ASBESTOS NEWS DAILY - SECONDHAND EXPOSURE
Mesothelioma Secondhand Exposure
We connect you with experienced Secondhand Exposure Mesothelioma Asbestos lawyers. If have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma or an Asbestos related illness we can help you file a claim.
Secondhand Exposure diagnosed with Mesothelioma and other Asbestos related diseases have legal options and may seek compensation through Mesothelioma litigation.
Filing a claim against the companies that are responsible for your Secondhand Exposure will help you gain compensation for medical costs and pain and suffering associated with asbestos-related illnesses. A Mesothelioma lawyer can help you pursue compensation for the following things:
- Lost income
- Medical bills
- Group support for yourself and loved ones
- End-of-life expenses
We help patients and their families make educated, informed decisions about how to proceed with filing Mesothelioma, Asbestosis and other asbestos-related cancer claims.
We will walk you through the entire process of connecting with an experienced Secondhand Exposure Mesothelioma Lawyer and also help you find a qualified Mesothelioma doctor.
Secondary Exposure – Asbestos Trades –Asbestos Mesothelioma Lawsuit
'Take home' liability could mean limitless liability for asbestos defendants
3/20/2009 12:28 PM By Staff Reports
During a recent gathering of asbestos legal professionals, aBeverly Hills conference focused on one central theme in emerging litigation trends: a new generation of problems -- connected to the last -- will mean a new wave of cases against a new slate of defendants.
With more than three decades past since the peak ofasbestos manufacturing and use in theU.S., the focus of lawsuits has shifted to what is often called "secondary exposure cases." These cases are filed on behalf of a new slate of plaintiffs, many a generation removed from those that comprised the height of asbestos litigation in the late 1990s when hundreds of thousands of cases were filed each year.
Likewise, the defendants include new businesses, most at least a step removed from the manufacturers, shipyards and refineries already forced into bankruptcy under the weight of billions paid in legal settlements.
With many of the first wave of plaintiffs deceased, and the businesses they sued bankrupt, it is no surprise the vast industry of asbestos lawyers would now be uncovering new cases along previously un-trod trails.
One such trail emerging as a potential highway of asbestos cases is take home liability cases. Commonly, these plaintiffs include everyone from children and spouses of those who worked around asbestos, babysitters who entered the employee's home, or independent contractors who worked with products containing asbestos.
Texas plaintiff attorney Shepard Hoffman described one form of take home liability extending "to those who regularly and repeatedly came in to contact with employees' work clothing consistently over a period of time."
New York attorney JohnCanoni said defendants in these cases have taken notice, raising in court their serious concern over the "specter of limitless liability."
New cases, new plaintiffs
The legal war over how courts will interpret the limits and legal responsibility in take home liability cases is now pitched in state-by-state battles. Some states, likeWashington,Tennessee,New Jersey andLouisiana have ruled that companies have a duty to protect and warn those who may become exposed to asbestos beyond their own employees, according toChicago defense attorney Jonathon Lively.
Others, notably,New York,Georgia,Kentucky,Texas,Michigan andDelaware have ruled against such duty. Many states, includingIllinois - and in whichMadisonCounty continues to be one of the larger asbestos dockets in the country -- are still hearing the cases that will determine the eventual legal precedence.
The cases that are setting the stage offer a glimpse into the next generation of clients.
"The housewife is the number one occupation listed for those now contractingmesothelioma,"West Virginia plaintiff attorney AnneKearse said.
ATennessee case involved a woman who died at the age of 24 after being exposed toasbestos from her father's work clothes. The woman was born premature and spent three months in the hospital where her father would come and hold her every day on his way home from work,Lively said.
Another case involves a plaintiff who wasexposed to asbestos as a child from wrestling around withhis father after work.
Canoni cited one of the most recent cases, a ruling from the Delaware Supreme Court earlier this month. Lillian Riedel sued ICI Americas, Inc., her husband's employer for nearly 30 years, for failing to warn her of the dangers of asbestos exposure fromher husband's clothing.
"Does the employer owe a duty of care to the injured party who they may or may not have ever known, nor ever employed?"Canoni said.
According to court documents, the court ruled against Riedel, grantingICI's request for summary judgment "on the basis that ICI and Mrs. Riedel did not share a legally significant relationship that would create a duty ICI owed to her."
But that legal victory of the defense inDelaware is offset by plaintiff victories along similar lines in other states, notablyWashington.
Lawyers G. William Shaw and Michael K. Ryan wrote, "In a pair of closely watched asbestos cases, theWashington Court of Appeals on January 29, 2007 greatly expanded the duty to warn in asbestos cases."
The twin rulings in favor of plaintiffs found that a product manufacturer whose products do not include any asbestos is still responsible for exposure if the normal use of the product would cause them to become exposed from another source.
The court ruling "may have a direct impact on defendant manufacturers whose products may have required the use of asbestos-containing products to function properly," they wrote, which in turn, greatly expands the company's duty to warn about the exposure to asbestos. The ruling also greatly increases the pool of defendants that can be named inWashington asbestos cases.
Potential liability in states where duty to warn is expanded could soon extend to babysitters, school teachers and neighbors who could have been exposed by someone who worked around asbestos, according to asbestos conference presenters. The number of businesses who could be sued in asbestos cases is also greatly expanded, even to the point of including "mom and pop stores," one presenter at the conference said.
