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ASBESTOS NEWS DAILY - Montana Mesothelioma Lawyer
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Mesothelioma Asbestos inMontana


 

We connect you with experienced Mesothelioma Asbestos lawyers inMontana. If have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma or an Asbestos related illness we can help you file a claim.

Those diagnosed with Mesothelioma and other Asbestos related diseases inMontana have legal options and may seek compensation through Mesothelioma litigation.

Filing a claim against the companies that are responsible for your asbestos 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 experiencedMontanaMesothelioma Lawyer and also help you find a qualified Mesothelioma doctor.

 
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Montana – Asbestos Trades –Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Asbestos Related Deaths Continue to PlagueLibby,Montana

Posted by leah May 25th, 2010 | 

In the small town ofLibby,Montana, asbestos andmesotheliomahave become a part of everyday life. The town, which is home to just 3,000 residents, has been identified as the deadliest Superfund site in the country as a result of the nearbyasbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine.

Sisters Gayla Benefield and Eva Thomson are two of the town’s residents who have not only watched their friends and family die of mesothelioma. Both sisters have the asbestos fibers in their lungs and are now at risk themselves.

An estimated 400 people have died in Libby due to asbestos illnesses and a near 1,500 residents have been exposed to the fibers as well. This means 15-20 people a month are diagnosed with asbestos-related illness in Libby alone. It was these shocking numbers that lead EPA chief Lisa Jackson to declare a health emergency in Libby last June.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer. Occurring in three forms, mesothelioma can affect the lining of the lungs, the lining of the stomach and the lining of the heart. The disease is caused by the claw-like asbestos fibers that attach to the lining of the internal organs. No cure has been found for mesothelioma and only palliative treatments, including chemotherapy, currently exist.

Since 1999 the EPA has faced the task of cleaning up schools, businesses and homes. Yet in recent years roadways and soil have been added to the project agenda. The clean up will cost the EPA more than $333 million.

As for now the people of Libby continue to fight the ongoing battle- the battle for their health as well as the battle for the clean up of their town.

“People say, ‘Why don’t you leave Libby?’” Benefield said. “I’ve got the fiber in me. That won’t make the problem go away. Not at all.”

Source: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-us-asbestos-town,0,3304911,full.story

 
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Montana – Asbestos Trades –Mesothelioma Lawsuit

 

Asbestos' death toll climbs in scenicMontana town as EPA struggles with vast cleanup effort

Published May 24, 2010| Associated Press

LIBBY,Montana

LIBBY,Mont. (AP) —GaylaBenefield and Eva Thomson are sisters who have grown used to death. For two decades, they have watched asbestos from a nearby vermiculite mine strangle their parents, Thomson's husband, an aunt, several in-laws and numerous neighbors and friends.

So as they wandered theLibby cemetery on a blusteryMontana morning, they worked the graves like a block party — retelling old stories and commiserating with the dead.

Talk turned totheir own fates.

Both sisters suffer from the microscopic asbestos fibers lodged deep in their lungs. Their breathing is sometimes choked by plaque building up around the fibers. If it progresses into cancerousmesothelioma, they face certain death.

"If you're lucky, you get hit by a truck and you go quickly,"Benefield said, her face betraying no emotion but her voice tight with anger.

The sisters' town, Libby, population 3,000 along theKootenaiRiver, has emerged as the deadliest Superfund site in the nation's history.

Health workers tracking Libby's plight estimate at least 400 people have died of asbestos-related illnesses — from W.R. Grace mine workers and family members who breathed in the dust they brought home in their clothes, to those who played as kids in waste piles dumped by the company behind the community baseball field. Some 1,500 locals and others who were exposed have chest X-rays revealing the faint, cloudy shadows of asbestos scarring on their lungs.

Even though research long showed cause for concern — up to 70 percent of miners in a 1980s study had fibers in their lungs — it took news reports about the deaths to drive officials to action, beginning a decade ago. After the cleanup began, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confidently predicted it would be done in two years at a cost of $5.8 million. Ten years on, the price tag has exceeded $333 million, the deaths continue, and more asbestos keeps showing up — in schools, in businesses, in hundreds of houses.

The scope of contamination has at times overwhelmed environmental regulators, dragging out the cleanup, an Associated Press review of hundreds of pages of government documents and interviews with current and former agency officials revealed.

News cameras returned to Libby last June, when new EPA chief Lisa Jackson declared a health emergency, a step the agency rejected during the Bush administration.

New patients continue to file into the local clinic to be diagnosed with asbestos illnesses at the rate of 15 to 20 a month. Because of a decades-long latency period, such diagnoses are expected for at least another 10 years.

The EPA this month took its first step toward wrapping up its efforts over the next two to three years, rekindling anxieties.

"Everybody wants Libby to go away and it's not going away," said Dr. Brad Black, director of Libby's Center for Asbestos Related Diseases. His stethoscope pressed against the back of a 36-year-old patient who never worked in the mine, Black said the man's exposure likely came from playing in a friend's contaminated house as a child.

Some scientists say the threat will exist as long as people remain in Libby — and the notion of moving the whole town has been floated by an attorney for a citizens' group. But just as some residents maintained a fierce loyalty to W.R. Grace even as fatal asbestos illness spread, the idea of moving now is quickly discarded.

"People say, 'Why don't you leave Libby?'"Benefield said. "I've got the fiber in me. That won't make the problem go away.Not at all."

The unfolding tragedy, withmoonsuited contractors carting off contaminated materials as locals go about their business, seems odd and out of place in Libby, where the snowcapped Cabinet Mountains tower over the lush Kootenai Valley as it winds its way toward Idaho.

Established in the 1800s as a mining and fur trading outpost, the town retains its frontier feel. Locals call it "God's Corner."

W.R. Grace bought the vermiculite operation in 1963 and at the mine's peak in the l970s, Grace produced almost 2 million tons of ore annually and employed about 200 miners and others. Vermiculite stripped from the terraced steps carved intoZonoliteMountain was shipped around the world to make insulation.

But unmarketable material — much of it asbestos — made up about 80 percent of the ore. Crushing the rock to remove "nuisance" materials set billions of asbestos fibers loose in clouds of dust that drifted the six miles down to Libby, leaving a powdery trace as light as snow.

If it looked benign, many warnings cried out that it was not. In 1964, workers appealed to the state Board of Health to help clean up the unhealthy conditions. In 1978, word of the problems caused by asbestos from Libby's mine reached the EPA. In 1981, a Grace scientist found that runners on the high school track likely were stirring up dangerous levels of asbestos.

Little was done — despite state-issued orders for the mine to cut down on dust levels and to upgrade filtering equipment. Federal regulators stayed on the sidelines, and the mine remained open until 1990.

Nine years later, EPA finally joined the fray — after the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper detailed the toll of dead and dying that had become too large to ignore.

Grace, which declared bankruptcy in 2001, waged an eight-year court battle to limit its cleanup responsibilities. That ended with a 2008 settlement under which the company paid EPA $250 million.

"They settled the lawsuit," Gracespokesman Greg Euston said. "They are not interested in talking about Libby anymore."

At the cemetery,Benefield and Thomson paused before the grave of their mother, MargaretVatland — the first non-mine worker whose death was traced to Libby asbestos. Standing before the marker,Benefield promised her mother she'd come back soon to scrub it clean.

Vatland cared for their father for years until he died from asbestos exposure in 1974; she was diagnosed a decade later. By the time she died, in 1996, her lungs had shriveled "until they looked like two sausages hanging on a stick,"Benefield said.

Since the EPA arrived in 1999, the agency has overseen cleanup work on more than 1,250 homes and businesses.

That includes the removal of 70,000 truckloads of contaminated soil — including from yards where, unaware of the danger years ago, homeowners had tilled vermiculite waste into their gardens. Crews removed waste piles where kids, marveling at how fluffy the material was, how it sparkled in the sun, used to go sliding.

But the cleanup terms have changed repeatedly.

Initially, houses were to be cleaned entirely of asbestos-loaded vermiculite. Two years into the project, the EPA narrowed the effort only to attics.

For the yards around the homes, the EPA at first cleaned up only high-use areas such as swing sets, driveways,gardens. In 2006 that was reversed, and soil is now removed and replaced wherever significant levels of vermiculite are found. The change means the EPA will have to revisit 850 homes for possible additional work.

Last year, Libby's roads and highways were tacked onto the cleanup.

Two EPA Inspector Generalreports, in 2002 and 2006, faulted agency administrators for delays in the baseline scientific risk assessment that typically guides Superfund cleanups. The risk assessment remains incomplete.

