February 23, 2019

U.S. Legal Support Announced Robert Tooker as Regional Director of Complex Asbestos Litigation


U.S. Legal Support Inc., a preeminent provider of full-service court reporting, record retrieval, eDiscovery and trial services, announced Robert Tooker as Regional Director of Complex Asbestos Litigation.

Rob Tooker, an expert in complex asbestos litigation, has over 25 years of experience in asbestos matters. He brings to the role years of experience running the boutique court reporting agency Tooker and Antz, focused on asbestos litigation. Tooker provides a strong understanding of the special requirements and characteristics within asbestos litigation.

“Rob brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise as the Regional Director of Complex Asbestos Litigation,“ said Charles F. Schugart, U.S. Legal Support President & CEO. “His client-first focus and expertise make him an ideal fit to lead asbestos litigation at U.S. Legal Support.”

U.S. Legal Support’s reporters, available throughout the United States, have reported over 15,000 asbestos depositions. They are experts in unique asbestos technology, specializing in all matters of asbestos including, mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, interstitial fibrosis, pleural plaques and wrongful death.

Their service offering includes:

• Video services available throughout the United States

• Day-in-the-life video

• Asbestos calendar team

• Asbestos production team

• Asbestos billing options

• Split billing of originals

• Conference call set-up

• Expert deposition by phone

• Nationwide set-up of large conference rooms

• Asbestos database of over 15,000 transcripts (Available in 2015)

For more information contact Robert Tooker, Regional Director of Complex Asbestos Litigation, at rtooker@uslegalsupport.com.

About U.S. Legal Support

U.S. Legal Support, Inc., founded in 1996, is a privately held company with over 60 offices located across the United States. As one of the leading providers of litigation services, they are the only litigation support company that provides court reporting, record retrieval, eDiscovery and trial services to major corporations and law firms nationwide. www.uslegalsupport.com


U.S. Legal Support Inc.

Melissa Delgadillo



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U.S. Legal Support Announced Robert Tooker as Regional Director of Complex Asbestos Litigation

More asbestos cleaning at council basement rooms

SAFETY FIRST: Essential Energy contractors carry out work on Ray Walsh House in Tamworth after asbestos was discovered in a basement area. Photo: Gareth Gardner 061114GGA01

SAFETY FIRST: Essential Energy contractors carry out work on Ray Walsh House in Tamworth after asbestos was discovered in a basement area. Photo: Gareth Gardner 061114GGA01

FURTHER asbestos management work has been carried out at Tamworth’s council chambers in Peel St.

Two rooms in the basement of Ray Walsh House underwent precautionary cleaning late last month.

The rooms are adjacent to an electrical substation, where the presence of asbestos was confirmed in 2013.

Last month Essential Energy engaged an “asbestos hygienist” to clean the substation, which it leases from the council.

The asbestos is contained in a fire-retardant material applied to steel beams throughout the substation and adjoining rooms.

Heat and vibrations generated by electrical equipment has caused the substation’s asbestos to crumble, creating a potential health hazard.

Tamworth Regional Council corporate and governance director Robert Charlesworth said there was no threat to either the public or employees.

“When Essential Energy were here doing their substation, we had a hygienist undertake some air particle testing,” he said.

“It came back negative in those adjacent rooms, which is the cleaner room and the meter room. I made the decision that because they said there was dust in there – it was not asbestos-contaminated dust – to have them fully cleaned by the hygienist.”

Mr Charlesworth said there was some form of asbestos in virtually every building in Tamworth.

“While the hygienist was here I got him to do some testing in other areas within the building, to make sure the asbestos that we’re aware of is maintained and in good order,” he said.

“There is no issue with the asbestos that’s in the vermiculite covering the beams unless it has an external factor interfering with it, such as heat and vibrations.”

Continue reading:  

More asbestos cleaning at council basement rooms

Boulder City bypass gets green light after asbestos testing shows no threat


Nevada Department of Transportation

This artist’s rendering shows what the redesigned interchange of Boulder City Bypass and U.S. 93 would look like at Railroad Pass. Railroad Pass Casino is at left. If U.S. 93 is designated an interstate between Las Vegas and Phoenix, the bypass route would become part of the interstate, officials say.

Click to enlarge photo

This Nevada Department of Transportation graphic shows the route of the proposed Boulder City Bypass.

After a frustrating seven-month delay to allow for hundreds of tests of asbestos-tainted soil, construction of a bypass highway around Boulder City is back on track.

