Tag Archives: mesothelioma victims

Mesothelioma Victims’ Victory in Pennsylvania


Workers and their families have won a victory in Pennsylvania after the state Supreme Court ruled that they could sue former employers over late-manifesting industrial diseases like mesothelioma. The decision focused on a provision in Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act that says workers cannot sue an employer if their occupational disease occurred more than 300 weeks after their on-the-job exposure. While many occupational injuries and diseases occur within weeks or months of exposure to a toxin, asbestos diseases like mesothelioma are a notable exception. Believed to be caused by chronic irritation from inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers, mesothelioma does not usually begin to cause symptoms until at least a decade after exposure. Expressing the opinion of the majority, Supreme Court Justice … Continue reading Mesothelioma Victims’ Victory in Pennsylvania »

Advocacy Groups Call for Global Asbestos Ban

A British organization established to support victims of mesothelioma is joining the call for a total ban on the substance that causes it. The National Asbestos Helpline is a national clearing house set up to support patients with mesothelioma and other asbestos-linked diseases and their families.  Because so many British homes and buildings were constructed when asbestos use was at its peak in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, Great Britain has one of the highest per capita rates of mesothelioma in the world.  Mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer, is caused by inhalation or ingestion of airborne asbestos fibers. In spite of the risk, asbestos is still used as an inexpensive building product and insulator around the world.  Now, as part of its support … Continue reading Advocacy Groups Call for Global Asbestos Ban »

Australian Court: Asbestos Company Directors Guilty

After a legal battle that lasted more than ten years and prompted a made-for-TV movie in Australia, seven former corporate directors were recently found guilty of lying to employees and the public about mesothelioma compensation. Building product company James Hardie Industries was Australia’s biggest producer of asbestos cement and had manufactured asbestos products of various kinds since the 1930’s. In 2001, it moved its operation overseas, leaving behind a trust fund for Australian workers whose asbestos exposure at work put them at risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. The company publicly stated that this mesothelioma compensation fund was ‘fully funded’ and would provide ‘certainty’ for current and future mesothelioma victims. In fact, the fund was on the verge of … Continue reading Australian Court: Asbestos Company Directors Guilty »

UK Announces “Landmark” Mesothelioma Ruling

Britain’s highest court has issued what is being called a ‘landmark’ ruling for victims of mesothelioma and other industrial diseases. Mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer of the membranous tissue (mesothelium) that surrounds the lungs and lines the abdomen. It is caused by exposure to asbestos.  Because of the heavy use of asbestos as an insulator and building material in the past, England now has one of the highest per capita rates of mesothelioma in the world. According to the country’ largest trade union, approximately 2,500 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year – about the same number as are diagnosed in the entire United States. Since mesothelioma can take decades to develop, the UK Supreme Court was being asked to decide … Continue reading UK Announces “Landmark” Mesothelioma Ruling »

Australia’s Mesothelioma Fight Comes to Television

Australia’s ongoing mesothelioma problem will soon be the subject of a two-part television miniseries. Produced by Australia’s ABC network and starring some of the country’s most respected actors, “The Devils Dust” tells the story of mesothelioma victim Bernie Banton.  Banton was a long time employee of James Hardie, an Australian manufacturer of fiber cement building products.  For years, the company added asbestos to its cement to increase its strength and durability.  After Banton was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 1999, he became an advocate for mesothelioma sufferers throughout the country. Although mesothelioma cases like Banton’s are tragically common in Australia, Banton’s case was brought into the national spotlight largely because of the book “Killer Company”, by journalist Matt Peacock.  It was Peacock … Continue reading Australia’s Mesothelioma Fight Comes to Television »

More Mesothelioma Among Oil Refinery Workers

The process of refining crude oil into gasoline and other products is essential to modern life, but it could be deadly to the lives of thousands of people who have worked in oil refineries. Mesothelioma can take 20 to 50 years after exposure to develop. There are about 2000 cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year and a disproportionate number of them are found in former oil refinery workers. Because the refining process involves the application of high heat to potentially flammable materials, there is a constant risk of fire in refineries.  To minimize the risk and, ironically, to protect workers, heat-resistant asbestos was traditionally used throughout refineries.  Asbestos or Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) can still be found as insulation around pipes, … Continue reading More Mesothelioma Among Oil Refinery Workers »

Electrician’s Mesothelioma Death Highlights Asbestos Risk

The death of an electrician from mesothelioma is making headlines in Great Britain.  An inquest has concluded that a British electrician who helped build a Nuclear Power Station in Gloucestershire died as a direct result of asbestos exposure.  UK newspaper The Gazette reports that Gerald Brown, who died in November of mesothelioma, was an apprentice with NG Bailey of Yorkshire when the power station was built. According to the results of the inquest, Brown died as a direct result of the large amount of asbestos used at the plant.  Although he did not work directly with asbestos, Brown claims to have seen clouds of the mineral dust throughout the plant while he worked there and even remembered going home from work covered … Continue reading Electrician’s Mesothelioma Death Highlights Asbestos Risk »