The cases with extended duty to warn are cropping up in asbestos dockets across the country. A brief review of cases filed recently inMadisonCounty, shows the subtle shift to the next generation of plaintiffs.
For example, among the 13 cases filed inMadisonCounty in a single week in February, few are direct lawsuits on behalf of a sick worker suing a former employer. One such example involves a lawsuit filed by Christine Warner ofTennessee on behalf of her mother who developedmesothelioma during her work as a seamstress at House of Fashions inMemphis for more than 30 years.
But most are less specific as to when and where the person was exposed to asbestos, likely built on duty to warn case law.
Pat Montgomery ofKentucky claims he developedmesothelioma after helping his father on the family farm for six years during the 1950s. AnIllinois woman claimed in her suit filed inMadisonCounty that she developedmesothelioma after being exposed through her husband.
Defending the case
The most important steps in defending against take home liability often occur early on in how the case is framed by the courts, according to Lively. The duty to warn is often determined by whether the court sees the case as one of misfeasance, poor action to warn, or nonfeasance, no action to warn.
"How a case gets framed in front of the court is going to greatly determine how it is going to end up," Lively said during the asbestos conference.
TheDelaware ruling involving Lillian Riedel, Lively said, was an example of the court assessing the failure to warn as nonfeasance, essentially ruling they had no duty to warn her of the potential exposure from her husband's work clothes.
Other cases where courts have ruled the company had a duty to warn and acted poorly to do so have led to plaintiff victories, the case of the 24-year-old woman fromTennessee for example,Lively said.
The outcomes of these cases differ greatly from state to state.
Hoffman said that despite the changing nature of the cases, juries still focus on the plaintiff and the harm done to them.
"Juries want to find a way to help out a family," he said, arguing that plaintiff attorneys must simply show the "contributing factors to a person contractingmesothelioma," and "the basis to hold the initiating company responsible."
Companies knew the dangers of asbestos, even on clothing leaving the plant for decades, Hoffman said, citing examples of safety measures that were commonplace.
"A study in 1913 discusses worker safety, of the need for lockers and showers and a change of clothes for workers before going home," Hoffman said.
While defense attorneys often point to 1972, when OSHA issued protocols to be followed regarding asbestos exposure,Kearse said that premise can be challenged in court.
"There's a lot of information out before OSHA,"Kearse said, starting with a report in 1937 that talks about safety policies related to asbestos.
"It was known and knowable how dangerous this was to work with," she said. "West Virginia had regulations in place since 1951, but it was rarely followed, if at all."
Women and Mesothelioma – Second Hand Exposure – $3.6 Million Verdict
Ford Motor Co. to Pay $3.6M in Mesothelioma Case
Thursday, November 6, 2008
A woman whocontracted mesothelioma after second-hand contact with asbestos has been awarded $3.6 million by aFlorida jury. Lynda Daly worked for a Ford dealership in the 1970's,where she claims she was exposed to asbestos-filled brakes. She also believes that she may have ingested the asbestos because her husband repaired brakes at home. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. It generally kills victims within two years of detection.
Full Story - http://www.miamiherald.com/news/broward/breaking-news/story/759340.html
Mesothelioma – Second-Hand Exposure From Father’s Work Clothes
Tennessee Supreme Court rules employer owes duty of care to employee's daughter
Date: Monday, September 22 2008
An employer owes a duty to those who regularly come into close contact with theasbestos-contaminated clothes of their employees, the Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled. A 25-year-oldwoman who contracted mesothelioma filed a negligence suit against Alcoa, alleging that it negligently permitted her father - who was an employee - to wear his asbestos-contaminated clothes home from work, thereby regularly and repeatedly exposing her to asbestos fibers over an extended period of time.
Alcoa allegedly was aware of the presence of significant quantities of asbestos fibers on its employees' work clothes. It was also aware of the dangers posed by even small quantities of asbestos and that asbestos fibers were being transmitted by its employees. But the company nevertheless allegedly failed to take any measures to protect its employees or others they came in contact with.
The daughter was born prematurely and had to stay in the hospital for three months. Her father visited every day, wearing his asbestos-contaminated work clothes, so from the day of her birth she wasexposed to the asbestos fibers on her father's work clothes.
Secondary Exposure – Asbestos Company – $200 Million Mesothelioma Verdict
Jury awards woman $200 million in asbestos case
April 30, 2010 | KPCC Wire Services | KPCC
A jury awarded a woman more than $200 million after it found that her rare form of cancer wascaused by exposure to asbestos from washing her husband's contaminated work-clothes.
A Superior Court jury found this week that Rhoda Evans'mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos dust from CertainTeed asbestos cement water pipes, said attorney Larry Gornick of Levin Simes Kaiser & Gornick LLP, which represented the Evans family.
In addition to $8.8 million in compensatory damages to be paid by DWP and CertainTeed, the jury agreed late Thursday to also levy $200 million in punitive damages against CertainTeed, the attorney said.
Calls for comment to representatives of CertainTeed and DWP were not immediately returned.
The next step in the lawsuit before Superior Court Judge Conrad R. Aragon is a series of motions to be filed by both sides, Gornick said.
Aragon will decide on any award amount to be paid, which is expected to be reduced, Levin said.