Officials with the Nevada Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada gave the green light after concluding workers could safely cut the highway through the hills around Boulder City because the asbestos, discovered by UNLV geologists in 2011, did not reach harmful levels. Construction is slated to begin in the spring, officials said today.

Asbestos, in strong enough concentrations, can trigger respiratory problems including scarred lungs and, in extreme cases, cancer.

To play it safe, construction zones will be heavily watered to prevent asbestos from becoming airborne and exposing workers. Additionally, there will be continued soil testing and real-time air sampling and, if exposure levels become unacceptable, contactors can halt work and launch additional mitigation, NDOT Project Manager Tony Lorenzi said.

The news “is a relief to everyone,” said Boulder City Mayor Roger Tober. “While initially the asbestos discovery caused alarm, this is just good news. For the levels that are there, there will be some mitigation, but it’s going to be taken care of.”

The $490 million highway project, more than 10 years in the making, would wend around Boulder City so traffic can move smoothly between Las Vegas and Arizona. Until the bypass is built, tourists, truckers and commuters must use U.S. 93, which slices into town where traffic slows miserably on busy days.

The bypass is envisioned as the first link in Interstate 11, a proposed interstate highway connecting Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Testing conducted over the summer confirmed the presence of asbestos but concluded it was not at a threatening level.

The project will be conducted in two phases by NDOT and the RTC. Each agency conducted its own tests to meet their respective regulations.

“Phase 1 is what we are calling clean,” Project Manager Tony Lorenzi said.

The first phase, a 2.5-mile connector starting at U.S. 95 and heading easterly toward the Colorado River, is NDOT”s responsibility. Tests of 150 soil samples showed no asbestos concentrations higher than 0.25 percent, deeming them safe. The second phase — RTC’s 12.5-mile stretch that finishes the bypass to the east — involved testing of 461 samples for concentrations less than 1 percent. Fourteen samples tested above 1 percent.

These concentrations are standard for construction sites where there’s naturally occurring asbestos.

“The most important thing is the comfort of the public,” Lorenzi said. “We want them to know that construction will be done safely, in compliance with every agency. We’re doing it right.”

The asbestos findings will be discussed at an open house from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Elaine K. Smith Center Building, 700 Wyoming St., Boulder City. Representatives from Boulder City, the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, NDOT and the RTC will be there to discuss the project.


Boulder City bypass gets green light after asbestos testing shows no threat

Demolition company fined for dumping asbestos waste

Demolition company fined for dumping asbestos waste

Published: 11:45AM Thursday May 15, 2014 Source: ONE News

  • Asbestos waste (Source: Supplied)

    Asbestos waste – Source: Supplied

A demolition and digger hire company has been fined $67,687 for illegally disposing of asbestos-contaminated demolition waste and clearing native vegetation.

The charges relate to illegal activities at the defendant’s property, including disposing of demolition waste containing asbestos in April last year, clearing native vegetation in a special ecological area and illegal filling between August 2010 and April last year.

The prosecution was brought jointly by Tauranga City Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the affected site is now listed with both councils as contaminated.

In 2013 the two councils both received complaints about demolition material containing asbestos being taken from a church demolition site in Fraser Street to the Grange Road site bordering the reserve. The demolition work was being carried out by C Side Services, a company owned by Stephen Craig Walling.

Samples dug up at the Grange Road site owned by ‘C’ Side Services tested positive for white, brown and blue asbestos, and Mr Walling was issued an abatement notice to stop work. He said he was putting clean-fill, dirt and concrete onto the property to form a driveway to a house site and to create a grassed garden area with exotic palms. He said he had taken 15 truckloads of demolition waste from the church to the Grange Road site and had also allowed two other contractors to deposit concrete and dirt there.

A total of 372 square metres of the Special Ecological Area and its five metre buffer zone had been cleared of vegetation and a concluded that material containing asbestos at the site posed an immediate and long-term risk to human health if no management controls were put in place.

The fines include $22,687 for asbestos disposal, $22,000 for clearing the special ecological area and $23,000 for illegal filling. The defendant is also required to re-vegetate the area and remediate the contaminated land.

    Copyright © 2014, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand


    Demolition company fined for dumping asbestos waste

    Deadly asbestos fibres continue their ripple effect

    Deadly asbestos fibres continue their ripple effect

    WA News


    Leanne Nicholson

    Asbestos led to the removal of Wittenoom's status as a town in 2007.

    Asbestos led to the removal of Wittenoom’s status as a town in WA in 2007.

    Asbestos may have been banned from Australian manufacturing since the mid-1980s but the effects continue to be felt beyond the initial victims and decades after the prohibition of the deadly fibres.

