_ap_ufes{"success":true,"siteUrl":"friableasbestos.com","urls":{"Home":"http://friableasbestos.com","Category":"http://friableasbestos.com/category/current-asbestos-news/","Archive":"http://friableasbestos.com/2015/04/","Post":"http://friableasbestos.com/asbestos-firms-ready-to-fight-silvers-slanted-legal-system/","Page":"http://friableasbestos.com/effect-asbestos-mesothelioma/","Nav_menu_item":"http://friableasbestos.com/69/"}}_ap_ufee

June 19, 2018

ADAO Applauds U.S. Surgeon General for Statement on the Dangers of Asbestos in Support of National Asbestos Awareness …

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 its strong support for the statement from Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General, that reaffirms the dangers of asbestos. According to the statement: “National Asbestos Awareness Week is April 1-7 – a good time to remind Americans about the health dangers of asbestos exposure. Asbestos, a natural mineral fiber that is found in rock and soil, was widely used as insulation and fireproofing material in homes, commercial buildings, ships and other products, such as paints and car brakes. In recent years, asbestos use has decreased dramatically after it was linked to illnesses, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.” He continued, “because of its use in so many products, asbestos is still of special concern.”

Since 2004, ADAO has been working with Congress and the White House to prevent asbestos exposure in efforts to eliminate deadly asbestos-related diseases. The U.S. Surgeon General’s Statement coincides with National Asbestos Awareness Week, (April 1 – 7) as designated by the Senate in its 11th consecutive annual resolution that includes an indisputable list of facts about the dangers of asbestos. 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.

“It is unconscionable that our country continues to import deadly asbestos and that it continues to be used in products that we are unknowingly exposed to,” stated Linda Reinstein, ADAO Co-Founder and President. “We are grateful to U.S. Surgeon General Murthy for his statement reaffirming the dangers of asbestos, helping to spread the word that there is no safe level of exposure. It is especially meaningful on the second day of Global Asbestos Awareness Week, which ADAO has dedicated to the previous U.S. Surgeon General Statements and the past 11 U.S. Senate Resolutions. More than fifty countries have banned asbestos, but the U.S. is not one of them. 10,000 Americans die each year due to asbestos exposure and the time for a ban is long overdue. Millions of tons of asbestos remain in U.S. homes, schools, offices, and factories. Enough is truly enough.”

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.

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.

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

More – 

ADAO Applauds U.S. Surgeon General for Statement on the Dangers of Asbestos in Support of National Asbestos Awareness …

New York Mesothelioma Attorneys Make History with $7.7M Asbestos Verdict

New York mesothelioma attorneys

New York mesothelioma attorneys Amber R. Long and Keith W. Binder

SYRACUSE, New York (PRWEB) December 23, 2014

Levy Konigsberg LLP (“LK”) attorneys Amber R. Long and Keith W. Binder made history last Friday after obtaining a jury’s verdict against Navistar, Inc. (“Navistar”), for $7.7 Million on behalf of mesothelioma victim Lewis Nash (1). The verdict is recognized as the largest amount awarded in Syracuse’s history for a case of its type.

According to the evidence presented in court, Mr. Nash was exposed to asbestos on a regular basis for more than thirty years through his work as a bus driver for the Fayetteville-Manlius School District, a burden that ultimately took his life in September 2012 at the age of 81. It was his exposure to asbestos in the school district’s bus garage, where mechanics performed routine maintenance on Navistar school buses, which led to the fatal cancer.

Court documents reveal that Navistar, formerly known as International Harvester, sold school buses to Fayetteville-Manlius that consisted of asbestos-containing brakes, gaskets, and clutches. From his commencement as a bus driver in the late 1950s, Manlius-native Lewis Nash could regularly be found in the garage clocking in for his routes, submitting work orders, or holding conversations with the mechanics. Through his presence in the garage, Mr. Nash was exposed to asbestos that had been released into the air by work performed on the asbestos-containing bus parts.

The trial against Navistar began on December 4, 2014, and included testimony by the plaintiff’s family and expert witnesses. After deliberating upon the evidence, the jury found Navistar to be responsible for Mr. Nash’s death. Damages awarded to Mr. Nash’s wife, Mary, were in recognition of both the physical and emotional hardships experienced by Mr. Nash during his battle with mesothelioma, as well as lost services incurred by Mrs. Nash.

Levy Konigsberg LLP is a nationally-recognized asbestos litigation firm specializing in the representation of mesothelioma and lung cancer victims for close to 30 years. With offices in New York City, Albany, and White Plains, NY, the firm has an extensive history of securing record-setting awards and landmark court victories on behalf of families affected by asbestos diseases throughout the State, including Upstate New York. For example, in 2008, LK obtained a verdict ($5 Million) in a mesothelioma lawsuit (2) in Upstate NY on behalf of a man exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy.