Moving forward without the assessment leaves the EPA no way to know when Libby is safe, said RichardTroast, a former EPA toxicologist based inWashington,D.C. who worked on the Libby cleanup for five years. He said staff scientists had been pushing for the assessment since 2001 but their efforts were hampered by senior agency officials.

Moving among the headstones at the cemetery,Benefield and Thomson stopped at the marker for LesSkramstad, a former miner who struggled withBenefield to raise the alarm about Libby when no one wanted to listen. "This was the sidekick here,"Benefield said toSkramstad's grave. "I'd kick ass, Les would take names."

Benefield said one ofSkramstad's granddaughters visited his grave prior to school plays to give him exclusive preview performances.

Buried next toSkramstad is his son, Brent, an Army veteran, logger and musician — "born with a guitar in his hands," according to his obituary. He was 51 years old when he died last year of cancer believed related to asbestos exposure.

EPA andMontana environmental officials say that because of their efforts, the air in Libby and the surrounding area is cleaner today.

"What we want to do on the ground will effectively break the exposure pathway," said EPA spokesman TedLinnert. "It can be the most toxic thing on earth, but no one can be exposed to it."

But the asbestos isn't gone. It lingers behind kitchen walls in the modest houses lining Libby's quiet back streets, just beneath the surface of backyards, at the town park, where a small "No Trespassing" sign is all that separates a picnic area from contaminated ground.

It's also in the trees — tens of thousands of acres of ponderosa pine, larch andlodgepole pine that blanket the surrounding mountain landscape. Logging was long the community's lifeblood, centered at the 1,200-worker Stimson mill, shuttered in 2006 after the forestry industry contracted.

Loggers who worked the area when the mine and mill were active tell stories of dust plumes rising from felled trees. Over time, scientists say, countless asbestos fibers buried themselves in the bark.

Along the BNSF railroad line — used to ship vermiculite in open ore cars to Grace processing plants across the country —University ofMontana researchers have tallied trees with 19 million fibers per gram of bark. One tree close to the mine has more than 500 million fibers per gram.

Still, when asbestos worries first arose, Graceworkers who eventually became sick were among the company's fiercest defenders.

City Councilman D.C. Orr, who worked as a contractor at the mine for almost two decades, recalls joining with others at the mine to eat raw vermiculite as a way to mock the health concerns raised by activists likeBenefield.

When Grace instituted a smoking ban, union bosses representing miners protested and brought the matter to arbitration. They lost. Only years later was it revealed that Grace knew smoking and asbestos made for a particularly deadly combination.

There is a still a modicum of company-town mentality in Libby. Merchants argue that asbestos isn't the only thing killing the town; they talk about the blow the economy took when the EPA first showed up and sparkeda media frenzy, then whenJackson arrived last year.

Tucked among the closed-down storefronts now liningMineral Avenue in downtown Libby are a scattering of stubborn businesses that hung on through the mine and mill closings, the asbestos revelations, the recession.

"If you want, we can go lie down in the street for you and pretend to be dead," GaryNjirich, owner of the Libby Cafe, sarcastically told a reporter.

Njirich, a stocky, 68-year-old former cop, and his wife came to Libby fromNevada in 1994, to run the cafe until they retired. Now they can't sell it.

Sitting at an empty table at the close of another slow day,Njirich gestured toward the quiet street outside the cafe's bay windows and blamed a hyped-up image of Libby as a death trap. "There has to be some point and rationale where we say we're going to live with this," he said.

Stories of the living and the dead intertwine forBenefield and Thomson, who have been to the cemetery so often over the years. To them it's all one community, with some folks above ground, some below.

Thomson chuckled as she pointed to another asbestos victim's grave. Divorced, he ended up buried between his two deceased mothers-in-law for all eternity.

Benefield, a former bartender and truck driver, said she's been to four asbestos-related funerals so far this year and has started making preparations for her own burial. So has Thomson, who bought a plot alongside her deceased husband, Dale, a supervisor for Grace who died at age 61 in 1992.

No one has gone to jail for what happened in Libby.

Several Graceexecutives were prosecuted on charges of covering up the asbestos danger. But they were found not guilty last fall. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy ruled many internal memos and other documents that suggested Grace's culpability could not be used as evidence because some were decades old.

In 1998,Benefield and Thomson won the first court victory for secondary asbestos exposure against Grace, a $250,000 civil award for the death of their mother. That triumph has long since been overshadowed by loss.

Benefield said every adult member of her family more than 47 years old has been diagnosed with asbestos scarring. The latest, her older daughter, got the news in February.

After looping through the cemetery, its long rows of well-tended graves broken periodically by freshly turned earth,Benefield and Thomson walked back to their mother's grave.

Crows in nearby trees cawed incessantly as the sisters considered what has happened here since the EPA arrived.

"After 10 years, how far have we come?"Benefield asked. "We've removed a lot of material. We've buried a lot of people. My God, it's a nightmare."

Matthew Brown is an Associated Press staff writer based inBillings,Mont. He can be reached atfeatures(at)ap.org.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/24/asbestos-death-toll-climbs-scenic-montana-town-epa-struggles-vast-cleanup/

 
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Montana – Asbestos Exposure – Asbestos Mines

Closed mine's asbestos still kills inLibby, Mont.

 

Samples of vermiculite and tremolite asbestos, a deadly waste byproduct of vermiculite mining, are shown at the EPA in Libby. (Associated Press)

 

Samples of vermiculite andtremolite asbestos, a deadly waste byproduct of vermiculite mining, are shown at the EPA in Libby. (Associated Press)

 

By Matthew Brown ASSOCIATED PRESS

4:17 p.m., Monday, May 31, 2010

LIBBY,Montana. |GaylaBenefield and Eva Thomson are sisters who have grown used to death. For two decades, they have watched asbestos from a nearbyvermiculite mine strangle their parents, Mrs. Thomson's husband, an aunt, several in-laws and many neighbors and friends.

So as they wandered the Libby cemetery on a blusteryMontana morning, they retold old stories and commiserated with the dead. Talk turned totheir own fates.

Both sisters suffer from the microscopic asbestos fibers lodged deep in their lungs. Their breathing is sometimes choked by plaque building up around the fibers. If it progresses intocancerousmesothelioma, they face certain death.

"If you're lucky, you get hit by a truck and you go quickly," Mrs.Benefield said.

The sisters' town, Libby, population 3,000 along theKootenaiRiver, has emerged as the deadliest Superfund site in the nation's history.

Health workers tracking Libby's plight estimate that at least 400 people have died of asbestos-related illnesses — from W.R. Grace mine workers and family members who breathed in the dust they brought home in their clothes, to those who played as children in waste piles dumped by the company behind the community baseball field. About 1,500 locals and others who were exposed have chest X-rays revealing the faint, cloudy shadows of asbestos scarring on their lungs.

Even though research long showed cause for concern — up to 70 percent of miners in a 1980s study had fibers in their lungs — it took news reports about the deaths to drive officials to action, beginning a decade ago. After the cleanup began, the Environmental Protection Agency confidently predicted it would be done in two years at a cost of $5.8 million. Ten years on, the price tag has exceeded $333 million, the deaths continue, and more asbestos keeps showing up in schools, businesses and hundreds of houses.

The scope of contamination has at times overwhelmed environmental regulators, dragging out the cleanup, an Associated Press review of hundreds of pages of government documents and interviews with current and former agency officials reveals

In June 2009, new EPA chief Lisa Jackson declared a health emergency. New patients continue to file into the local clinic and are diagnosed with asbestos illnesses at the rate of 15 to 20 a month.

The EPA this month took its first step toward wrapping up its efforts over the next two to three years, rekindling anxieties.

© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/31/closed-mines-asbestos-still-kills-in-libby-mont/


 
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Montana – Asbestos Trades – New Asbestos Mesothelioma Lawsuits

18 new asbestos cases filed Feb. 8-12 inMadisonCounty
2/24/2010 9:49 AM By Kelly Holleran

A total of 18 newasbestos lawsuit were filed in Madison County Circuit Court during the week of Feb. 8 through Feb. 12.

The following complaints were filed:

--Gloria Ballentine ofIllinois claims her recently deceased father, John J. Ballentine Sr., developed lung cancer after his work as a motor sergeant from 1962 until 1965, as an employee for R&S Printing Company and as a worker for Arnold Real Estate inEast St. Louis from 1982 until 1989. Ballentine will be represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-134.

