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Our clients are the driving force for what we do. It is all about our clients. The feeling is amazing when a settlement for a client comes through. It is something we can give our clients. A kind of resolution and closure. To help them keep going. That’s what really matters.
James A. Plastiras has joined Weitz & Luxenberg’s team of litigators handling asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He comes to us with over a decade of experience handling asbestos exposure and mesothelioma litigations, with a strong record of winning those cases.
Much of his attention is focused on talcum powder contaminated with asbestos. He is a key player in our efforts of going up against cosmetic industry giants.
Mr. Plastiras has been working in asbestos litigation since 2009. Since 2017, he has focused 95% of his legal litigation efforts on asbestos-contaminated talcum powder.
He has helped secure multiple settlements against multiple defendants, amounting to over $24 million. His clients include mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. Several of these settlements were for over $1 million each.
His clients had developed mesothelioma. Not by working in factories or construction yards, but by using talcum powder on themselves and their family members and breathing in dangerous asbestos fibers.
“I hadn’t set out to pursue asbestos exposure and mesothelioma litigation,” Mr. Plastiras admits. “I just sort of fell into it. But I do have a personal connection to the harm it can do. My grandfather was a navy machinist and he died of stomach cancer caused by exposures to harmful substances in the workplace.
He details, “Even more, once I started working with clients who had been harmed by asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, I knew I’d found the work I want to do and the people I want to help. I love working with my clients.”
Mr. Plastiras continues, “I want to do whatever I can to offer hope and justice. The really important part of the work I do is seeing the effect I have on real lives — some semblance of security. I can’t undo the damage asbestos exposure has caused, but I can put my clients’ minds at ease in letting them know their families are being provided for.”
“Traditionally, when we think of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, what comes to mind are blue-collar workers who were exposed to asbestos through their jobs. When it comes to asbestos exposure through talc products, we are talking about a whole different type of client,” Mr. Plastiras explains.
“Weitz & Luxenberg has been a forerunner in this type of litigation, and I am excited to be a part of the firm’s talc t litigation team. It’s motivating to be involved in the research and investigation, and building on the work already begun. And when we win, on the personal side, it is vindication for all the preparation we’ve done as a team,” he points out.
“Weitz & Luxenberg has helped thousands and thousands of clients, and I’m thrilled to be part of this continuing legacy,” Mr. Plastiras states.
“Defendants claim we’re making up the severity of these cases. Their denials are ridiculous. The reality is exposure to talcum powders contaminated with asbestos can lead to mesothelioma,” he emphasizes.
“The companies manufacturing talcum powders have marketed these products for decades as safe for consumer use. This means our clients are getting younger and younger. They were often exposed when they were babies or young children,” Mr. Plastiras says.
“These companies deceived consumers, lied to federal agencies, and covered up how dangerous their products are. They need to be held accountable. Shockingly, they still market their products as safe and healthy — with posters and other marketing devices showing loving parents using these asbestos-contaminated products on their infants.”
Tremolite asbestos is not mined for commercial use, but it shows up as a contaminant in multiple substances. “This stuff is deadly,” Mr. Plastiras insists.
“The cosmetics industry has been finding tremolite asbestos fibers in their talc for years. As litigators, we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of what the cosmetics industry has been covering up for decades,” Mr. Plastiras adds.
“This is scary stuff,” Mr. Plastiras emphasizes. “Here it is 2022. We should not be able to buy any products with asbestos off the shelves. We’ve found it in talcum body powder products and we’re discovering it in other cosmetics products containing talc as well.”
Before joining W&L, Mr. Plastiras spent five years as an associate attorney at another personal injury law firm. He was representing individuals injured through exposure to harmful and defective products. These cases occurred in federal and state courts across the country.
Primarily, he focused on cases involving asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products and asbestos-containing equipment. Mr. Plastiras handled litigations from start to finish, working to build cases, and expecting to go to trial. In some instances, defendants backed down at the last minute, agreeing to settle for millions of dollars.
Earlier, he worked as a law clerk and associate attorney at a different personal injury law firm. Mr. Plastiras worked with clients, prepared documents for filing in federal and state courts across the United States, researched legal topics, and prepared clients for depositions.
Mr. Plastiras has also served as senior project manager and consultant, managing the development of a claims administration project for a trust fund created by the Federal Bankruptcy Courts. He was a subject matter expert in the asbestos claims industry, with a focus on the product and exposure requirements.
Before graduating from law school, Mr. Plastiras worked as a paralegal and bankruptcy department manager. He researched medical and exposure documents to identify potential claims to be filed with asbestos trust funds. He then filed those claims and negotiated settlement amounts.
Mr. Plastiras earned his J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law in New York City. He earned his B.A. from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Outside the office, “I love chauffeuring my three children from one event or activity to another,” Mr. Plastiras laughs.
He enjoys winding down by playing his guitar. He also loves being active — snowboarding, golfing, running, and fishing.
James A. Plastiras will be happy to review your case.