"It is our hope that the damages awarded will relieve some of Rhoda's suffering, as well as the burden of her medical expenses so that her life will be prolonged and she can continue to care and provide for her young granddaughter,'' Levin said, adding that the 7-year-old girl was orphaned a few
years ago when Rhoda's own daughter died of complications from juvenile onset diabetes.
"We also hope that the punitive damage award will serve to make the community safer by making product manufacturers think twice before concealing dangerous characteristics of their products.'' he said.
The case stems from Bobby Evans' employment with DWP from 1974 to 1998.
As part of his job, Gornick said, Evans was routinely exposed to asbestos while working with pipes manufactured by CertainTeed, aValley Forge, Pennsylvania.-based manufacturer of building materials.
Gornick said the jury found CertainTeed had knowledge that asbestos caused cancer in the early 1960s. However, the company continued to manufacture the asbestos pipes and did not place a cancer warning on them until 1985, the lawyer said.
"CertainTeed was fully aware that its products contained cancer-causing asbestos, but chose not to warn about the risk for decades, said another plaintiff attorney, William Levin.
The jury found CertainTeed liable for punitive damages, for pain and suffering, and for loss of future earnings and medical expenses, Gornick said.
After Evans retired from the DWP, the couple, who are now in their late 60s, relocated toNorth Carolina.
Second Hand Exposure – Asbestos Company – Asbestos Cancer Lawsuit
ALCOA Inc. settles asbestos lawsuit
By Robert Norris
of The Daily Times Staff
Originally published: September 02. 2009 7:49PM
Last modified: September 02. 2009 7:53PM
A Maryville family and ALCOA Inc. have reached a settlement in an asbestos exposure and cancer lawsuit.
The amount of the settlement and terms of the agreement reached between the family of Amanda Satterfield, who died four years ago, and the aluminum company were not revealed.
“A confidential financial settlement was obtained,” said Greg Coleman, attorney representing the Satterfield family.
The case was filed in 2003 by Amanda Satterfield when she was 23 years old following her diagnosis with mesothelioma, a rare cancer directly associated with asbestos exposure.
“We can confirm that the parties have agreed to settle the case in a confidential agreement. We are pleased that the lawsuit is concluded and both parties can move forward,” ALCOA Tennessee Operations spokeswoman Christy Newman said Wednesday.
Amanda Satterfield died of cancer Jan. 1, 2005, at age 25, and her parents, Doug and Donna Satterfield, continued the lawsuit.
Satterfield hauled asbestos
Doug Satterfield was employed by ALCOA Tennessee Operations starting in 1973. He hauled asbestos for the aluminum company.
The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled in September 2008 in favor of the family who maintained Amanda Satterfield’scancer was caused by hazardous substances at her father’s workplace that were transferred to his daughter.
Check back here for more developments or see Thursday's edition of The Daily Times.
Second-Hand Exposure -Work Clothes –Asbestos Related Deaths
Camco Is 6th In Asbestos Deaths
Study predicts number of cases will increase
Mar 4, 2004 |Cherry Hill Courier Post
A new study ranksCamdenCounty as having the sixth-mostasbestos-related deaths in the nation.
Only counties with major citiesLos Angeles,Chicago,Philadelphia,Seattle andHouston had more deaths, according to the analysis of government health statistics by the Environmental Working Group.
In effect, the study suggests many of the region's elderly residents, the shipyard, refinery and factory workers of the past are paying with their health for the region's industrial might.
Jack Higgins was a longtimeCamden city resident and worked in maintenance departments at twoCamden shipyards and RCA. He was 80 when he died in 1997.
"You had to sit and watch the body deteriorate while the mind was sharp as a tack. It was heartbreaking," said his son, Timothy Higgins, aCollingswood attorney. He added his father had to use bottled oxygen the last years of his life.
"He would describe it as if he were drowning, like he was under water and couldn't breathe," Higgins said.
Camden County, which had an estimated 458 to 532 deaths between 1979 and 2001, even ranked just ahead of Somerset County, once home to the largest asbestos manufacturing plant in North America, owned by the Johns-Manville Corp.
The analysis, released today by the Washington, D.C.-based group, predicts the number of deaths will continue to rise as latency periods for some of the most serious forms of asbestos-related diseases end.
The analysis of government statistics lists 10 otherNew Jersey counties among the top 100 with the most asbestos-related deaths.GloucesterCounty ranked 50th andBurlingtonCounty is 59th.
Gregg Shivers is aCherry Hill lawyer whose firm has represented some 2,000 asbestos-related injury cases over the past 15 years.
He was surprised byCamdenCounty's high ranking, but said large numbers of county residents once worked in industries that used or made asbestos.
Camden's now-defunct New York Shipyard, for example, used asbestos in ship insulation, and Owens-Corning once manufactured asbestos insulation inBerlin, he said.
Anthony Olivo, 83, is a longtime Deptford resident. He worked around asbestos for 40 years as a pipe welder.
He says he has been coping well with the asbestosis, scarring of the lungs, that he contracted from decades of exposure. But he feels deeply responsible for the death of his wife, Eleanor, of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung linked directly to asbestos.
She died at the age of 82, less than two years after her diagnosis.She was exposed to the fibers from washing her husband's work clothes.