--Geraldine R. and Forrest Blazer of Ohio claim Geraldine R. Blazer developed mesothelioma after she was secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her father's work as a shipbuilder for Bethlehem Steel from 1940 until 1943 and through her husband's work as an asphalt worker for Brewer and Brewer in 1959 and from 1960 until 1977 and as a construction worker for V.N. Holderman from 1959 until 1960. The Blazers will be represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-167.

--Lori L. and David H. Carlson ofNorth Dakota claim Lori L. Carlson developed mesothelioma after her work at a mink ranch from 1975 until 1979, as a secretary atConcordiaCollege from 1979 until 1980, as an employee at FRS Industries from 1980 until 1987 and as a waitress at Old Cafe from 1997 until 2001. Lori Carlson was also secondarily exposed to asbestos through her father, Arthur Dahlen, who worked as a farmer, according to the complaint. The Carlsons will be represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-150.

--Christina Carver ofArizona claims her recently deceased husband, Michael Carver, developed mesothelioma after his work as a mechanic, equipment operator, laborer and truck driver at various locations from 1952 until 1982. Michael Carver was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through his father, who worked as a maintenance worker at Caterpillar from the 1940s until 1970, according to the complaint. Christina Carver will be represented by Shane F. Hampton and Paul M. Dix of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-154.

--Barbara Jane Edwards of Virginia, a seamstress from 1960 until 1965 for Sales Knit Mill, a seamstress in 1968 for Bristol Manufacturing, a seamstress for Virginia Apparel from 1971 until 1974, a door frame assembler for Continental Homes from 1975 until 1979, a frame cutter and sander for Guyer-Roberts Mirror Frames from 1979 until 1984 and a sander for Lane Furniture, claims mesothelioma. Edwards was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her former husband, Robert Edwards, who worked as a machine operator and sander for Bassett Furniture from 1954 until 1969, as a machine operator and sander for American Furniture from 1969 until 1974, as a machine operator for Spring-Making Companies from 1964 until 1968 and as a worker from 1968 until 1979, according to the complaint. She was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her deceased companion, Robert Love, who worked as a sander from 1959 until the 1980s, as a machine operator for Guyer-Robert Mirror Frames during the 1980s and as a sander for Lane Furniture from 1959 until the 1980s, the suit states. Barbara Edwards will be represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-157.

--Judith Harris of Indiana, a secretary from 1959 until now, claims mesothelioma. She was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her husband, Tommy Harris, who worked from 1962 until 1996 as a maintenance man, heating and air conditioning employee and sheetmetal worker, according to the complaint. Judith Harris will be represented by Jackalyn A. Olinger and Nate Mudd of French and Mudd inSt. Louis. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-142.

--Robert and Kathie Highland of Arkansas claimRobertHighland developed mesothelioma after his work as a welder and pipefitter at Farmland Industries from 1966 until 2003 and as a welder and pipefitter at Koch Industries from 2003 until 2006. TheHighlands will be represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-144.

--Peter and Marvis Jenkins claim Peter Jenkins developed lung cancer after his work as a laborer, foundry worker, mechanic and equipment operator from 1955 until 1998. Peter Jenkins will be represented by Richard L. Saville Jr. and Ethan A. Flint of Saville andFlint inAlton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-133.

--Gregory S. and Debra K. Keasler of Alabama claim Gregory S. Keasler developed lung cancer after his work as a laborer for Weyerhaeuser Company in 1974, as a carpenter for National Mortgage Development Construction from 1975 until 1976, as a carpenter for Sparks and Bolling Construction Company from 1977 until 1984, as a carpenter for Bolling Construction Company from 1984 until 2006, as a carpenter and owner of Greg Keasler Construction Company from 2007 until 2008 and as a shade tree mechanic from 1972 until 2010. The Keaslers will be represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-136.

--Marlene Kunkel ofMinnesota claims the recently deceased Lloyd Kunkel developed mesothelioma after his work as a member of the U.S. Army, as a laborer and as a farmer. Marlene Kunkel will be represented by Richard L. Saville Jr. and Ethan A. Flint ofAlton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-147.

--Karen and Steve Melock ofSouth Carolina claim Karen Melock developed mesothelioma after her work as a machine operator, inspector, social worker and administrative assistant at various locations throughoutIllinois,Wisconsin andSouth Carolina from 1961 until 2009. Karen Melock was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her ex-husband, who worked as a building contractor from 1978 until 1989, according to the complaint. The Melocks will be represented by Timothy F. Thompson Jr. of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-159.

--Peggy Moody ofTexas claims the recently deceased Atwood Moody developed mesothelioma after his work as a member of the United States Marine Corp and as a butcher. Peggy Moody will be represented by Richard L. Saville Jr. and Ethan A. Flint ofAlton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-146.

--Jerri Paulk ofMontana claims her recently deceased mother, Eunice Satterlee,developed mesothelioma after her work as a riveter and nurses aide at various locations from 1942 until 1972. Satterlee was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her husband, Allen Satterlee, who worked as an electrician from 1948 until 1978, according to the complaint. Paulk will be represented by Myles L. Epperson of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-164.

--Melvin and Ella Schultz ofTexas claim Melvin Schultz developed mesothelioma after his work as an electrician, craft supervisor, job superintendent and project manager at Brown and Root from 1955 until 1992. The Schultzes will be represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-151.

--James Charles and Pamela B. Smith of Pennsylvania allege James Charles Smith developed mesothelioma after his work as a member of the U.S. Navy from 1966 until 1969, as a machinist mate on the U.S.S. Soley until his discharge in 1969, as a salesman and store manager for RCP Electronics from 1969 until 1981, as a salesman for Homelite Power Equipment from 1981 until 1993 and as an outside sales representative for Cooper Industries from 1994 until 2009. The Smiths will be represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-135.

--Melvin and Marilyn Smotherman ofMichigan claim Melvin Smotherman developed mesothelioma after his work in the U.S. Air Force from 1950 until 1953 and as a sheet metal worker at various locations from 1954 until 1988. The Smothermans will be represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-143.

--Patsy Warwick ofTennessee, a machine operator, janitor and cashier at various locations from 1968 until 2007, claims mesothelioma.Warwick was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her husband, Archie Warwick, who worked as a material handler at Honeywell International from 1968 until 1970 and as a carpenter and rigger from 1972 until 2007 at Northrop Grunman Newport News, according to the complaint. Patsy Warwick will be represented by Brian J. Cooke of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-153.

--David Lee Worthington and Doris Ann Wilkey of Florida claim David Lee Worthington developed mesothelioma after his work as a laborer for Griffin Construction from 1959 until 1961, as an electrical apprentice for A&W Wiring from 1962 until 1965, as an electrician for IBEW Local 1701 from 1965 until 1985, as an electrician for Progress Energy from 1985 until 2000 and as a home improvement worker from 1943 until 1959.Worthington and Wilkey will be represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-149.

http://www.madisonrecord.com/news/224987-18-new-asbestos-cases-filed-feb.-8-12-in-madison-county


 
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Montana – Asbestos Trades – Asbestos Mesothelioma Lawsuit

29 new asbestos cases filed inMadisonCountyMarch 8-12
3/31/2010 2:34 PM By Kelly Holleran

A total of 29 newasbestos lawsuits were filed in Madison County Circuit Court during the week of March 8 through March 12.

The following complaints were filed:

--Florence Adkins of Michigan claims her recently deceased husband, Barry Adkins, developed mesothelioma after his work as a press operator, airman, construction worker,lineman and metals finisher at various locations from 1951 until 1986. Florence Adkins will be represented by Randy S. Cohn and Sean M. Keane of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-257.

--Margaret Battle ofPennsylvania, a custodian and maintenance laborer at various locations from 1970 until 1979, claims lung cancer.Battle will be represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-272.

--James C. and Doris A. Billingsley of Tennessee claim James C. Billingsley developed mesothelioma after his work in the U.S. Navy from 1954 until 1957, as a sheet metal part stamper at Gray and Dudley Foundry in 1953, as a route salesman at Pepsi Cola Bottling Company from 1953 until 1954 and from 1957 until 1958, as an electrical engineer for Avco Electronics in 1963 and as an electrical engineer for ARO from 1963 until 1994. The Billingsleys will be represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-248.

--Brenda Casey ofKentucky claims her recently deceased mother, Mary Elizabeth Christine Drury, developed lung cancer after her work as a drywall contractor from 1964 until 1979. Casey will be represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-273.

