Weitz & Luxenberg Responds: The NIOSH Asbestos Roadmap—Too Late for Thousands
July 17, 2007, New York, NY—Ten thousand Americans die each year from
asbestos-related diseases, and those diseases are responsible for one out of 125
deaths in men over age 50, says the Environmental Working Group.
Faced with these staggering statistics and projections that asbestos-related illnesses will claim the lives of 100,000 Americans in the next decade, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is evaluating future scientific research needs and answers to current scientific questions about asbestos, occupational exposures and the diseases caused by asbestos.
NIOSH presented its research strategy, “Asbestos and Other Mineral Fibers: A Roadmap for Scientific Research,” for public comment in May 2007. The organization is currently evaluating submissions received from experts in fields such as business, engineering, bioscience, medicine and law.
“While the results of the Roadmap will provide NIOSH with an important research tool, their efforts are decades too late for the thousands that have died from mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer,” said Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. attorney Joseph Patrick Williams.
A former prosecutor in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Williams has a long history of fighting for the rights of people on Long Island who thought they had no recourse. His current work with the firm continues that tradition by helping those whose lives have been impacted by the devastating effects of asbestos.
“You have to believe in what you are doing. I have that mentality,” said Williams of his role as a trial lawyer for asbestos plaintiffs. “I want to help the victims in their fight against these big corporations,” Williams added. “Asbestos is poison. It is the biggest industrial tragedy in our lifetime."
Weitz & Luxenberg is known for its pre-eminent role in the prosecution of asbestos cases. In 2007, the firm won a $37 million asbestos verdict in two lung cancer cases in a reverse bifurcated trial. In 2002, the firm won a $53 million verdict for a brake mechanic suffering from mesothelioma, and a $49 million verdict for a boilermaker who died from mesothelioma. The firm also won a historic consolidated trial in 1991 involving men who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in the 1940s and 1950s. Weitz & Luxenberg represented 36 clients in that case, securing verdicts of $75 million.
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