"Had I known, I would have thrown the clothes away and put a new set of clothes on," he said, crying in the living room of their small Cape Cod cottage where his wife spent her last days.
"I don't know why the good Lord didn't give it back to me. She didn't deserve what she got," he said.
The study comes at a time when Congress is debating financial bailout plans for asbestos manufacturers and their insurers.
Asbestos use and exposure peaked in the mid-1970s, the study said.
At that time, more than 3,000 consumer and industrial products contained asbestos, asbestos factories were polluting neighborhoods, workers were exposed on the job and bringing asbestos fibers home to their families. Asbestos was also widely used in many buildings, including factories and schools.
But asbestos-related diseases have a 20- to 50-year latency period, meaning a substantial portion of those exposed in the 1960s and 1970s are just now getting sick or showing up in government statistics, the study concludes.
Shivers expects an increase in the numbers of lung cancer and mesothelioma cases his firm will handle over the next decade because of the long latency periods for these diseases.
During the study period, at least 43,000 Americans died from mesothelioma and asbestosis. But the Environmental Working Group maintains the number could be much higher.
"The actual number of deaths from these two diseases could easily be twice as high due to chronic misdiagnoses of both diseases and the absence of federal tracking for mesothelioma for nearly all of the time period analyzed," the study reported.
The study adds that lung cancer deaths from asbestos exposure are not reported at all and asbestosis, a non-cancer disease, is still "dramatically underreported, even in worker populations where asbestos exposure is well established."
The federal government banned many uses of asbestos in the early 1980s, including use in ranges and ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, deep fryers, electric blankets and popcorn poppers.
At the same time, asbestos remains widely used in brake shoes and roofing products, and can still be found in a number of other products, including cement wallboard, heating duct insulation, boiler insulation, vinyl floor tile and sheet flooring and pipe insulation, the study asserts. It also notes that these products are not required to be labeled as containing asbestos. The group is looking for a complete ban.
Cherry Hill Courier Post
Second-Hand Exposure – Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Four asbestos lawsuits filed in Kanawha Circuit
Jun 30, 2006 | www.wvrecord.com
Two attorneys each filed two lawsuits in Kanawha Circuit Court last week.
One lawyer filed his lawsuits June 22 on behalf of Albert and Chestene Miller and David Murray.
The Millers name 107 defendants in their lawsuits. Albert Miller was a laborer with the United Steel Workers Association Local 721, working at an industrial site in Kenova that was "owned and operated by various entities including U.S. Steel Chemical, Aristech and Novamont Chemical.
Miller, ofProctorville,Ohio, has, a lung disease related to asbestos exposure. His wife is suing for loss of consortium.
They are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as isMurray.
Murray, 59, was the son of James Murray, who worked at a Wheeling Pittsburg Steel plant in Benwood. David Murray says he wasexposed to asbestos fibers that his father brought home on his clothes and has asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Murray, ofBellaire,Ohio, names 108 defendants.
The other lawyer is representing Walter and Carolyn Donat and Paul and Mildred Hunt. Their lawsuits were filed jointly and name 42 defendants.
It says the plaintiffs worked as laborers and welders from 1969-1996 and were frequently exposed to asbestos fibers.
Both wives are suing for loss of consortium. Both cases seek compensatory and punitive damages.
Visiting judges will be assigned the cases.
Secondary Exposure Mesothelioma – $20 Million Mesothelioma Verdict
Asbestos Victim wins Twenty Million over Secondary Exposure
Posted on November 16th, 2009
by Deon Scott in All News
An asbestos victim who has contracted the asbestos cancer mesothelioma has won a massive twenty million dollars after contracting the disease through exposure to asbestos on a secondary basis. The woman, and nursing professor, is thought to have been exposed toasbestos through washing clothing.
It is claimed that she used towash her grandfather’s clothes back in the 1960s, and this is where thesecondary exposure is thought to have occurred. She went on to develop the asbestos related cancer, which can take decades to develop from the time of exposure.
Her grandfather worked as an insulator, and because asbestos was widely used in insulation in the 1960s, as well as in many other industries and applications, he would get asbestos dust and fibers on his clothing, which his granddaughter then washed.
The professor, having filed a lawsuit as a result of contracting the disease, has now been awarded twenty million dollars as a result of her exposure according to recent reports.
Mesothelioma – Second Hand Exposure - Mesothelioma Lawsuit
First Mesothelioma Case of 2006 Filed inMadisonCounty
Jan 8, 2007 | Newsinferno.com
A woman diagnosed with mesothelioma filed a lawsuit against 104 defendants in Madison County Circuit Court Jan. 3. The woman claimsshe was exposed to asbestos fromher father’s clothing. Her father was employed as a carpenter, maintenance worker and stationary engineer at various locations across the country. The woman was diagnosed with mesothelioma on August 31, 2006.
The lawsuit states that, “Dust created by working with and around asbestos and asbestos-containing products would permeate the person andclothing of the plaintiff’s father,” “This dust contained asbestos fiber.” The suit alleges that defendants failed to require and advise their employees of hygiene practices designed to reduce or prevent carrying asbestos fibers home.
“It was foreseeable to a reasonable person/entity in the respective positions of defendants, that said documents and information constituted evidence, which was material to potential civil litigation-namely asbestos litigation,” the complaint states.