--Eric S. Colley of Illinois, a welder at Robert Brent Company in 1983, a line maintenance mechanic at Sola Optical in 1983, an apprentice machinist at Normande Machine from 1987 until 1988 and a warehouse manager and production supervisor at R.S. Deal Corp. from 1983 until 1986 and from 1989 until 1993, claims mesothelioma. Colley will be represented by Michael R. Bilbrey and James R. Stever of the Law Offices of Michael R. Bilbrey in Glen Carbon. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-274.

--Leroy Conley ofMissouri, an electrician from 1943 until 1979, claims mesothelioma. Conley will be represented by Andrew O'Brien, Christopher Thoron, Christina J. Nielson, Bartholomew J. Baumstark and Gerald J. FitzGerald of O'Brien Law Firm inSt. Louis. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-267.

--Warren E. Davis ofFlorida, a laborer and mechanic from 1960 until 1979, claims mesothelioma.Davis will be represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-270.

--Aletha Everett ofLouisiana claims she developed mesothelioma after she was secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her husband who worked as a commercial and residential construction worker and an upholstery worker from 1935 until 1981. She was also exposed to asbestos through her sons who worked as construction workers in the 1960s, according to the complaint.Everett will be represented by W. Brent Copple and Myles L. Epperson of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-260.

--Thomas Gorman ofWisconsin, a union laborer at various locations from 1966 until 1979, claims lung cancer. Gorman will be represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-266.

--Julius K. Hayes Jr. ofGeorgia claims his recently deceased wife, Gladys E. Hayes, developed mesothelioma after working as an operator and office assistant forSouthern Bell from 1963 until 1967, in reservations for Eastern Airlines from 1967 until 1991 and as a lead analyst for SITA from 1992 until 2009. Gladys Hayes was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her husband, Julius K. Hayes Jr., who worked as an electrician at various site locations from 1973 until 2009. Julius K. Hayes Jr. will be represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-251.

--Willie Mae Imes ofMaryland, an assembly line worker, machine operator and material handler at various locations from 1960 until 1979, claims lung cancer. Imes will be represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-271.

--Kathleen Lux ofPennsylvania claims her recently deceased father, Thomas William Kennedy, developed mesothelioma after his work as a foreman, supervisor and buyer at various locations from 1957 until 1967. Lux will be represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-278.

--Claudine McCulough ofIllinois claims her recently deceased husband, Marshall Joseph McCulough, developed lung cancer after his work as a caster at various locations from 1958 until 1979. McCulough will be represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-275.

--Leander Michlig of Florida, a tower operator, customer service worker, laborer and gas handler at various locations throughoutIllinois from 1944 until 1989, claims pleural mesothelioma. Michlig will be represented by G. Michael Stewart and Jill Price of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-246.

--Charlotte Miller ofIndiana claims her recently deceased husband, Wayne Miller, developed malignant mesothelioma after his work as a machinist for General Motors at Central Foundry from 1954 until 1980 and as a construction laborer and roofer for Best for Less Construction from 1980 until 1990. Charlotte Miller will be represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-249.

--Leon and Forence Riccardi ofMissouri claim Leon Riccardi developed mesothelioma after his work as a pipefitter, laborer, machine operator and roll operator at various locations throughIllinois andMissouri from 1962 until 2009. Leon Riccardi was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through his step-father, who worked as a laborer for Union Pacific Railroad from 1953 until 1954, according to the complaint. The Riccardis will be represented by Stephanie A. Lyons of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-258.

--Ardyce Riggs ofArkansas, a customer service worker at Pacific Finance from 1962 until 1965, a housewife from 1965 until 1970 and a worker at Levi Strauss Company from 1970 until 1979, claims pleural mesothelioma. Riggs claims she was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her husband, David Riggs, who worked as a self-employed hairdresser and as a truck driver, according to the complaint. Ardyce Riggs will be represented by James F. Kelly and Jeffrey A.J. Millar of Brent Coon and Associates inSt. Louis. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-241.

--Michael G. Shaud of Alabama, a pharmacist in the U.S. Air Force from 1954 until 1964, a shuttle car operator at the Concord Coal Mine from 1965 until 1977, a shuttle car operator at Southern Electric Generating Company from 1967 until 1972, a laborer and cement panel maker in 1970, a general laborer at the Abex Corporation from 1970 until 1972, a forklift operator at Jim Walters Resources from 1972 until 1993, a residential construction worker from 1964 until 1980 and braid and gasket manufacturer from 1971 until 1991, claims mesothelioma. Shaud will be represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines, R. Craig Bullock and J. Kyle Beale of The Lanier Law Firm inHouston will be representing him. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-243.

--Larry Lee Shult ofMontana, a fire protection pipe fitting apprentice at Grinnell Fire Protection Systems between 1959 and 1964, claimspleural mesothelioma. Shult will be represented by James F. Kelly and Jeffrey A.J. Millar of Brent Coon and Associates. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-242.

--Ruth Simms ofFlorida claims her recently deceasedhusband, James Simms developed lung cancer after his work in the U.S. Army from 1943 until 1946 and as a heavy equipment mechanic and construction engineer from 1946 until 1997. Ruth Simms will be represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-263.

--Bonnie Smith ofAlabama claims her recently deceased husband, Hubert Smith, developed lung cancer after his work as a fork lift operator at U.S. Steel and as a laborer and deliverer at Sign Builders. Bonnie Smith will be represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-261.

--Lurita and James Smith of Florida claim Lurita Smith developed lung cancer after she was secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her husband, who served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1964 until 1970 and who worked as a helper and yard manager at General Ship Repair Corp. from the 1960s until 2005. The Smiths will be represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-262.

--Phyllis Stevens ofKentucky, a furnace and crane operator at various locations from 1973 until 1974, claims lung cancer. Stevens will be represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-259.

--Judy Stroder ofIllinois claims her recently deceased husband, Roger L. Stroder, developed lung cancer after his work in the U.S. Army as a supply clerk from 1970 until 1972 and as an electrician at Granite City Steel from 1970 until 2008. Judy Stroder will be represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-254.

--Gary Sweitzer claims his recently deceased wife, Helen Sweitzer, developed lung cancer after her work as a laborer at various locations from 1977 until 2007. Helen Sweitzer was also exposed to asbestos fibers through her family member, Gordon Geyer, who worked as a machine operator from 1954 until 1979, according to the complaint. The Sweitzers will be represented by Robert Phillips and Perry J. Browder of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-265.

--Dolores Waltemate ofIllinois claims her recently deceased husband, Rudolph E. Watlemate, developed mesothelioma after his work as a railroad fireman and machinist at various locations from 1947 until 1979. Dolores Waltemate will be represented by Andrew O'Brien, Christopher Thoron, Christina J. Nielson, Bartholomew J. Baumstark and Gerald J. FitzGerald of the O'Brien Law Firm inSt. Louis. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-276.

--Merry Ann Westbrooks ofArizona claims her recently deceased mother, Rosalyn Westbrooks, developed mesothelioma after her work as a secretary at various locations throughoutIllinois andOhio from 1950 until 1970. Rosalyn Westbrooks was also secondarily exposed to asbestos fibers through her husband who worked from the 1950s until the 1980s as a carpenter, according to the complaint. Merry Ann Westbrooks will be represented by Timothy F. Thompson Jr. of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd of East Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-277.

--Billy Jean Worley Iowa claims her recently deceased husband, Clarence L. Worley, developed mesothelioma after his work as a farm hand from 1948 until 1969, as a carpenter for DA Demerit from 1969 until 1972 and as a millwright for A-Alert from 1972 until 2009. Billy Jean Worley will be represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-250.

--Michael Wurn ofFlorida claims his recently deceased wife, Luane Wurn, developed mesothelioma after her work as a teacher, medical records clerk and suspension coordinator at various locations from 1962 until 2005. Michael Wurn will be represented by Christopher R. Guinn of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-239.

http://www.madisonrecord.com/news/225720-29-new-asbestos-cases-filed-in-madison-county-march-8-12


 
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Montana – Asbestos Trades – Asbestos Mesothelioma Lawsuits

18 new asbestos cases filed July 27-31
8/20/2009 8:39 AM By Kelly Holleran 

A total of 18 new asbestos lawsuits were filed inMadisonCounty during the week of July 27 through July 31.

The following claims were filed:

--Norbert and Marjorie Bossen ofIowa allege Norbert Bossen developed mesothelioma after his work in theUnited States Navy from 1944 until 1946; as aboilermaker in the late 1940s and early 1950s; withGilbert and Bossen Farm Implements from the early 1950s until 1967; as a pipe fitter from 1967 until 1982; and performinghome remodeling work to his homes in the mid 1970s. The Bossens are represented by Robert Rowland and Elizabeth V. Heller of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Sean P. Worsey of Levin, Simes, Kaiser and Gornick inSan Francisco will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-795.