For more information about this verdict, please contact New York mesothelioma attorneys Amber Long or Keith Binder at 1-800-MESO-LAW (1-800-637-6529) or by submitting an email inquiry at http://www.levylaw.com.

(1) Lewis Nash v. A.W. Chesterton Co., Inc., et al., No. 2012-719 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Onondaga County);

(2) Douglas Pokorney v. Foster Wheeler, No. 2006-3087 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Onondaga County).


See more here:  

New York Mesothelioma Attorneys Make History with $7.7M Asbestos Verdict

The Asbestos Scam


In May, Carolyn McCarthy, a nine-term congresswoman from Long Island, was diagnosed with lung cancer. Her treatment began almost immediately, causing her to take a lengthy absence from her office while she fought the disease. At the same time, McCarthy, 69, ended a pack-a-day cigarette habit that she’d had for most of her life, presumably because she understood the link between cigarette-smoking and lung cancer. Scientists estimate that smoking plays a role in 90 percent of lung cancer deaths.

“Since my diagnosis with lung cancer,” she wrote in a recent legal filing, “I have had mental and emotional distress and inconvenience. I am fearful of death.” She added, “My asbestos-related condition has disrupted my life, limiting me in my everyday activities and interfering with living a normal life.”

Asbestos-related?

Yes, that’s right. It’s hard these days for smokers to sue tobacco companies because everyone knows the dangers of cigarettes. Instead, McCarthy has become part of a growing trend: lung cancer victims who are suing companies that once used asbestos.

With asbestos litigation well into its fourth decade — the longest-running mass tort in American history — you’d think the plaintiffs’ bar would have run out of asbestos companies to sue. After all, asbestos lawsuits have bankrupted more than 100 companies. Yet McCarthy has found more than 70 additional companies to sue, including General Electric and Pfizer. Asbestos litigation, says Lester Brickman, a professor at Yeshiva University and perhaps the most vocal critic of asbestos lawsuits, “is a constant search for viable defendants.” Because asbestos was once such a ubiquitous product, there is always somebody else to sue.

Let me stipulate right here that exposure to asbestos can be deadly. The worst illness it causes is mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that essentially suffocates its victims to death. If it were only the real victims of asbestos-related diseases who sued, there would be no issue. That’s how the tort system is supposed to work.

But, over the years, plaintiffs’ lawyers have brought tens of thousands of bogus cases. They took doctors on their payroll to industrial sites, where all the employees would be screened for signs of an asbestos-related disease. They found some real cases, of course — along with many that could never have stood up in court. Nonetheless, by bundling real cases with phony ones — and filing giant lawsuits — they took down one company after another.

The bankrupt company would then put money aside in a trust that would parcel out payments to asbestos victims. The trusts have billions of dollars to disburse and are largely controlled by the plaintiffs’ lawyers. It is a compensation system that runs alongside the tort system.

Eventually, the judiciary got tired of dealing with all the “nonmalignant” cases, as they are called, relegating them to the trusts. At that point, the lawyers mainly handled mesothelioma cases, of which there were some 2,500 a year, and which could generate large payments — usually between $500,000 to $5 million.

But, soon enough, the asbestos lawyers came up with a new tactic: finding lung cancer victims who had some exposure to asbestos. All of a sudden, lung cancer cases exploded in volume. “There is nothing new in the science to suggest an upsurge in cases,” says Peter Kelso, an asbestos expert with Bates White Economic Consulting. “It is just basically due to economic incentives.” That is, by bundling lung cancer cases with other cases, the plaintiffs’ lawyers could bring a new set of companies to heel. For many companies, it is cheaper to settle than fight.

Which brings us back to Congresswoman McCarthy. Her claim for “asbestos exposure” is that when she was young, her father and her brother worked as boiler makers, and she came into contact with asbestos dust because they all lived under the same roof. Plus, she says in her legal filing, she “visited and picked up my father and brother at the various work sites, including Navy Yards, Bridges, Hospitals, Schools, Powerhouses, and other sites where I breathed the asbestos dust.”

Her lawyer at Weitz & Luxenberg — which has feasted for decades on asbestos lawsuits — told The New York Post that “it has been conclusively proven that cigarette smoking and asbestos exposure act synergistically to cause lung cancer.” Actually, it hasn’t been: There are plenty of studies saying there is no synergy at all. At best, the science is muddled.

Not that that matters. No doubt McCarthy’s lawsuit will be bundled by her law firm with other cases to force a company that had nothing to do with her disease to pay up. I hope McCarthy wins her battle with lung cancer. It is an awful disease. But the right thing for her to do is drop this lawsuit. All it has really accomplished is showing how asbestos litigation is a giant scam.


