States Wrestle with Mesothelioma Laws & Violations


The city of Paterson, New Jersey is facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for putting city workers at risk for deadly mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. A state labor department inspection determined that Paterson had committed 43 OSHA safety violations, including 13 “serious” violations related to asbestos removal. The labor department says the city failed to properly supervise, train or monitor employees charged with removing asbestos ceiling tiles from a city building. They’re also charged with failing to provide the workers with the proper safety equipment. Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer. Workers exposed to the asbestos now face an increased lifetime risk of developing mesothelioma. Paterson could face fines of $4,500 per day … Continue reading States Wrestle with Mesothelioma Laws & Violations »

Lawsuits Focus on Mesothelioma Construction Risks

Two recent news stories highlight the fact that construction workers are often at higher risk for mesothelioma. The risk comes from exposure to asbestos, a toxic mineral once widely used as an insulator and building product additive. After asbestos dust was linked to malignant mesothelioma in the 1960s, workplaces began to implement protective measures. However, the long delay from time of asbestos exposure to development of mesothelioma means the measures came too late for some workers. A group of sick electricians and carpenters in New York is a case in point.   More than a hundred independent contractors are alleging that long-term asbestos exposure at the county-owned Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY, caused them to develop mesothelioma and other asbestos illnesses. … Continue reading Lawsuits Focus on Mesothelioma Construction Risks »

Mesothelioma Now Covered by Zadroga Act

First responders and others who have contracted malignant mesothelioma because of their exposure to asbestos during the 9/11 attacks in New York are now eligible for government compensation under the Zadroga act. The announcement was made by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health on the eve of the 11th anniversary of the attacks. The Zadroga Act, approved by Congress in 2012, was designed to help those were made sick because of the World Trade Center attack. Initially, the $2.8 billion fund was not available to people who contracted any type of cancer. Scientists had said there was little evidence to suggest that the toxic dust cloud created by the collapse and burning of the two buildings could cause cancer. But … Continue reading Mesothelioma Now Covered by Zadroga Act »

Maryland Asbestos Law: Beginning of a Trend?

The state of Maryland is cracking down on asbestos removal companies that put their workers and the public at risk for mesothelioma by cutting corners. State lawmakers have raised the fine from $5,000 to $25,000 for companies that do not follow government guidelines for safe handling of asbestos. Asbestos is a toxic mineral that has been used in decades in insulation and thousands of other products.  By the time its link to mesothelioma was discovered, it was already too late for many workers and consumers who had inadvertently inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers and triggered the physiological changes that would lead to mesothelioma or other asbestos related diseases. Even second-hand exposure, such as coming into contact with asbestos-covered clothing, can raise … Continue reading Maryland Asbestos Law: Beginning of a Trend? »

Mesothelioma Added to 9/11 Compensation Fund

New Yorkers and first responders at risk of mesothelioma and other cancers because of 9/11 toxic exposures are now in line for compensation if they need it. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) this week added mesothelioma and 49 other cancers to the list of conditions covered under a $4.3 billion dollar compensation fund created by the 2010 Zadroga Act. The fund was set up to cover medical bills and other expenses for people who contracted serious health conditions after the 9/11 attacks.  Until this week, cancer, including mesothelioma, was not on the list of covered conditions. Hundreds of rescue workers including police, firefighters and EMS workers, as well as people in and around the World Trade Center towers … Continue reading Mesothelioma Added to 9/11 Compensation Fund »

States Wrestle with Legal Side of Mesothelioma

Recent changes in the way some states handle mesothelioma lawsuits may eventually have an impact nationwide. In Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court has voted unanimously to reject the scientific theory that even a small amount of asbestos can trigger asbestos diseases such as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a virulent cancer whose only known cause is exposure to the mineral asbestos. The Environmental Protection Agency has said there is no safe level of exposure, however scientific evidence suggests that risk of mesothelioma increases with increased asbestos exposure. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision means that plaintiffs in mesothelioma cases can no longer argue that exposure as small as a single fiber of asbestos could have triggered their disease. Instead, the court ruled that mesothelioma lawsuits … Continue reading States Wrestle with Legal Side of Mesothelioma »

9/11 Committee Recommends Mesothelioma Coverage

Firefighters and first responders at risk ofmesothelioma because of 9/11 may finally be getting some help from the federal government. The World Trade Center Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee has added a list of cancers – including mesothelioma – to the list of illnesses they feel should be covered by the Zadroga Act.  Passed by Congress in 2010, the Zadroga Act provides $4.3 billion to monitor, treat and compensate people affected by the 9/11 attacks. Although cancer was not on the original list of illnesses covered by the act, a number of scientific studies on emerging health effects convinced the Advisory Committee that it should be.  Even before first responders began getting sick, a Mount Sinai School of Medicine analysis of … Continue reading 9/11 Committee Recommends Mesothelioma Coverage »

GM Mesothelioma Claims May Rise

Creditors of the bankrupt remains of General Motors have won the right to estimate just how much the company could have to pay out to mesothelioma victims in the coming years. Like many car manufacturers, GM used asbestos as part of the brake linings in its vehicles for years.  This encapsulated asbestos poses a serious health hazard, including the potential for malignant mesothelioma, to anyone who disturbs it by working on those brakes.  Because brake work can release deadly asbestos dust into the air where it can be easily inhaled, auto mechanics are at risk for asbestos-related diseases, including not only mesothelioma, but also asbestosis and lung cancer. Because of this danger, GM is no stranger to asbestos-related lawsuits and mesothelioma claims.  … Continue reading GM Mesothelioma Claims May Rise »

Mesothelioma Verdicts Highlight the Asbestos Danger

Some large mesothelioma settlements this summer have resulted in more $25 million for victims of the disease from coast to coast. In New Orleans, former shipyard worker Leopold Granier, Jr. won his $1.5 million suit against Union Carbide, Avondale Shipyards and Cajun Insulation, alleging that the companies were negligent in allowing his exposure to cancer-causing asbestos.  Granier worked at the Avondale shipyard, which was once the largest employer in the state of Louisiana.  The jury found that the companies named in the suit produced products that were a “substantial and contributing cause” of Granier’s mesothelioma.  The shipyard is slated to close in 2013 because of reduced business from the Navy. In San Diego, a 70-year old Navy veteran won a $2.4 million … Continue reading Mesothelioma Verdicts Highlight the Asbestos Danger »

Mesothelioma Insurance Claims on the Rise

Insurance companies are seeing a rise in asbestos and mesothelioma insurance claims – even though the incidence of the disease has been gradually slowing. The Reuters News Agency is reporting that two major insurers – Hartford Financial and American International Group, Inc. (AIG) – have recently had to dramatically increase the amount of money they are holding in reserve for mesothelioma and other asbestos cases because of a higher number of claims in recent years.  The shift in funds meant a $290 million shortfall in earnings for Hartford Financial, making investors nervous about the company’s stability.  AIG worried its shareholders by moving $4.1 billion into its reserve fund. For decades before the link to mesothelioma and other illnesses was made known, asbestos … Continue reading Mesothelioma Insurance Claims on the Rise »

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