--Walter Derby ofColorado, anaviation mechanic, consulting engineer, police officer, security guard, laborer, tree trimmer and contractor/construction worker at various locations throughoutIllinois,California,Colorado andOklahoma from 1967 until 2007claims mesothelioma.Derby is represented by Timothy F. Thompson Jr. and Ryan J. Kiwala of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-789.

--Catherine Fridmanski claims her recently deceased cousin, Andrew Mulato, developed mesothelioma after his work as abricklayer andsteelworker at various locations from 1940 until 1980. Fridmanski is represented by Andrew O'Brien, Christopher Thoron, Christina J. Nielson, Bartholomew J. Baumstark and Gerald J. FitzGerald of the O'Brien Law Firm inSt. Louis. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-792.

--Josie Gonzales ofTexas claims her recently deceased husband, Eulalio Gonzales, developed mesothelioma after his work as alaborer and foreman at various locations throughoutIllinois,Missouri,Colorado,Kansas,New Mexico andTexas from 1958 until 1985. Josie Gonzales is represented by Amy E. Garrett and W. Brent Copple of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-798.

--Joseph and Sandra Goudreau ofMichigan claim Joseph Goudreau developed mesothelioma after his work as alaborer, painter, operator and engineer at various locations inIllinois,Michigan,Alabama andWisconsin from 1950 until 2000. The Goudreaus are represented by Timothy F. Thompson Jr. and Ryan J. Kiwala of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-801.

--Julie Hied ofMontana claims her recently deceased husband, Lyle Woolston, developed mesothelioma after his work as arancher and mechanic at various locations from 1968 until 1978. Hied is represented by Robert Phillips, Perry J. Browder and Rosalind M. Robertson of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-775.

--Betty Hughes ofVirginia claims her recently deceased husband, Cecil Hughes, developed mesothelioma after his work as alaborer and carpenter from 1970 until 1979. Hughes is represented by Robert Phillips, Perry J. Browder and Rosalind M. Robertson of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelisdes and Barnerd inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-776.

--Robert and Barbara Krupp ofIllinois allege Robert Krupp developed lung cancer after his work in theU.S. Coast Guard from 1952 until 1955; as alaborer at Mallinckrodt Chemical Company from 1955 until 1957; as alaborer at TheNew York,New Haven andHartford Railroad Company from 1957 until 1961; as alaborer at Stickland Trucklines from 1962 until 1965; and as alaborer at Manufacturers Railway Company from 1965 until 1991. The Krupps are represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-777.

--John Lappin ofMissouri, amachinist and steelworker from 1947 until 1992,claims mesothelioma. Lappin is represented by Andrew O'Brien, Christopher Thoron, Christina J. Nielson, Bartholomew J. Baumstark and Gerald J. FitzGerald of O'Brien Law Firm inSt. Louis. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-772.

--Ronald H. and Karen L. Larson claim Ronald H. Larsondeveloped mesothelioma after his work as afield lineman with theUnited States Army from 1960 until 1963 and as asteel plate inspector at Bethlehem Steel from 1963 until 1987. The Larsons are represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines, C. Taylor Campbell, J.D. McMullen and William H. Barfield of The Lanier Law Firm inHouston will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-781.

--Christopher Morelli ofNew Jersey claims his recently deceased wife, Michelle Morelli, developed mesothelioma after her work as alaborer at Lockheed Martin in 1982. She was alsoexposed to asbestos fibers while doing abatement work during the late 1990s and wassecondarily exposed through her husband, who owned apainting, drywall and texture company from 1982 until now, according to the complaint. Christopher Morelli is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-782.

--Jimmy E. and Rosalee Murphy ofArkansas claim Jimmy Murphy developed mesothelioma after his work as amanufacturer from 1967 until 1971 atTucker Duck and Rubber Company,Fort Smith Table and Chairs and Bowmen and Company; as alaborer for Capco from 1971 until 1976; as awelder for Structural Steel in 1976; as aforklift operator for Farmland Feed Mill from 1976 until 1980; as awelder for Branham Industries from 1980 until 1981; as awelder for Interstate Electric from 1983 until 1986; and as anassembly line worker forTrane from 1986 until 2000. The Murphys are represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-793.

--Shirley Jo Peeler ofOhio, acashier for Liberal Markets from 1953 until 1956 and an employee at Revco and apress operator atStanhope Products from 1956 until 1958, claims mesothelioma. Peeler is represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-794.

--Larry C. and Bettye M. Sims claim Larry C. Simsdeveloped mesothelioma after his work as anengineer and machinist mate while in theU.S. Navy from 1962 until 1987; as amaintenance man at Dorchester School District in South Carolina from 1987 until 1998; as ahome remodeler at his house from 1960 until 1970; and as ashadetree mechanic from 1959 until 1979. The Sims are represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines, Angela B. Greenberg, Sam T. Richard, Bridget B. Truxillo and Lauren H. Ware of The Lanier Law Firm inHouston will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-779.

--Toni Solano ofTexas claims her recently deceased husband, John M. Solano, developed mesothelioma after his work as alaborer and division engineer forBurlington Northern Santa Fe Rail Road from 1975 until 2005. Toni Solano is represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-796.

--Robert A. and Darlene M. Switzer claim Robert A. Switzer developed mesothelioma after his work as aservice representative, products liability specialist, maintenance, expert claims witness forCaterpillar Tractor Company from 1953 until 1988; while being enrolled in officer's candidate school where he learned and performed duties onNavy ship from 1944 until 1946; while working for aroad equipment contractor and onwelded metal tracks from 1949 until 1953; as afarmer at Norvel Switzer Farm from 1926 until 1944; as ashadetree mechanic from the 1950s until 1980; and inresidential construction from the 1950s until 1980. The Switzers are represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines, R. Craig Bullock and J. Kyle Beane ofHouston will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-780.

--Leo J. and Ruth A. Vietmeier claim Leo J. Vietmeier developed mesothelioma after his work as alaborer, assembly line worker and maintenance man at American Vitrified in the 1950s; as alaborer while in the AFL-CIO Union in the 1960s; as amine worker at Pegg's Run Coal Mill inPennsylvania in the 1970s; as ameat cutter at Giant Eagle from 1980 until 1996; as a homeremodeler at his home from 1967 until 1990; and as ashadetree mechanic on his automobiles from 1950 until 1980. The Vietmeiers are represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines, Angela B. Greenburg, Sam T. Richard, Bridget Baragona and Lauren H. Ware of The Lanier Law Firm inHouston will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-778.

--Mary Ellen White ofNew Hampshire claims her recently deceased husband, John Grohosky, developed mesothelioma after his work in theU.S. Navy from 1944 until 1964 and as aforklift driver from the early 1970s until 1988. White is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-784.

--Fred Young ofWisconsin, who served in theBritish Navy from August 1940 until August 1954 and who worked as amechanical researcher from 1954 until 1956; as amechanical researcher at AV Roc from 1956 until 1958; as adesign engineer forPratt and Whitney from 1958 until 1960; as adesign engineer at the GE Nuclear Power Demonstration Plant from 1960 until 1963; as a seniorreactor operator atOntario Hydro from 1963 until 1965; as amaintenance supervisor atThunder Bay Generating Plant from 1965 until 1967; as amaintenance supervisor atWisconsin Electric Point Beach Plant from 1968 until 1972; as alaborer at Bechtel from 1972 until 1984; and as aconsultant at Wisconsin Electric Point Beach Plant from 1984 until 1989, claims mesothelioma. Young is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-797.

http://www.madisonrecord.com/news/220671-18-new-asbestos-cases-filed-july-27-31

 
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Montana – Asbestos Trades – Mesothelioma Lawsuit

13 new asbestos cases filed inMadisonCountyMay 11-15
6/1/2009 11:54 AM By Kelly Holleran

A total of 13 newasbestos suits were filed in Madison County Circuit Court during the week of May 11 through May 15.
The following complaints were filed:

--Frank and Barbara Anne Autry ofCalifornia claim Frank Autry developed mesothelioma after his work as a plumber, water well driller and welder from 1970 until 1972. The Autrys claim Frank Autry also performed home reconstruction work in 1981 and worked at a shipyard for Oakland Naval Supply from 1983 until 1984. The Autrys are represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-497.

