those who have been affected by asbestos exposure should learn more about their rights. Shrader Law is a reputable law firm that has successfully represented the interests and fought for the rights of many clients over the years, and it continues to fight for clients’ rights in asbestos cases today.


Shrader Law is a widely known litigation firm that specializes in personal injury law, and it has considerable experience trying asbestos-related cases. The law firm strives to achieve the best results for its clients as permitted under the law, and its experience in these cases can be invaluable. When an individual believes that he or she has been affected negatively by asbestos exposure, Shrader Law can help. The law firm can be reached by phone at 713-782-0000.

Continued – 

Shrader Law Announces New Shipyard Asbestos Resources

Rick Nemeroff Of The Nemeroff Law Firm Returns As Co-Chair For National Asbestos Litigation Conference

DALLAS, Aug. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Rick Nemeroff, owner of The Nemeroff Law Firm and leading representative of mesothelioma victims, was selected to return as co-chair and moderator for the 2013 Asbestos Litigation Conference: A National Overview and Outlook. The event gives thought leaders in the asbestos field an opportunity to discuss how trends in litigation may impact future cases.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130814/NE63658)

The event, hosted by Perrin Conferences, brings asbestos insurance, legal, corporate and scientific leaders together to review the direction and climate of asbestos litigation. Topics for discussion include emerging and specialized claims, recent verdicts, decisions and events, as well as strategies on litigating cases in particular states and leading jurist’s perspectives.

“We’re proud to have Rick Nemeroff chair our National Asbestos Conference once again,” said Lynnsey Perrin, founder of Perrin Conferences. “Rick’s vast experience in this highly competitive field and enviable record of results place him at the forefront of asbestos litigation.”

Practicing since 1993, Nemeroff has established himself as a leading trial lawyer, combining compassion with aggressive litigation skills to fight for individuals and families who have been harmed by the actions of negligent corporations. He is a sought-after speaker and presenter for all aspects of asbestos litigation.

“I’m honored to return as co-chair and moderator for this year’s conference,” said Nemeroff. “It’s a great opportunity for us, as representatives of victims and their families, to discuss industry and legal developments and what those might mean for our clients.”

Established in 2009, the National Asbestos Litigation Conference offers a vibrant and open forum to help attendees understand the trends currently driving asbestos litigation and what the future will present. The conference will be hosted at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on Sept. 16-18.

About Nemeroff Law Firm

With offices in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Pittsburgh, The Nemeroff Law Firm is a nationally recognized trial firm dedicated to helping individuals and families who suffer from asbestos related mesothelioma, harmful pharmaceuticals, and catastrophic personal injuries or death as a result of the wrongful or negligent conduct of others. Led by attorney Rick Nemeroff, the firm serves clients throughout the United States and Mexico, combining compassion and caring with aggressive litigation skills to deliver life-changing results.  For more information, contact The Nemeroff Law Firm at 866-435-1831, go to www.nemerofflaw.com or follow them on Twitter.


Gigi Westerman



Continue at source:  

Rick Nemeroff Of The Nemeroff Law Firm Returns As Co-Chair For National Asbestos Litigation Conference

Asbestos discovery delayed £110m Mears contract

Southwark Council delayed signing a £110 million repairs deal with contractor Mears after eight residents were exposed to asbestos while the firm was working under an interim contract.

Mears has also permanently removed a plumbing operative from working on the Southwark contract, after asbestos was displaced at two leasehold homes on 19 June this year.

The incident took place six days before a decision on the award of the council’s long-term repairs and maintenance contract was due to be made. The decision was put back by almost a month while both parties investigated what had gone wrong and why.

A report considered by the council’s cabinet on 16 July reveals that the plumber ‘did not give adequate consideration to the possible presence of asbestos within the dwellings, despite council-generated asbestos warning flags on the works order and the operative’s handheld computer’.

It added that a supervisor also ‘failed to identify or consider the material as asbestos’.

An investigation by Mears reveals that the plumber and supervisor had attended asbestos training at the end of 2012. It said ‘the operative had blatantly failed to follow his training and company procedures and put himself and the residents at risk of exposure to asbestos fibres’.

Two staff members have since been dismissed by Mears, following its investigations. A spokesperson said the incident ‘was caused by the actions of two rogue individuals’.

The residents were put up in a hotel by the council while their flats were decontaminated.

Southwark signed the contract last month after its investigation found ‘individual incompetence rather than corporate or structural failings within Mears’. Its report said it was ‘inexplicable that the operatives involved failed to recognise the material as asbestos’.


Asbestos discovery delayed £110m Mears contract