Weitz & Luxenberg Responds to Fraudulent Asbestos Training School
August 13, 2007, New York, NY— Weitz & Luxenberg has many clients whose
needless and entirely avoidable exposure to asbestos ultimately led to them developing
deadly diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. The risks to mishandling
asbestos, however, failed to stop a fraudulent asbestos removal school from
churning out hundreds of improperly trained students. Those workers will now
wonder if decades from now they might develop the same illnesses that afflict
the firm’s clients today.
On July 31, the owners of Senagryph Training Facilities, Inc., in Jackson Heights, Queens, were arraigned before Queens Criminal Court. Instructors at the school allegedly helped students cheat on their certification exam and encouraged those in the country illegally to use fraudulent social security numbers, according to the Associated Press. The defendants, Juan Herrera and Julia Herrera, in their alleged willingness to circumvent necessary safeguards, had the potential of endangering the health and safety of people performing asbestos abatement work, as well as anyone else who might have been working in the area at the time, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, as quoted in the AP.
Of the school’s apparent wanton disregard for the public’s welfare, Benjamin Darche, an attorney with the Asbestos Litigation unit at Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., said, “These allegations are nothing short of reprehensible. Causing someone to be exposed to asbestos without taking proper precautions can be the same as causing their death. Imagine how the public would react if a medical school was found giving students the answers to their final exams?”
Darche has worked extensively with clients who have been harmed by asbestos, fighting companies that have recklessly exposed their workers to the carcinogen. A former Assistant District Attorney in Queens County, Darche says he became a plaintiff’s lawyer, “to fight for the rights of people who have been wrongfully injured but can’t afford an attorney.”
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. In 1996, Weitz & Luxenberg obtained a $64.65 million award for four asbestos plaintiffs. The firm’s successes date back to 1991 when the firm won a historic consolidated trial 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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