    The Asbestos Narratives, released by Southern Cross University, considered the social and psychological impacts of the asbestos disease and, of all groups facing challenges, the disease had a greater impact on women.

    “Women are likely to form a significant proportion of the emerging third wave of exposure to asbestos and may suffer considerable hardship as a result,” project leader and the university’s director of Regional Initiative for Social Innovation and Research, Associate Professor Rick van der Zwan said.

    “The medical effects of this disease are well researched, but little has been known about the social, psychological and economic implications for those diagnosed, their carers and their families.


    Taken from:  

    Deadly asbestos fibres continue their ripple effect

    Melling Station building closed as safety precaution

    The building at Melling Station has been closed temporarily as a safety precaution after testing found evidence of asbestos.

    Wayne Hastie, the Regional Council’s General Manager of Public Transport, says the results showed positive for asbestos dust, not airborne asbestos. “So there’s no risk of people inhaling asbestos but we need to close the building until the building is cleaned thoroughly to remove the dust.”

    The building would be cleaned as soon as possible then tested again.

    Dr Hastie said the Melling Station building has a tenant who runs a kiosk and a ticket agency. Both have closed until further notice.

    Melling commuters can buy tickets for single trips on board. Ten-trip tickets and monthly passes will need to be bought at Wellington Station. “As soon as we got the test results we had to take the necessary safety precautions and close the building. We apologise for the inconvenience to commuters. “

    Dr Hastie says the Council is currently testing all stations where asbestos might be present. In the 1950s and 60s when many stations were built, asbestos material was used in construction.

    “This testing was scheduled as part of our comprehensive asset management programme but we’ve expedited it since finding asbestos in an old part of the Thorndon electric multiple unit depot after the roof was damaged in a storm. We decided it was best to test all of our buildings that are of a similar era sooner rather than later.”

    Four other buildings at Upper Hutt, Trentham, Woburn and Taita stations showed evidence of asbestos dust. The areas in which the dust was found at Upper Hutt, Trentham and Woburn stations are all non-public access areas have been sealed and will be cleaned. The roof at Trentham Station has been replaced.

    At Taita Station, asbestos dust was found to be present in the signal box which KiwiRail staff use at some times of the day. Staff are not working out of this signal box until the area has been cleaned thoroughly and retested. This will have implications for some services, including possible delays to some peak hour afternoon services between Taita and Upper Hutt.

    “Passengers should allow for extra travel time and we are exploring the possibility of making temporary changes to bus services that connect with trains at Upper Hutt Station. Passengers should check Metlink or call 0800 801 700 for details over the next few days or call

    Original link – 

    Melling Station building closed as safety precaution

    Asbestos dumped at Dungowan

    THE dumping of asbestos in the Dungowan Valley recently has prompted fresh warnings that offenders face hefty fines or even jail time.

    Anyone caught illegally discarding the deadly material in public places can be fined up to $1 million and jailed for up to seven years.

    The latest incident comes after a high-profile case in May when 15 bags of asbestos were found hidden in long grass off Locks Ln in Tamworth.

    Tamworth Regional Council’s health and environment manager Ross Briggs said there had been “numerous” discoveries of asbestos in the area.

    He said each incident cost council – and by extension the community – about $2500 to carry out an investigation and safely remove the hazardous material.

    “It’s just so irresponsible,” he said. “There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos, so anyone who comes into contact with it faces a potential health risk, not to mention the related possible environmental problems.”

    Mr Briggs said the council was using this month’s Asbestos Awareness Month to dispel some common misconceptions surrounding the banned building material.

    He said one of the most prevalent myths in the community was that legally disposing asbestos was prohibitively expensive.

    “However, this is not the case,” he said. “The cost for asbestos disposal at Tamworth Waste Management Centre of Forest Rd is as little as $13 for a pre-paid disposal bag.”

    For more information about the safe disposal of asbestos, visit the Tamworth Regional Council website.

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    Asbestos dumped at Dungowan

    Te Puna contractor fined for burning asbestos

    A Te Puna earthworks and rubbish removal company and its owner were convicted and fined $16,400 in Tauranga District Court this week for discharging and burning asbestos, treated timber and other contaminants.

    Bay of Plenty Regional Council prosecuted Contour Limited and owner Stephen Mark Miller for the offence, which happened in January at the defendant’s premises in Waikaraka Drive East, Te Puna.

    In January The Relocatable House Company asked Mr Miller to demolish and remove several structures from a Bellevue property, including a workshop, fence and a garage clad with cement board.