She claims that as a result of each defendant breaching its duty to preserve material evidence by destroying documents and information she has been prejudiced and impaired in proving claims against all potential parties.
“Plaintiff has been caused to suffer damages in the form of impaired ability to recover against defendants and lost or reduced compensation from other potentially liable parties in this litigation,” the complaint states.
“An award of punitive damages is appropriate and necessary in order to punish defendants for their willful, wanton, intentional and/or reckless misconduct and to deter defendants and others from engaging in like misconduct in the future.”
Tennessee – $1.4 Million Mesothelioma Verdict
Former pipefitter recovers $1.4 million asbestos verdict!
2009-09-24 03:38:09 (GMT) (JusticeNewsFlash.com - Justice News Flash, Mesothelioma Asbestos)
Legal news forTennessee asbestos attorneys. The spouse of a deceased pipefitter recovered a $1.4 million verdict.
Tennessee Asbestos lawyers alert- Hamilton County Circuit Court awarded a $1.4 million verdict to the wife of a pipefitter who died from Mesothelioma cancer.
Chattanooga,TN—A Hamilton County judge awarded a $1.4 million to the spouse of a former pipefitter who died of Mesothelioma cancer on Monday, September 21, 2009. The verdict was awarded against National Service Industries, who conducting business as North Brothers, as reported by ABC affiliate News Channel 9.
The case titled, Kenneth W. Jackson v. Breeding Insulation Company, Inc. et al., Hamilton County Circuit Court, Division 1, case no, 07C936, reached a decision on Monday after a seven day trial. The unanimous decision, which was reached after almost two days of deliberation, awarded Marian H. Jackson $1.4 million, who is the surviving spouse of Kenneth Jackson. From 1952-1986,Jackson worked as a pipefitter at Combustion Engineering inChattanooga, where he was continuously exposed to asbestos-containing products. Some of the asbestos-containing productsJackson came into contact with were manufactured or sold by North Brothers. Asbestos is a known toxic material to humans. Primary andsecondary exposure to asbestos and asbestos containing materials can cause respiratory illnesses and fatal diseases like Mesothelioma lung cancer. There is no known level of safe exposure to asbestos.
The court found that Mr. Jackson was exposed to the North Brother’s products, and their products caused or contributed toJackson’s development of Mesothelioma cancer. The jury also discovered North Brothers sold defective products to the company Jackson worked for, Combustion Engineering. The other defendants, except for the North Brother’s, all settled with claimant, or were dismissed prior to the trial taking place.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news forTennessee asbestos lawyers.
Asbestos Second Hand Exposure - Mesothelioma Verdict
MESOTHELIOMA CASE ROUNDUP
Juries have returned verdicts totaling tens of millions of dollars in three recentmesothelioma cases.
The unidentified families of twoPennsylvania men who died from the asbestos-related disease were awarded $17 million against Crane Co. andGarlock Sealing Technologies. In another case, JayneMenssen, who worked as a secretary from 1967-69 at an Illinois asbestos fabrication facility, won a $17.87 million judgment last month againstPneumoAbex, LLC, Honeywell International and their predecessors.
In a take-home contamination case, aMaryland jury awarded Leroy Conway, Jr., 45, a total of $9.94 million for exposure to asbestos in his pre-teen years, when hisfather worked as an engineman on an oil tanker and carriedasbestos home on his clothes. The verdict went against the ship’s owner-operator, ATTRANSCO, Inc.
Woman Develops Mesothelioma from Secondhand Asbestos Exposure
Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
Seven Hills,Queensland, AUSRALIA—In another of a growing number of cases of secondhand asbestos exposure, a woman who contracted mesothelioma from washing her husband’s work clothes is suing the State Government and building products manufacturer James Hardie.
The woman, whose first name is Joan and who wishes that her surname be withheld, has filed civil claim documents in the Australian Supreme Court. She is seeking $406,500 in compensation for having developed the asbestos cancer mesothelioma as a result of her husband’s employment at the Bulimba power station from 1961 to 1984.
Asbestos, a substance which was once widely used for insulation and building purposes, but which has since been established as a carcinogen, can be transported as a fine particulate dust on a worker’s clothing, hair and shoes. Joan said that she was in the habit of giving her husband a hug when he came home from work, and also of shaking out his overalls before laundering them. She likely inhaled the asbestos dust during these activities, and the microscopic fibers in that dust then settled into her lungs and the lining of the chest cavity known as the mesothelium.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, but a severe one. It may remain latent within the body for decades, or even 50 years, before it manifests itself as serious enough symptoms to require medical attention. Nevertheless, it has usually developed by this time to end stages, and may have spread throughout the body. There is little that can be done to effectively treat mesothelioma, especially at these late stages, and the average life expectancy for a mesothelioma patient is 18 months after diagnosis.
Joan, 83, is seeking damages from the State Government, for failing to provide facilities to clean her husband’s clothes on site, and for failing to warn employees of the potential risks of inhaling asbestos fibers. She is also seeking damages from the James Hardie company, on similar grounds of continuing to manufacture and distribute asbestos-containing materials despite the known risks.
Joan’s husband Roy, a former fitter and welder, has not been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease.