--Jorge Cardenas ofNew Jersey claims his recently deceased wife, Raysa Cardenas, developed mesothelioma after her work as a gate agent at Continental Airlines from 1988 until 2008. She was also secondarily exposed to asbestos through her father, who worked at a local auto parts store, according to the complaint. Jorge Cardenas is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-485.

--Edna Cordy claims her recently deceased husband, Lee L. Cordy, developed mesothelioma after his work as an apprentice operating crane engineer, residential construction worker and auto mechanic worker from 1947 through 2003. Edna Cordy is represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines, R. Craig Bullock, Erik P. Karst and Sara A. Morton of The Lanier Law Firm inHouston will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-418.

--William Downey ofKentucky, an operator and factory worker from 1973 until 1994, claims lung cancer. Downer is represented by Robert Phillips, Perry J. Browder and Rosalind M. Robertson of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-494.

--Joseph and Amalia Horvath ofOhio claim Joseph Horvath developed mesothelioma after his work as a box assembler, laborer, maintenance worker, roofer and tool and dye worker from 1958 until 2000. Joseph Horvath says he also conducted his own home and auto maintenance repairs. The Horvaths are represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-484.

--Ralph W. Millsaps ofColorado, a handyman, farmer, meatcutter, machinist, sheet metal worker, welder, heavy equipment mechanic, maintenance man, freelance auto mechanic and handyman from 1952 until 1985, claims mesothelioma. Millsaps is represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines, R. Craig Bullock and J. Kyle Beale of The Lanier Law Firm inHouston will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-495.

--Carleties Mitchell ofIllinois, a laborer, mechanic and truck driver from 1955 until 1990, claims lung cancer. Mitchell is represented by Myles L. Epperson of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-481.

--Jean Nagy ofMichigan claims her recently deceased father, John Bunjac, developed mesothelioma after his work as a design engineer at various locations throughoutIllinois,Missouri,Michigan andKentucky from 1936 until 1992. Nagy is represented by Randy S. Cohn of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-482.

--Paul Post ofArkansas, a welder from 1944 until 1990, claims mesothelioma. Post is represented by Robert Phillips, Perry J. Browder and Rosalind M. Robertson of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-492.

--Robert E. Shelton ofArkansas, a laborer at various locations from 1951 until 1967, claims lung cancer.Shelton is represented by Robert Phillips, Perry J. Browder and Rosalind M. Robertson of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-493.

--Donna Teague ofKentucky claims her recently deceased father, Isaac Moore, developed lung cancer after his work as a laborer and mechanic from 1950 until 1984. Teague is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-496.

--Vera Jean Trammell-Wallace ofMontana claims her recently deceased husband, Russell Wallace,developed mesothelioma after his work as a rigger, coppersmith and pipefitter at various locations from 1942 until 1985. Trammell-Wallace is represented by Robert Phillips, Perry J. Browder and Rosalind M. Robertson of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-491.

--John Zeller ofFlorida, a nurse and administrator at various locations throughout theUnited States from 1962 until 1981, claims mesothelioma. Zeller is represented by Brian J. Cooke of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-488.

http://www.madisonrecord.com/news/219292-13-new-asbestos-cases-filed-in-madison-county-may-11-15

 
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Montana – Asbestos Trades –Asbestos Mesothelioma Lawsuit

16 new asbestos claims filed Feb. 16-20 inMadisonCounty
2/26/2009 7:30 AM By Kelly Holleran

A total of 16 new asbestos suits were filed in Madison County Circuit Court during the week of Feb. 16 through Feb. 20.

The following claims were filed:

--Larry and Sharon Garvin ofTexas claim Larry Garvin developedmesothelioma after his work as a laborer in the U.S. Navy from 1957 until 1962, a trainman at Santa Fe Railroad in 1962 and a switchman at Katy Railroad from 1962 until 2000. The Garvins are represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0125.

--David W. Gauthier ofColorado, a laborer for U.S. Steel from 1970 until 1976, a laborer for ABI Contractor from 1974 until 1976, a laborer and mechanic operator for Chinook Pipeline from 1976 until 1985, an operator and foreman for Balnret Construction from 1985 until 1987 and an operator for Phoenix Demolition Company from 1995 until 2007, claims lung cancer. Gauthier is represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowald of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0133.

--Michael D. and Paulette Guye ofArizona claim Michael Guye developed mesothelioma after his work as a parts delivery person at a Ford dealership in 1963, as a laborer and join at the Newport New Shipbuilding and Drydock facility from 1963 until 1966, as a radiological technician from 1968 until 1971 and as a purchasing agent from 1972 until 2005. Michael Guye was also exposed to asbestos fibers through his father's work as a laborer and joiner from 1951 until 1966, according to the complaint. The Guyes are represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0124.

--Eileen Harry ofVirginia claims her recently deceased husband, Mark Harry, developed mesothelioma after his work from 1945 until 1997 as an engineer and a laborer at various locations throughoutIllinois,California andWashington. Eileen Harry is represented by John A. Barnerd and Amy E. Garrett of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0151.

--Christine Hartsock ofNorth Carolina claims her recently deceased husband, Randall Hartsock, developed mesothelioma after his work from 1970 until 1989 as a clerk and carpet and flooring installer at various locations throughoutIllinois,Pennsylvania andNorth Carolina. Christine Hartsock is represented by Christopher R. Guinn, Christopher J. Levy, Perry J. Browder and John A. Barnerd of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0145.

--Bobby Joe Holder ofIllinois, a caster, brass worker, furnace chipper and mold repairman from 1969 until 2008 at various locations throughoutIllinois, claims asbestosis. Holder is represented by John A. Barnerd and W. Brent Copple of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0135.

--Joyce Hunter ofIndiana claims lung cancer on behalf of her recently deceased husband, Paul Hunter, who was a steel mill laborer from 1964 until 1986. Joyce Hunter is represented by G. Michael Stewart and Jill Price of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0150.

--James Jump of Indiana, a cement mason and laborer from 1945 until 1998 at various locations throughoutIllinois,Alabama and Louisians, claims mesothelioma. Jump is represented by Christoher R. Guinn, Christopher J. Levy, Perry J. Browder and John A. Barnerd ofEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0144.

-Victor F. Nelson ofIllinois, a worker for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and for Construction Supply Retail at various locations throughoutIllinois from 1959 until 1994, claims mesothelioma. He is represented by Andrew O'Brien, Christopher Thoron, Christina J. Nielson, Bartholomew J. Baumstark and Gerald J. FitzGerald of the O'Brien Law Firm inSt. Louis. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0149.

--Wanda and Larry Paul ofOhio claims Wanda Paul developed mesothelioma after her work as a laborer at Owens Corning and as a laborer at Westinghouse from 1974 until 1986. The Pauls are represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0148.

--George O. Pursley ofOhio, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1940 until 1946, worked as a laborer at a lumber yard from 1948 until 1951, at theU.S. postal service from 1970 until 1989 and as a barber from 1951 until 1992, claims mesothelioma. Pursley is represented by Elizabeth V. Heller and Robert Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0134.

--Lynne Quintana ofColoradoclaims mesothelioma on behalf of her recently deceased husband, Jose Quintana, who worked from 1961 until 1995 as a laborer and pipefitter at various locations throughoutIllinois,Colorado,Oklahoma andMontana. She is represented by John A. Barnerd and Amy E. Garrett of SimmonsCooper inEast Alton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0152.

--James F. Ross ofTexas, a worker at Scott Air Force Base, a clutch replacer on several family cars, a building remodeler, a gas station owner and a brake and maintenance man, claims lung cancer. He is represented by James F. Kelly and Jeffery A.J. Miller of Brent Coon and Associates. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0147.

--Michael L. Stephens ofKentucky claims the recently deceased John M. Stephens developed mesothelioma after his work from 1972 until 1993 in the U.S. Navy. Michael L. Stephens is represented by Richard L. Saville Jr., Ethan A. Flint and David J. Page ofAlton. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0137.

--Patty L. Stuck of Missouri, a former cook at Kmart, an assistant and clerk typist at Central Assurety from 1959 until 1960, a wireman from 1961 until 1964, a cake supply seller, an ammo packer from 1981 until 2000 and a helper and sweeper in 1965, claims mesothelioma. Patty L. Stuck also was exposed to asbestos fibers through her deceased husband, Thomas Stuck, who worked as a machinist from 1965 until 1990 and as a shade tree mechanic from the 1950 until the 1970s, according to the complaint. Patty L. Stuck is represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines, R. Craig Bullock and J. Kyle Beale of The Lanier Law Firm inHouston will serve of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0129.

