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Kansas City – Asbestos Exposure – Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Lawsuits Alleging Asbestos Exposure Filed AgainstJacksonCounty Courthouse
FOX 4 Web Producers
3:55 PM CDT, March 18, 2010
KANSAS CITY,MO - Anasbestos-related lawsuit claims the Jackson County Courthouse gave a long-time employee cancer and the woman's attorney said she may be the first of many victims.
This courthouse was built back in the 1930s when it was common to use asbestos in the insulation and the duct work. But it was remodeling work in the 80s that a pair of lawsuits said made courthouse workers vulnerable.
57-year-old Nancy Lopez worked on the sixth floor of the courthouse from 1975 to 2007. In her lawsuit, the administrative assistant said she was exposed to asbestos dust that came through the building's heating and cooling system.
Last April, she was diagnosed withmesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos.
"I don't think there's any chance on earth they're coincidental," Lopez's attorney LouAccurso said.
Accurso has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all courthouse workers.
"The odds are that with that type of history and exposure that there's going to be others unfortunately," he said.
"Cancer in the building, anyone can get it, so yeah that would be a major concern," courthouse workerConise Harden said.
Harden said she's not worried for herself because she's only worked at the courthouse for two years.
"They are doing a lot of clean-up around here, they are doing a lot of improvements to the building, so I'm for sure that they're aware of what's actually going on and they are trying to correct it," she said.
2006 is when the county had asbestos removal work done. The lawsuit claims remodeling work in 1983 may have exposed thousands, includingAccurso himself. He was an assistant county prosecutor in the early 80's.
"I am nervous about myself, I get regular check-ups every year," he said. "But I think anybody that was in that courthouse from 1983 to 2006 has justifiable reason for concern."
In anticipation of this lawsuit, the courthouse recently had its indoor air quality tested. A notice posted inside the courthouse said current asbestos levels comply with state and federal guidelines.
But of course the lawsuit is about asbestos levels from three decades ago that might not cause cancer until now.
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Kansas City – Asbestos Exposure – $4.5 Million Asbestos Lawsuit
Verdicts & Settlements June 25, 2009: Asbestos suit brings $4.5MClayCounty jury verdict
By Angela Riley
Publication:Missouri Lawyers Media
Date: Thursday, June 25 2009
AClayCounty jury awarded $4.5 million in a family'swrongful death asbestos lawsuit.
The suit was brought by the wife and two children of aKansasCity ceiling tile installer, Robert Wagner. Wagner worked for various contractors installing ceiling tiles in commercial buildings inKansas City
Wagner was a part of major commercial projects, including Hallmark'sCrownCenter and theKansas CityInternationalAirport.
Wagner was laterdiagnosed withmesothelioma, an aggressive form of lung cancer. Wagner died a year later in 2007 at age 70. Mesothelioma is known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. It was not disputed at trial that Wagner's cancer was caused by his exposure to asbestos, said defense attorney W. JamesFoland, ofFoland,Wickens,Eisfelder, Roper and Hofer in Kansas City.
Because Wagner worked around and used so many materials that contained asbestos, the plaintiffs relied on extensive witness testimony from Wagner's colleagues concerning which materials were used in the sites where he worked. Some defendants confidentially settled with the plaintiffs before trial, some claims were dismissed and other defendants won on summary judgment.
"You take a shotgun approach in these asbestos cases," said plaintiff's attorney Daniel Thomas, of Humphrey, Farrington & McClain inIndependence. "You narrow the claims as you go along and get additional information. "
The remaining defendants in the suit at trial wereBondex International, which produced joint compound used to seal joints between sheets in drywall, and ceiling tile producersConwed Corp. and Simpson Timber Co.
The plaintiffs made a $1.3 million demand ofBondex, and the company did not make an offer. However, Simpson Timber andConwed dispute the demands and offers given by Thomas. Thomas said plaintiffs demanded $2.5 million each from both parties, and Simpson Timber did not make an offer butConwed offered $90,000. Simpson Timber attorney, Nicholas , of Berkowitz Oliver Williams Shaw &Eisenbrandt inKansas City, said the demand was $1.5 million.Conwed's attorney, Clayton Dickey, of Rasmussen, Willis, Dickey & Moore inKansas City, said he could not discuss specific pretrial negotiations but that amount was not correct.
The defendants argued that their materials were not used in the buildings Wagner worked in, and that if their products were used they didn't contain asbestos. Both Simpson Timber andConwed made tiles that contained asbestos and tiles that didn't, Thomas said.
Missouri - $4.5 Million Asbestos Death Verdict
Family Gets $4.5 Million in Asbestos Suit
Jurors Critical Of Companies That Supplied Products
POSTED: 6:49 pm CDT June 3, 2009
UPDATED: 11:51 am CDT June 4, 2009
KANSAS CITY,Mo. -- The family of a man who died of mesothelioma battled three major companies and won on Wednesday in aClayCounty court.
The jury awarded the family of Robert Wagner a $4.5 million settlement in a suit that alleged that exposure to asbestos-contaminated products led to his death.
Wagner worked for years installing tiles, wood and other materials containing asbestos in buildings such asCrownCenter andKansas CityInternationalAirport. Much of the work was done before OSHA regulated construction sites for asbestos.
More than 30 years after working with the products Wagner died from mesothelioma, a cancer his family said he developed from exposure to the asbestos-contaminated materials.
The judgment was against Bondex International, Conwed Corporation and Simpson Timber Company.
After three weeks of testimony the jury found in favor of Wagner. Two jurors said the companies knew about the asbestos in the products but failed to determine how much exposure would be considered deadly.
Wagner's family declined comment as did the attorneys representing the companies.
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