Woman Blames Mesothelioma on Washing Asbestos Clothes
A WOMAN who developed mesothelioma from washing her husband's asbestos-contaminated work clothes is suing the State Government and James Hardie for $406,500 in compensation.
Joan, 83, from Seven Hills, whose surname has been withheld at her request, was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres from 1961 until 1984, according to civil claim documents filed in the Supreme Court.
Her husband Roy worked as a fitter and welder at the Bulimba power station and would return home with his blue overalls coloured white with asbestos dust.
Court papers stated that Joan often embraced her husband while he was still wearing his work clothes.
Before doing his laundry she shook his overalls, exposing herself to the deadly fibres.
Joan was diagnosed with mesothelioma this year, diminishing her life expectancy and her ability to undertake social or domestic activities, the documents said.
She suffers ongoing chest pain and is receiving hospital treatment for the illness.
Joan is suing the State Government – her husband's employer – for failing to clean his clothes within the workplace and failing to warn its employees or their family of the risks associated with inhalation of asbestos dust and fibres.
She is also seeking damages from Amaca – formerly James Hardie – for knowing the risk of injury from inhaling asbestos dust and fibre but continuing to manufacture and supply the product.
Joan's husband has not developed the asbestos-related cancer.
Turner Freeman Lawyers partner Sean Ryan, who is representing Joan, said the number of asbestos compensation cases beforeQueensland courts would continue to rise, particularly with the influx of retirees moving to the state.
Mr Ryan said Joan's case was among a number involving the wives of workers exposed to asbestos who have now developed the deadly cancer.
"These cases are particularly tragic – where husbands have unbeknown to them exposed their partners to a very deadly and carcinogenic substance," he said.
The case comes amid concerns there may be a third wave of asbestos victims, with the deadly material found in schools and exposed during home renovations.
RecentlyThe Courier-Mail reported theQueensland school asbestos register revealed asbestos debris was found in sandpits, playgrounds and ovals in the past 12 months.
Woman Who Never Worked with Asbestos Dies from Mesothelioma
Posted on October 6th, 2009
by Deon Scott in All News
It has been reported that a woman who never worked with asbestos in her life died from the asbestos cancer, mesothelioma earlier this year. Linda Sinnett died from the cancer in July, and her widower John said that it came as a terrible shock, particularly since his wife had never worked with asbestos.
Speaking of his wife Mr Sinnett said: “She was full of spirit. Linda was like the boxer Rocky. If the cancer knocked her down she would get up again and fight back. She was a loving woman who was very close to her family.”
The coroner that dealt with the inquest into Linda’s death said that it could be secondary exposure from washing her father’s clothes. He said: “In all probability the washing was done in the same area as the kitchen. Come tea time he (her father) would come home, take his overalls off where plenty of asbestos fibers would be thrown into the same area. Consequently this would come into contact with the food and preparation areas and be ingested.”
Linda passed away from peritoneal mesothelioma which is linked to exposure to asbestos dust and fibers. Only 30 percent of all malignant mesothelioma cases are made up of this form of the cancer, with the most common form being pleural mesothelioma.
Washing clothes filled with asbestos dust killed Margaret Dawson
- From:The Daily Telegraph
- April 13, 2009 12:01AM
Lethal laundry ... Margaret Dawson with her daughter Carina Novek, and grandchildren Chelsea and Nicholas.
Margaret Dawson awarded $500,000 for washing her father and husband's factory clothes. Sky News 04/09
Woman dies from asbestos-related illness Washed clothes with asbestos dust for years Wins landmark $500,000 compo
FOR more than 20 years Margaret Dawson washed her father and husband's work clothes. Once a week she would take their clothes out the back, shake off the asbestos dust and put them in the washing machine.
Little did theSydney grandmother know that weekly ritual would cost the 64-year-old her life - and potentially pave the way for thousands of other families to seek compensation.
Mrs Dawson's father Gilbert Batchelor and her husband Maurice Dawson were both long-time employees of building material producer James Hardie.
In May 2007, Mrs Dawson was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
She launched legal action against James Hardie through the Dust Diseases Tribunal, claiming the washing of the clothes led to her fatal illness.
In a legal first, the tribunal not only paid her almost $350,000 in personal compensation but another $193,000 in unpaid earning for looking after her two grandchildren.
The landmark payout paves the way for other Hardie victims to seek compensation for personal loss and unpaid work.
Sadly, Mrs Dawson lost her fight for life against mesothelioma eight months before the case was settled.
"I know she would be happy that this will help other families," Mrs Dawson's daughter Corina Novek said.
In 2001, Mrs Dawson moved in with her daughter Corina Novek, giving up her job as a medical secretary a year later to raise her only grandchildren and allow Mrs Novek to return to work.
"The kids just adored her," Mrs Novek toldThe Daily Telegraph yesterday.
"She would take them to the library, she was always at the pre-school concerts, she did everything with them.
"I remember sitting around in the kitchen saying I can't believe this is happening," she said said of her mother's diagnosis.
"The kids didn't understand, they just saw Nanny getting sicker."
Her family described the 18-month battle against James Hardie as "disgusting" - the company appealed to the Supreme Court before finally losing the case late last month.
"I know she would be happy that this will help other families. But I would give it all back in a second to have her back," she said.
Despite her rapid decline, Mrs Dawson was determined to ensure her grandchildren were looked after, directing that much of the money be set aside for them.