--Angela Thomas of Illinois claims her recently deceased mother, Francis Bates, developed mesothelioma after her work as a cashier at Huff Gas Stations-Phillips 66 in 2008, as a harness wirer from 2006 until 2007, as an order selector from 2002 until 2006, as a cab driver for City Cab Company from 2001 until 2002, as welder from the early 1960s until 2001, as a shade tree mechanic from the 1960s until the 1980s and as a carpenter and drywaller from 1968 until 1969. Thomas is represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian and Associates inAlton. W. Mark Lanier, Patrick N. Haines and R. Craig Bullock of The Lanier Law Firm inHouston will be serving of counsel. Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0139.

http://www.madisonrecord.com/news/217632-16-new-asbestos-claims-filed-feb.-16-20-in-madison-county

 
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Montana – Asbestos Exposure –$250 Million Asbestos Contamination Fund

Grace to Pay Feds $250 Million forMontana Asbestos Cleanup

Taxpayers have been footing the bill for the EPA's investigative and cleanup work in Libby since 1999

March 12, 2008

Image:Photodisc Green

W.R. Grace & Co. has agreed to reimburse the federal government $250 million for the investigation and cleanup ofasbestos contamination blamed for sickening hundreds of people, some fatally, in the northwesternMontana town ofLibby.

Approval of a federal bankruptcy judge is necessary to cement the agreement announced Tuesday by the U.S. Justice Department, which said $250 million is a record sum for reimbursement through the government's Superfund environmental cleanup program.

Taxpayers have been footing the bill for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's investigative and cleanup work in Libby, where the agency arrived in 1999. Expenses total $168 million and another $175 million in costs are likely, said PaulPeronard, EPA's Libby project leader.

Sen. Max Baucus, aMontana Democrat, called $250 million "a drop in the bucket compared to the destruction and pain our neighbors inLibby have been through."

Asbestos came from the vermiculite mine and processing facilities, a few miles fromLibby, that Grace owned and operated from 1963 until the site's closure in 1990. Vermiculite was used in a variety of products and the asbestos was dispersed in a variety of ways.

Workers carried it home on their clothing. Asbestos also ended up in the yards of homes where vermiculite was spread as a soil conditioner. Exposure in Libby has been blamed for lung-scarring asbestosis and formesothelioma, a fast-moving cancer that attacks the lungs.

"Cleaning up the mess and taking care of the Montanans poisoned by W.R. Grace will take years of hard work," Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montona., said in a statement Tuesday. "It will also require responsibility from a company that knowingly turned so manyMontana families into victims."

In a statement issued through spokesman Greg Euston, Grace said it was pleased with the agreement. Euston said Grace, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings because of lawsuits over asbestos, had no other comment. The industrial-supply company is based inColumbia,Maryland.

The agreement would settle a government claim to recover expenses for past and future costs of asbestos cleanup in Libby homes, businesses and schools.

More than 215 asbestos-related deaths in Libby have been confirmed and a clinic in the community, the Center for Asbestos Related Disease, is following about 2,000 asbestos cases, said JonHeberling, a Kalispell lawyer with clients pursuing legal action for asbestos exposure.

"Any judgment against Grace is a good one,"GaylaBenefield of Libby said Tuesday. "This is a step forward; $250 million is nothing to sneeze at considering that in 1999 they (Grace) were saying, 'We didn't cause the problem. We didn't do anything.'"

Benefield has said she suffers health effects from asbestos exposure and lost both parents to asbestos-related diseases.

The EPA'sPeronard said the remaining cleanup work in Libby is likely to take three to five years.

In 2001, the government filed a lawsuit to recover costs and in 2003, the EPA won a $54 million judgment for cleanup costs incurred through Dec. 31, 2001. However, the money went unpaid during Grace's bankruptcy protection. The settlement announced Tuesday includes that 2003 judgment, the Department of Justice said.

Besides removing soil around homes and businesses, cleanup has included removing building insulation and debris containing asbestos.Peronard said cleanups have been completed at 954 properties, and 450 remain on a cleanup list. Still to be decided: what to do about some 700 properties that are in the Libby area and are contaminated but do not meet removal criteria.

Meanwhile, Grace has until April 14 to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking for review of a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision about evidence in a trial. A 2005 indictment charged Grace and seven of its former managers with conspiring to hide health risks associated with the Libby mine. Grace has denied any criminal wrongdoing. One of the indicted managers, Alan Stringer, died of cancer last year. His wife, Donna, said the death was not related to asbestos.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1205322352097

 

 
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Montana – Asbestos Trades – Asbestos Deaths

Asbestos Lawsuit for LibbyMontana Vermiculate Mine Workers

Jun 13, 2003 | AP

 

Hundreds of mine workers inHelena,Montana, became ill or died while the state wrongly kept studies secret that documented thedangers of asbestos, formermine workers allege in a lawsuit about to be argued in the state's highest court.

Eight former mine workers and the wife of one miner are plaintiffs in the suit, which contends the state knew as early as 1956 of dangers posed by exposure to asbestos dust from a vermiculite mine in Libby.

The nine plaintiffs, all diagnosed with asbestos-related health problems, believe the state was negligent in failing to warn them and their families of the risks. They are seeking unspecified damages.

The case, to be argued June 26 before theMontana Supreme Court, appeals an August decision by District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock, who threw out the suit after concluding the state had no legal obligation to warn Libby residents of the danger.

In their appeal, the nine residents contend the state stood by while a "human disaster of epic proportions unfolded in Libby."

Libby was once home to a vermiculite mine operated by W.R. Grace & Co. from 1963 until it closed in 1990. The company is now in bankruptcy.

Asbestos in the vermiculite ore has been blamed for hundreds of illnesses and at least 200 deaths. The Environmental Protection Agency has been cleaning up the mine site and other contaminated areas in the town since 1999, and Libby was declared a Superfund site last October.

A federal study in 2000 found the death rate in Libby from all asbestos-related illnesses had been 60 times the national average.

Twenty-three cases of mesothelioma, a rare type of asbestos-related cancer, apparently have their origins in Libby, said Paul Peronard, Libby's EPA coordinator. That is a rate of one case for every 1,000 residents, 100 times the national average, according to the EPA.

The state argues that state law and an attorney general's opinion demanded that the government keep secret the information it gathered in a series of seven studies from 1956 to 1974.

The state had no obligation to warn Libby residents, and no power to set standards to asbestos exposure or regulate mine safety, the government argues. Also, government was immune from suits for actions before the newMontana Constitution eliminated that protection in 1973, state lawyers said.

The state also contends the law requires employers not the state to ensure a safe workplace, even if the government conducted limited inspections of the site.

In his ruling last year throwing out the suit, Sherlock noted that the claims against the state did not come up until after Grace filed for bankruptcy, effectively halting scores of lawsuits filed against the company by current and former Libby residents.

"The state ofMontana should not become the default defendant in every case where the true wrongdoer has no money or is otherwise unavailable to satisfy the damage that he has caused," Sherlock wrote.

 

-        Associated Press

 
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Montana – Asbestos Deaths

Asbestos Diseases Viewed As 'Epidemic'

Study finds 100,000 will die in 10 years

Mar 4, 2004 | Star Ledger

 

TheUnited States is facing an "epidemic" of asbestos-caused diseases, with some 100,000 people expected to die in the next decade from their past exposure to the dangerous substance, according an analysis of health data by an environmental organization. 

"Ten thousand Americans die each year a rate approaching 30 deaths per day from diseases caused by asbestos," said a report to be issued today by the Environmental Working Group Action Fund. 

"Asbestos kills thousands more people than skin cancer each year, and nearly the number that are slain in assaults with firearms," said the environmental group. 

The study comes as the Senate is preparing to debate legislation that would nullify tens of thousands of asbestos lawsuits and transfer all pending and future claims to a newly created $108 billion victims compensation fund financed by manufacturers and insurance companies. 

The Senate is expected to take up this bill at the end of this month or in early April. The measure is backed by the business community, which is seeking to cap its liability and get out from under a flood of lawsuits, but it faces opposition from organized labor and trial lawyers who argue the fund will shortchange victims. 

The report, based on an analysis of more than two decades of government mortality records and epidemiological studies, said the 20- to 50-year latency period for asbestos diseases means that a substantial portion of individuals exposed in the 1960s and 1970s are now just showing up. 

"EWG Action Fund projects that over the next decade, fourasbestos-related diseases 
mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer will claim the lives of over 100,000 Americans," said the report. 

