Mesothelioma Survivors: Furnace Worker
Over $1.075 Million to Date Obtained for Family of New York Man Diagnosed with Asbestos-Related Cancer
Mesothelioma is a life-threatening form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. While the disease tragically claims the lives of many patients within the first year of diagnosis, other patients, sometimes called “mesothelioma survivors,” have successfully battled their illness and lived for many years after their diagnosis. This page profiles a New Yorkman who was exposed to asbestos in his work as a furnace installation worker.
If your family is facing a loved one’s diagnosis with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, please complete the form on this page to obtain important information from our mesothelioma lawyers about your legal rights and options.
A lifelong New Yorker who spent the majority of his professional career working for an international office equipment company was stunned to learn that a job he held for brief period as a young man caused him to be exposed to asbestos, a toxic mineral that caused him to develop mesothelioma cancer. As a “mesothelioma survivor,” this man beat the odds and lived for more than 5½ years after his diagnosis.
Shortly after his diagnosis, the man and his family chose to seek justice against the companies responsible for his disease. As part of that mesothelioma lawsuit, the man gave deposition testimony where he described his work history, his exposure to the dangerous carcinogen (cancer-causing substance), his diagnosis with mesothelioma, and his outlook for the future.
Shortly after being discharged from the Army, the Korean War veteran accepted a job with a furnace installation company. The man stated that he worked for the residential furnace installation and repair company for approximately three months. He testified that his job duties involved helping workers to set up furnaces for gas conversion. He recalled that he put up firebrick and patched fire doors, and also cleaned and resealed furnaces. He also testified that his work involved the use of asbestos-containing cement mix: “…in the mix they use for the fire doors was asbestos cement mix.”
After his brief employment for the furnace company, the man testified he accepted a position with the office equipment and machinery company. In the more than 35 years the man worked for this company, he stated he did not hold any position that would have required him to work with asbestos-containing materials (ACM). While the man testified that he worked in buildings in the office park that underwent renovation, he did not know for certain whether those building renovations would have caused him to inhale asbestos-containing dusts.
Health Problems Begin to Develop Almost 40 Years Later
The time between exposure to asbestos and when symptoms of an asbestos-related disease develop can be 30-40 or more years later (known as “latency periods”). This decades-long latency period is caused by the way in which asbestos fibers attach in the lungs. The sharp, jagged edges on microscopic asbestos fibers cause them to attach to lung tissues, where they eventually cause scarring—and in more serious cases—case the abnormal cells that form mesothelioma or asbestos lung cancer tumors to develop.
In this man’s case, he testified that more than 40 years after his work at the furnace company, he first began to experience symptoms of shortness of breath. After seeing his doctor, he was referred to a pulmonary (lung disease) specialist for additional testing, including x-rays and a CT scan. He was then told he had a “…tumor down low in the chest…a pleural effusion.” After undergoing a lung biopsy, he was told he had mesothelioma.
He then sought a second opinion with one of the nation’s premiere mesothelioma cancer specialists, who reviewed his test results. “He looked at the x-rays. He didn't do any biopsy. He said it was mesothelioma….They said it was mesothelioma.”
He testified that the only course of treatment his doctors had recommended for him was chemotherapy. At the time of his lawsuit deposition, the man had completed a three-month course of chemotherapy and stated that his doctors had told him it had “…reduced a little.”
Outlook for the Future
When asked about his general health, the man testified that “his side was sore…since I had this cancer.”
When asked about leisure activities, he stated that he was no longer able to enjoy walking and hiking, and that he could not do “…anything that requires any real endurance or your shortness of breath is right in as soon as you push it.”
At the time of his deposition, he and his wife were dependent upon his pension and Social Security pension. However, during his illness and even after his death, his family has benefited from approximately $1.075 million in lawsuit settlement proceeds obtained on his behalf by his attorneys.
How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer or asbestosis, we may be able to help you to seek justice for your illness and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Please complete the form on this page for a free and confidential review of your potential asbestos lawsuit or request a free copy of our asbestos sourcebook. A Weitz & Luxenberg representative will contact you as soon as possible.