Yesterday, James Hardie vice-president of investor and media relations Sean O'Sullivan refused to comment on the case.
He said it was a matter for the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund. The fund was set up by the company 2001 in an attempt to avoid their obligations to asbestos victims.
Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia president Barry Robson, who alongside Bernie Banton led the fight to ensure all James Hardie asbestos victims had access to compensation, described the case as a "huge decision for asbestos victims".
"It's a breakthrough. It recognises victims who even though they may be ill themselves are still providing care for others," he said.
The family's solicitor Ann-Maree Pascoli from Turner Freeman said Mrs Dawson had shown amazing courage despite a "relentless" fight from James Hardie.
"Margaret was extraordinary. She was determined to fight the matter," she said.
Woman Diagnosed With Mesothelioma As A Result Of Secondhand Exposure
Thursday, February 26th, 2009
An 80-year oldUK woman has died as a result of mesothelioma cancer, according to the Swindon Advertister, aUK paper.
Evelyn Pierrepont of Bishopstone had never come into direct contact with any asbestos products while on the job. According to her family, Pierrepont’s jobs included working in a tobacco factory and assembling record players.
Her exposure to asbestos occurred as a child, when she most likely inhaled asbestos dust from her father’s work overalls.
“She told me that her dad would come in after work in his overalls,” said Pierrepont’s daughter, Christine Osman. Pierrepont’s father – Osman’s grandfather – had been a carpenter at Great Western Railway Works.
Pierrepont was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October of 2006, and lost her battle with the disease on January 3, 2007.
The coroner who conducted Pierrepont’s autopsy said that mesothelioma cancer as a result of secondhand exposure “is unusual” but “not unheard of.”
Closer to home, in the asbestos-plagued town ofLibby,Montana, for example, many women have been diagnosed with asbestosis or mesothelioma as a result of secondhand exposure. A majority of these women washed work clothes belonging to their father or husband, who were employees at the now-closed W. R. Grace vermiculite mine, and subsequently inhaled asbestos fibers while handling those items.
Due to the long latency period associated with asbestos-related diseases (as many as twenty to fifty years) it is often very difficult for individuals who were indirectly exposed to asbestos to pinpoint when and where their exposure occurred.
In theUK, the rates of asbestos cancer – in certain areas – are far higher than here in theUnited States. In 2006,UK asbestos guidelines were revamped, and the “Control of Asbestos Regulations” was drafted.
Washing clothes led to cancer
Sep 23 2007 by Kim Natalie Elliott, Sunday Sun
A NORTH firefighter’s wife died of cancer contracted as a result of washing his clothes, an inquest heard.
Alan Thompson, 56, of Nunthorpe, Cleveland, came into contact with asbestos through his work as a firefighter.
Although his wife, Kathleen, 54, was not exposed to asbestos at work, she was exposed to it through washing her husband’s work clothes.
The inquest heard that the malignant mesothelioma with which Mrs Thompson was diagnosed was “almost certainly” caused by exposure to asbestos fibres.
Mr Thompson said in a statement read to the inquest that at the fire station inMiddlesbrough, where he previously worked, there was a large pipe in the basement which was lagged with asbestos.
He said the firefighters used to hang their kit in the basement, where they would spend a lot of their time.
Mr Thompson reported that the lagging on the pipe was broken and hanging from it and that workers would often sweep up the asbestos left lying around.
Teesside Coroner Michael Sheffield recorded a verdict of misadventure, saying she had intended to wash her husband’s clothes but certainly did not intend the tragic consequences.
Mr Thompson, who has two adult daughters, said that the outcome of the inquest was “what we expected.”
Cancer daughter's asbestos plight
Friday, 11 April 2008 17:54UK
A woman has been told she has weeks to live after being diagnosed with cancer caused by exposure to asbestos through close contact to her father.
Mandy Kaminskas' father was a construction worker and as a girl she would cuddle him when he returned home, his clothes covered in asbestos dust.
Ms Kaminskas, 47, ofSwansea, who has two daughters, has mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer.
Her solicitor said it showed not just former asbestos workers were at risk.
Mandy Kaminskas and her husband Ray remarried at the hospice
Ms Kaminskas had been told by doctors it could have taken years for the cancer to appear.
"My dad worked with asbestos and I've got this illness because of the close contact I had with him when I was young," she said.
She is now campaigning for other victims of mesothelioma.
It most often affects the lining of the lungs and about nine out of 10 cases are linked to exposure to asbestos.
"People are surprised when they hear how I contracted this disease," Ms Kaminskas added.
"But there are many other people in similar positions who have received secondary exposure.
"I want people to know what having this cancer really means and how dangerous secondary exposure is.
"Telling my two daughters I am dying was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do.
"I wouldn't wish that experience on my worst enemy. Looking into your child's eyes, and telling them you won't be around, is unbelievably hard."
Ms Kaminskas, of Ynysforgan recently remarried her first husband Ray in a ceremony at the hospice where she is being treated.
"Ray and I remained good friends even after the divorce. Last July, I took a turn for the worse, I was fitting and very unwell and the doctors didn't think I would make it," she said.
Ms Kaminskas was awarded an undisclosed sum by the father's employers
"Ray asked me to move back in with him and he became my main carer. A couple of weeks ago, I became very ill again, and doctors told me they didn't think I had long left.