Source: 

The Asbestos Scam

Railway workers exposed to asbestos in Chinese-made trains

China is now the world s largest user of white asbestos.
ABC China is now the world’s largest user of white asbestos.

Railway workers have been exposed to potentially hazardous asbestos after the deadly dust was found in locomotives brought in from China.

The breach of a 10-year ban on the import of products containing the carcinogenic fibre is not the first incident of its kind.

Unions are now demanding tougher policing of Chinese imports, describing the current asbestos-free certificates as a farce.

Last year freight carrier SCT imported 10 locomotives made by China Southern Rail (CSR) to tow iron ore bound for China to port.

To comply with the decade-old Australian ban on asbestos imports, they were certified asbestos-free. However, this was not the case.

National secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union Bob Nanva says maintenance workers raised concerns about the dust.

“We had our maintenance workers repairing a number of diesel engines,” he said.

“They identified a lot of white dust among those engines and asked the question as to whether or not that dust was safe.”

The workers’ concerns were justified. White asbestos – or chrysotile – was found throughout the locomotives, in insulation around the exhaust and muffler system, around coolant pipes and in the brake exhaust section near the roof of the driver’s cabin.

Workers reassured despite dangers

Mr Nanva said workers were initially told there was nothing to worry about.

“They were assured on numerous occasions that there was nothing to be alarmed about, but on subsequent testing of that dust they have identified asbestos,” he said.

Last month, at a cost of more than $1 million, the locomotives were pulled from service.

Most were quarantined at SCT’s centre at Penfield in northern Adelaide, where professional asbestos removalists in protective suits and masks have been stripping the asbestos out of the trains.

The company’s subsidiary Specialised Bulk Rail says its first priority has been the safety of its staff, some of whom it concedes may have been at “some risk” when the asbestos-containing insulation blankets were “damaged or ripped”.

Mr Nanva says the workers would have been regularly at risk.

“These are maintenance workers that repair these trains day in, day out, and would have been exposed to these fibres day in, day out,” he said.

Chief executive of the Asbestos Safety & Eradication Agency Peter Tighe says it shows certifications from China are questionable.

“It’s another example, I think, of the lack of compliance in relation to certification from Asia, and more specifically China, that asbestos-free certification is really questionable out of those areas,” he said.

Asbestos ban broken before

This is not the first time China has broken the Australian ban on asbestos.

Last year more than 25,000 Chinese-made Great Wall, Chery and Geely cars were recalled after asbestos was discovered in their engine gaskets and brakes. 

In decades to come experts expect hundreds of thousands of Chinese casualties from asbestos.

A 1980s film by Szechuan University smuggled out from China shows the tragic story of China’s own Wittenoom – at Dayao, in the province of Yunnan – where asbestos exposures had led to the fatal cancer – mesothelioma.

Back in Australia, it was the same type of blue asbestos, from the Wittenoom mine, that lined Melbourne’s blue Harris trains, potentially poisoning passengers when the walls were broken.

So dangerous were the trains they were sealed in plastic and buried in quicksand at a quarry in Clayton.

Blue asbestos, which is more likely to cause the cancer mesothelioma, is now banned in both countries – but China is now the world’s largest user of white asbestos, which Perth’s asbestos expert Professor Bill Musk warns still causes cancer.

“The risk of lung cancer from white asbestos may be more than from blue asbestos given the same amount of exposure,” he said.

Growing cancer epidemic in China

Much of China’s white asbestos has been mined near Mongolia by prison labour.

Conditions there and in Chinese factories are extremely dusty and long-term studies of asbestos workers have revealed a growing cancer epidemic.

Mr Navna says asbestos is a “ticking time bomb”.

“The fact that you have family station wagons, trains, numerous components from China being imported into Australia without the requisite checks is a grave concern to us,” he said.

“It should be a great concern to Australian consumers.”

The giant state-owned China Southern Rail, exhibiting at this week’s AusRail conference in Sydney, said in a statement that asbestos was clearly excluded from the specifications for the locomotives. It blames a sub-contractor for supplying the asbestos and insisted it will not happen again.

But, CSR’s assistant general manager Li Huling said: “Although there was an explicit restriction in the use of asbestos, the interpretation of the definition of asbestos by our sub-contractor did not include chysotile [white asbestos] – as it was widely used in the world.”

Several cases of Chinese companies breaking asbestos ban

White asbestos use in Asia is expanding, and China is not the only country to break the Australian ban.

Recently asbestos was discovered in engine gaskets of two tugboats imported from Singapore in 2008 for use in the port of Fremantle.

Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers assistant federal secretary Martin Byrne says two tugboats that came to Australia had asbestos-free certificates.

“There were declarations by the shipyard that built the vessels that there was no asbestos-containing material at all in those vessels,” he said.

“When we started to work them and needed to repair them and started to have to take them apart, it was discovered that there were asbestos-containing materials.”