"The epidemic is national in scope, affecting every state. And for every life claimed, many more will be compromised by an array of serious, if nonfatal, asbestos-caused illnesses," the report said. 

The study notes thatNew Jersey was a prime destination for asbestos mined inMontana, with some 338,000 tons shipped to the state between 1948 and 1993 for use in factories such as the Johns Manville plant inSomersetCounty and W.R. Grace plants in Edgewater andTrenton. 

The environmental group said the government data showed at least 2,775 people inNew Jersey were killed by asbestos from 1979 to 2001, the sixth-highest total among the 50 states. It added that its research suggests the number of deaths could be as much as double that figure because of chronic misdiagnosis of asbestosis and mesothelioma and the absence of federal tracking for mesothelioma for nearly all the time period analyzed. 

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was once used widely in many industrial processes because of its fire-retardant and insulating properties. The report said in the mid-1970s, more than 3,000 consumer and industrial products contained asbestos, asbestos product factories polluted neighborhoods and workers were heavily exposed on the job. 

When inhaled, asbestos fibers can cause lung disease and cancer. As a result, its use has been sharply curtailed in recent years, though it is still found in vehicle braking systems, asphalt roof coatings and gaskets. 

EWG Action Fund, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group that focuses on researching toxins in the environment, said in its report that hazardous conditions persist today, even in workplaces where asbestos use is regulated. 

Asbestos diseases overwhelmingly affect older men, according to the study. It found deaths from asbestos have been increasing steadily for the last 20 years in theUnited States, are still on the rise and will peak around 2015. 

The study also said the highest death toll has come from asbestosis and mesothelioma. But it said the mortality rate of asbestosis was three times greater than the rate of mesothelioma between 1979 and 2001. 

More than 625,000 people have filed lawsuits for asbestos-related injuries over the years. By the end of 2000, businesses and insurers had paid out more than $54 billion in claims, according to a 2002 Rand Corp. study. 

Rand found that more than 300,000 cases were still pending and another 500,000 to 2.4 million claims could be filed in the years ahead, costing businesses upward of $210 billion. There are more than 3,000 asbestos lawsuits pending in theNew Jersey court system. 

In addition, 67 companies have filed for bankruptcy because of their asbestos liabilities, and additional companies are likely to seek Chapter 11 protection. 

The defunct New Jersey-based Johns-Manville Corp. was the world's largest producer of asbestos when it declared bankruptcy in 1982 after being overwhelmed by lawsuits from people who had become sick from asbestos exposure. The company established a trust fund in 1988 that is paying only 5 percent of the value of the claims against it to reserve funds for future victims. As of October, the fund had settled 570,000 damage claims for $3.2 billion and had 43,000 claims pending. 

One major bankruptcy case now pending in federal court inNew Jersey involves five companies -- W.R. Grace, Owens-Corning, Armstrong World, U.S. Gypsum and Federal Mogul. All five firms sought bankruptcy protection after facing huge claims from those injured by asbestos exposure. 

Two years ago, U.S. District Judge Alfred Wolin was assigned to try to resolve the extremely complicated case, but tactics he employed to move it along have been challenged by some of the parties who want him removed from the case. A federal appeals court is reviewing that issue.

 

Star Ledger

 
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Montana – Asbestos Related Deaths

L.A. Tops Nation In Asbestos-Linked Deaths

Mar 4, 2004 |Los Angeles Daily News

 

Los AngelesCounty has more asbestos-related deaths than anywhere else in the country, and the incidence of illness caused by the mineral is expected to rise over the next 20 years, a report released today says.

The report by the Environmental Working Group estimated that 1,227 county residents died of asbestos-related illness from 1979 to 2001, slightly more than the 1,051 inCookCounty, Illinois., which encompasses theChicago area. Nationwide, some 10,000 people died of asbestos-related disease in 2002.

Experts saidLos Angeles' large population, plus the widespread asbestos use in the shipping industry and post-World War II construction, help explain the county's high death figures.

"We were just floored when we looked at the deaths from this substance," said Richard Wiles, senior vice president of the Washington, D.C.-based environmental group. "We need to think of this as a 50-year problem because we still haven't banned asbestos.

Asbestos fibers can become embedded in the lungs and cause asbestosis essentially, scar tissue in the lungs or a usually fatal form of cancer calledmesothelioma. Not all people exposed to asbestos become ill, but even small amounts can cause mesothelioma.

Until its dangers became well-known, asbestos was commonly used in construction and insulation materials and as a fire retardant. Its use peaked in the mid-1970s, when there were more than 3,000 asbestos-laced products on the market, though there were few safeguards for workers and their families exposed to asbestos dust.

Even today, asbestos is used in some cement pipes, vinyl floor tiles, duct insulation, floor backing and decorative plaster.

Cancer and other diseases linked to asbestos can remain dormant for 20 to 50 years, meaning people who worked with the fibers before safeguards were phased in during the 1970s could still develop potentially fatal illnesses.

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has proposed the creation of a trust fund, financed by asbestos manufacturers and insurance companies, to handle lawsuits filed by asbestos victims and their families without bankrupting businesses.

Insurance companies anticipate $120 billion in asbestos claims worldwide and have pushed for national legislation to cut litigation, streamline the compensation process and set aside money to help people diagnosed with asbestos diseases.

"We know that 90 percent of current claimants have no signs of illnesses, but they are trying to get in before all these companies go bankrupt," said Peter Moraga, spokesman for the Insurance Information Network of California.

Already, some 70 companies have filed for bankruptcy protection.

Michelle Harrington has filed a $100,000 claim against W.R. Grace, which declared bankruptcy in 2001, in part because of damages awarded in wrongful-death suits stemming from its mine inLibby,Montona., where some 200 townspeopledied from asbestos-related diseases.

The owner of Harrington Tools is seeking to be reimbursed for having to clean up asbestos contamination in theWest SanFernando Road building she bought in 1992 a structure previously owned by a company that processed more than 100,000 tons of insulation, using asbestos from the Libby mine.

"Not being my responsibility or my fault, I was absolutely furious," Harrington said. "Private companies cannot be held responsible or accountable for something they never did."

California toxicologists are analyzing historical cancer and cause-of-death data in the neighborhood around theWest San Fernando Road plant as part of a national study of plants that processed the Libby material potentially discovering a new group of victims who might seek compensation.

 

|Los Angeles Daily News
 
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Mining Company Agrees to Pay $250 Million for Asbestos Cleanup

W.R. Grace & Co. Will Pay Cleanup Cost in Addition to Asbestos Settlements withMontana Exposure Victims

Syracuse,New York 3/13/2008 06:24 PM GMT (FINDITT)

 

In what could be W.R. Grace and Co.’s first step in a seven year attempt to leave Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection, the company has agreed to pay $250 million for the investigation and cleanup of asbestos contamination around itsLibby,MT mine.

The vermiculite mine was among the more publicized cases of asbestos exposure that affected not only the mine workers, but also the surrounding town. Traces of asbestos were nearly everywhere in the town, including in schools, homes and businesses. Nearly all traces of asbestos could be attributed to the nearby mine’s failure to properly control their hazardous waste.

Grace, whose market value is estimated at $1.5 billion, has indicated that their $250 million payment should not derail their efforts to emerge from bankruptcy. However, estimates by personal injury attorneys have said that there exists nearly $3.6 billion in suits against the specialty chemical company, the majority of which have been filed in response to contaminations at the Libby mine and surrounding town.

The company operated the Libby mine from 1963-1990. Since then, several of the town’s residents have become ill with asbestos related health complications. Asbestos fibers, when inhaled can cause lung disease and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

The agreement reached would channel the funds directly through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program, which was established several decades ago to divert clean up costs back to corporate polluters. The $250 million agreed upon in the Grace case is said to be the largest single settlement in the history of the fund.

While assuredly the clean up of the mine, town, and surrounding area can be afforded through the settlement, unfortunately this money cannot reverse the deadly consequences of asbestos exposures at Libby. Asbestos related disease is associated with a great deal of latency between exposure and the onset of symptoms. Many of the victims from the Libby site may not know for several years if they will suffer the effects of asbestos exposure.

The Mesothelioma andAsbestosAwarenessCenter is widely regarded as the web's leading resource for information on asbestos, asbestos related disease, and mesothelioma treatment. Hundreds of pages of up to date content feature important information regarding asbestos exposure, top physicians, and clinical trials, as well as medical breakthroughs in the field of asbestos related disease.

For further information please contact the Mesothelioma andAsbestosAwarenessCenter.

 http://www.transworldnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=40118&cat=10

 
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