    He took roofing iron to a recycling company, tyres to a tip and removed three truckloads of demolition waste which he burned at his own property. Later that week the Regional Council received a complaint that a contractor had disposed of asbestos in an unapproved place.

    A Regional Council officer saw a large pile of demolition waste at the property, including polystyrene, treated timber, electrical wire, pastic, cement board, laserlight sheeting, greenwaste and tyres. Some of the waste had been buried and some burned. Samples taken at the property were found to contain white asbestos, brown asbestos, arsenic and copper.

    Miller told the officer he had not worked with asbestos before and did not know the rules on dumping waste, but knew about special requirements for disposing of asbestos. He did not have a consent for the waste, but knew it was illegal to burn plastic, electrical wire and treated timber.

    The court heard that asbestos in cement board was not particularly hazardous but if it became fragmented the risk increased. While burial was the proper disposal method, some areas of New Zealand had large quantities buried which became a problem when land was later converted to residential use.

    Proper removal of asbestos cement board includes spraying it with PVA glue and water, breaking it as little as possible, wrapping it in plastic sheeting and removing it in plastic-lined bins and disposing of it at an approved site.

    A total of 821 asbestos-related diseases were recorded in New Zealand in the past 12 years, including lung cancers and asbestosis, according to the Asbestos Diseases Association of NZ’s annual report.

    Regional Council Pollution Prevention Manager Nick Zaman said the Regional Council was concerned about the increasing number of illegal waste disposal cases, particularly those involving asbestos.

    “This is a local and national problem. The increasing costs of waste disposal and more stringent earthquake-strengthening requirements means that some demolition and waste disposal contractors are taking the risk of disposing of waste illegally to get their business ahead of their competitors,” he said.

    “By disposing of asbestos and other hazardous waste unlawfully, some contractors are putting themselves and the wider community at risk. They are also putting future users of affected land at risk. Many reputable demolition contractors in the Bay of Plenty now routinely engage asbestos specialists to confirm whether or not buildings contain asbestos.

    “Anyone arranging demolition or renovation work should ensure that steps are taken to confirm whether asbestos is involved and if so, use a reputable company. The cheapest quote is not always the safest option,” Mr Zaman said.

    This article: 

    Te Puna contractor fined for burning asbestos

    Asbestos 'hotspots' found in Christchurch

    Asbestos ‘hotspots’ found in Christchurch

    Saturday 09 Nov 2013 11:39a.m.

    Lichfield Street was damaged during the Christchurch quakes (file)





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    Asbestos 'hotspots' found in Christchurch

    Asbestos found on Graceville school oval

    Asbestos has been found on the oval at Graceville State Primary School.

    Asbestos has been found on the oval at Graceville State Primary School.

    Graceville State School students and staff will have to wait until investigations are complete to learn whether asbestos debris found on the school oval has put them at risk.

    However Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek was quick to say he thought it was “unlikely”.

    Speaking outside parliament on Thursday, Mr Langbroek said the site had been immediately closed off when the debris was discovered and air tests were currently being conducted.

    “We have a strong series of protocols that we enact whenever these issues are raised,” Mr Langbroek said.


    “These protocols are being followed and the safety of students and their teachers and the whole school community is what we are committed to.”

    A letter sent to student’s homes on Wednesday alerted parents to the discovery.

    The debris was found during construction work at the school.

    The state government has budgeted $40 million over two years to remove asbestos from Queensland schools.
    But Mr Langbroek said the process would take time.

    “It is obvious that when you have a very, very big capital works program – and we have a number of schools that were built pre the 1990s and we are having a lot of construction and a lot of maintenance – we are going to have these issues of asbestos being uncovered in some of the older sites,” Mr Langbroek said.

    The state’s School’s Asbestos Register, which details areas in schools where asbestos has been identified, has more than 9000 pages.

    Asbestos, left undisturbed, poses no danger.

    Construction workers were hosing down the Graceville school’s oval on Thursday morning.

    In her letter to parents, acting principal Catherine Waldron said access to the oval had been restricted.

    ‘‘Testing has confirmed that the debris contains asbestos,’’ she wrote.

    ‘‘Repairs and a professional clean are to be undertaken. The area will remain restricted until a clearance is provided for its reuse. These precautions will ensure that all students and staff are kept safely away from the area.’’

    Regional education director Chris Rider said ‘‘tight processes’’ were in place around asbestos management at schools.

    ‘‘We find asbestos from time to time during construction work,’’ he told 612 ABC Brisbane.

    ‘‘We’re on top of this and in control of it … everything is perfectly safe at Graceville.’’

    Authorities are conducting air and soil tests at the school.


    Asbestos found on Graceville school oval