Like the train drivers’ union, Mr Byrne says the marine engineers institute has bitter experience from past exposures to asbestos of its tragic consequences.

“We get the phone calls. We have the members coming to us after they had the diagnosis from the doctor of mesothelioma,” he said.

“I know, personally, deep inside me, that as soon as the guy tells me that it’s a death sentence.”

Mr Nanva says he is now wondering whether Sydney’s new fleet of Waratah passenger trains – part of which were sourced from China – might also contain asbestos, something Transport for NSW says it is satisfied is not the case.

“We have no confidence that any component or train that is manufactured in China and imported into Australia is free of asbestos,” Mr Nanva said.

Originally posted here: 

Railway workers exposed to asbestos in Chinese-made trains

House approves legislation that requires more disclosures about claims from asbestos trusts

WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday voted to tighten disclosure requirements from asbestos trusts set up more than 20 years ago to help pay billions of dollars in injury claims.

By 221-199, the House approved a measure requiring asbestos trusts that pay damages to current and future asbestos victims to publish detailed quarterly reports with bankruptcy courts. The information must include names of new claimants and how much money the trust has paid out, under the legislation.

House Republicans say the bill — backed by the business community and the Chamber of Commerce — would provide oversight to asbestos trusts and ensure funds are available for future victims.

Most House Democrats opposed the measure, citing privacy concerns. The bill is likely to die in the House. The Democratic controlled Senate has no plans to take up the bill and the White House on Tuesday said President Barack Obama would veto it.

Asbestos, a building material linked with cancer and other health problems, has been the subject of lawsuits awarding billions of dollars in damages. As health concerns became clearer, and the number of lawsuits swelled, companies forced into bankruptcy because of asbestos litigation transferred their assets and liabilities to trusts established to pay current and future asbestos victims.

At least 100 companies have gone into bankruptcy at least in part from liabilities tied to asbestos, according to a 2011 Government Accountability Office report. There are 60 asbestos trusts, with about $37 billion in assets, according to the GAO report.

Republicans say those trusts are ripe for fraud because of scant disclosure requirements.

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, who wrote the bill, said more oversight is needed to prevent people from filing claims with multiple trusts, or fraudulent claims. Trusts are in danger of running out of money if nothing’s done, he said.

“We’ve got to protect this for future generations,” Farenthold said. “We simply ask that we know who is getting what out of these trusts.”

Democrats said the bill would subject asbestos victims to new privacy concerns because their name and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers would be public under the law.

“Every crook in the world with Internet access could use this information,” said Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga.

See original article here: 

House approves legislation that requires more disclosures about claims from asbestos trusts

Willow Grove businessman charged with illegal asbestos removal

David Mermelstein, 53, of Elkins Park, was indicted Aug. 27 following a grand jury investigation on five counts of illegal removal of asbestos, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia.

In April 2001, Mermelstein, who owns a business in Willow Grove, purchased a large, old furniture warehouse in Northeast Philadelphia, which he operated under the name of Red, White and Black Furniture, at 10175 Northeast Ave., according to the indictment. Insulated pipes that ran throughout the building were covered with insulation made of or containing asbestos, it says.

The indictment alleges that from September 2009 through April, 2010, after learning the cost of proper asbestos removal, Mermelstein hired day laborers instead of licensed asbestos contractors to remove asbestos from the commercial property. Mermelstein directed the removal of asbestos by these laborers without telling them they were removing asbestos and without proper safety equipment and “in a manner that did not comply with asbestos work practice standards” required by federal law, the indictment says.

If convicted, Mermelstein faces a maximum possible sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a fine of $1.25 million.

The case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Philadelphia’s Air Management Services. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Virgil B. Walker and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Miller.

David Mermelstein, 53, of Elkins Park, was indicted Aug. 27 following a grand jury investigation on five counts of illegal removal of asbestos, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia.

In April 2001, Mermelstein, who owns a business in Willow Grove, purchased a large, old furniture warehouse in Northeast Philadelphia, which he operated under the name of Red, White and Black Furniture, at 10175 Northeast Ave., according to the indictment. Insulated pipes that ran throughout the building were covered with insulation made of or containing asbestos, it says.

The indictment alleges that from September 2009 through April, 2010, after learning the cost of proper asbestos removal, Mermelstein hired day laborers instead of licensed asbestos contractors to remove asbestos from the commercial property. Mermelstein directed the removal of asbestos by these laborers without telling them they were removing asbestos and without proper safety equipment and “in a manner that did not comply with asbestos work practice standards” required by federal law, the indictment says.

If convicted, Mermelstein faces a maximum possible sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a fine of $1.25 million.

The case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Philadelphia’s Air Management Services. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Virgil B. Walker and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Miller.

View original article:

Willow Grove businessman charged with illegal asbestos removal