"I said to Ray: "How do you fancy making an honest woman of me?" He said yes and we were married at the hospice. It was the best day of my life."
She is one of five children but she is the only one to have been diagnosed with the disease.
She has since been awarded an undisclosed sum by the construction company her father worked for up until his death 30 years ago.
Her solicitor Julian Cason of Russell Jones and Walker inSwansea said: "Mandy's case shows that not only are former asbestos workers are at risk.
"Their families and loved ones are also unwittingly snared by asbestos-related disease - often decades after the original exposure took place.
"Despite Mandy's undoubted strength and bravery, her plight shows the devastation that the asbestos ticking time-bomb can still bring."
Although the use of asbestos was banned in theUK in 1999, it is predicted that 65,000 people will develop mesothelioma as a result of previous exposure.
Wisconsin woman claims second hand asbestos exposure
2/26/2007 3:56 PM By Steve Gonzalez -Edwardsville Bureau
Most of the 25 new asbestos lawsuits filed so far this year by the SimmonsCooper law firm have been on behalf of plaintiffs from outsideIllinois.
The newest claim is no exception. And, a trend is growing toward claimants alleging second-hand exposure.
A Wisconsin woman who suffers from mesothelioma filed suit against 79 defendants in Madison County Circuit Court Feb. 21, alleging she was exposed to airborne asbestos fibers from her and her former husband's clothing.
Diane Jost claims she was employed from 1969-1991 as a laborer, machine operator and assembly line worker at various locations across the country.
Her former husband was employed as a mechanic.
"Dust created by working with and around asbestos and asbestos-containing products would permeate the person and clothing of the plaintiff's former husband," the complaint states. "This dust contained asbestos fiber."
Jost claims her former husband would carry the asbestos dust on his clothing home with him where it would again become airborne.
"The plaintiff would be repeatedly exposed to this asbestos dust from her former husband's person and clothing," the complaint states.
She also claims she was exposed to asbestos during non-occupational work projects including home and automotive repairs, maintenance and remodeling.
Jost was diagnosed with mesothelioma on Sept. 11, 2006, and subsequently became aware that her illness was wrongfully caused, the suit claims.
The complaint alleges that defendants failed to require and advise their employees of hygiene practices designed to reduce or prevent carrying asbestos fibers home.
As a result of the alleged negligence, Jost claims she was exposed to fibers containing asbestos, and developed a disease caused only by asbestos which has disabled and disfigured her.
She also claims that she has sought, but has been unable to obtain full disclosure of relevant documents and information from the defendants leading her to believe the defendants destroyed documents related to asbestos.
"It was foreseeable to a reasonable person/entity in the respective positions of defendants, that said documents and information constituted evidence, which was material to potential civil litigation-namely asbestos litigation," the complaint states.
The suit claims that as a result of each defendant breaching its duty to preserve material evidence by destroying documents and information Jost has been prejudiced and impaired in proving claims against all potential parties.
"Plaintiff has been caused to suffer damages in the form of impaired ability to recover against defendants and lost or reduced compensation from other potentially liable parties in this litigation," the complaint states.
Represented by Nicholas Angelides, John Barnerd, Perry Browder, Tim Thompson and Richard Saville of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton, Jost is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $400,000, plus punitive damages.
"An award of punitive damages is appropriate and necessary in order to punish defendants for their willful, wanton, intentional and/or reckless misconduct and to deter defendants and others from engaging in like misconduct in the future."
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Dan Stack.
A rare survival story in a brush with a rare and deadly cancer
Heather Von St. James calls herself "the poster child for hope after meso." She has been disease free for 2 1/2 years after a radical surgery and treatment for the asbestos-related cancer -- mesothelioma.
ByPAT PHEIFER, Star Tribune
Dying was not an option, Heather Von St. James says as her 3-year-old daughter, Lily, rushes in and out of the dining room, climbing on her lap, then dashing off again. ¶ But dying was a terrifying possibility when doctors found a lump the size of an orange in Von St. James's left lung when Lily was only 3 months old. The diagnosis was mesothelioma -- a rare and often fatal form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Now, just over 2 1/2 years after undergoing radical surgery to remove her left lung, the lining around her heart, half of her diaphragm, her sixth rib and a few lymph nodes to be on the safe side, all traces of the cancer are gone.
"I claim cured," says Von St. James.
Dr. David Sugarbaker, who heads the International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham & Women's Hospital inBoston, said Von St. James is a shining example of the progress he is beginning to see in the fight against a disease that traditionally carried a maximum survival of 12 to 18 months.
"I am the poster child for hope after meso," the 39-year-oldRoseville woman said.
Sugarbaker, who treated Von St. James, is only slightly more circumspect. "What I can say is that right now in this present moment she is disease-free," he said.
About 2,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in theUnited States each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Unusually high rates of the disease have been reported among men fromMinnesota'sIronRange since the late 1980s. The state Department of Health has so far identified 59 cases among mine workers and is planning a study with theUniversity ofMinnesota aimed at determining what might have caused the illness.
Sugarbaker said the disease has a 20- to 35-year latency period and traditionally has been diagnosed in people with direct exposure to asbestos, but doctors are seeing more patients with secondhand, nonoccupational exposure.