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Sue Crawford ‘s StoryOct. 7, 2015
Sue Crawford, Pennsylvania
While my dad was dying of mesothelioma, his biggest fear was that Mom wouldn’t be taken care of after he was gone.
His retirement pension from the steel mill where he worked was hardly anything. And the amount Mom was getting from Social Security was nowhere near enough for her to get by on.
That’s why I’m so glad Dad got help from Weitz & Luxenberg. Were he still alive, he would be really pleased to see how things have worked out.
So far, Mom has received many settlements — with more still to come. It overwhelms us, the amount of money she’s gotten. Mom’s going to be very comfortable and set for the rest of her life.
Dad was only 78 when he died. He developed mesothelioma because he worked around asbestos.
At the steel mill, he was a bricklayer. They laid him off and then later rehired him as a rigger. A rigger’s job was to cut pipes and to assemble and dismantle buildings. He came in contact with asbestos many times as both a bricklayer and as a rigger.
There are five children in our family. To make ends meet Dad also worked on the side pouring concrete and doing remodeling work using products that contained asbestos. Dad retired in 1985. In 2009, he started experiencing problems with his chest and was having to clear his throat a lot.
After many doctor’s visits and lab tests he was diagnosed with mycobacterium, a non-contagious, tuberculosis-like bacteria in his lung. The oral antibiotics that were prescribed didn’t clear the bacteria. He was then hospitalized with pneumonia. Our family wasn’t satisfied with the care he was getting.
I had worked for 26 years at Hershey Medical Center here in Pennsylvania and was acquainted with many of the pulmonary and infectious disease physicians. I told Dad he should go to HMC for a second opinion.
They confirmed his diagnosis and for six months he had to go to the hospital twice a day, seven days a week, for intravenous antibiotics.
The mycobacterium didn’t go away completely and he was hospitalized again with pneumonia. The doctors ordered further testing and that’s when they diagnosed him with end-stage mesothelioma.
My brother, Kenny, who’s a retired police officer — the first thing he did was go online to look up mesothelioma. He had heard of it, but didn’t know much about it.
While searching for mesothelioma information, Kenny came across the website of a mesothelioma advocacy group. He contacted them and they gave him lists of resources we could use to get Dad help for all kinds of issues and concerns he could expect to have.
One of the resources was a list of law firms that deal with mesothelioma cases. Weitz & Luxenberg was on that list and came highly recommended.
So Kenny decided to call them on Dad’s behalf. He spoke with Len Feldman. Len runs the asbestos department for Weitz & Luxenberg’s cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Kenny appreciated the information he received from Len. It was very encouraging information that helped explain what Dad might be able to achieve by suing the companies that made and sold the asbestos products he worked with.
Later that same day, Len drove out to personally meet with Dad and also Mom and Kenny — I was there for the meeting too, but later. Len impressed us all as a man with a very caring heart. He also gave us plenty of reasons to be confident.
During this meeting, Len walked us through the process of starting a mesothelioma lawsuit. He told us that Weitz & Luxenberg would do all the heavy lifting and be there for us every step of the way.
Kenny in particular was impressed with how quickly Weitz & Luxenberg was able to get into gear for us.
The one moment when we realized that we’d definitely made a good choice by going with Weitz & Luxenberg was right after the deposition. That’s a thing where all the defense lawyers and the Weitz & Luxenberg lawyers meet outside of court to question the plaintiff as if he’s in court and on the witness stand.
The defense lawyers at a deposition try every trick they know to show that the plaintiff doesn’t remember anything about how or when or where he came into contact with asbestos. But they weren’t able to trip up Dad because he could remember those details — before the deposition, Weitz & Luxenberg helped him retrace his steps from many years back so that he could recall the names of the asbestos products he used, where he bought them, what job he used them on and so on.
Throughout the deposition, Len and his team made sure Dad was physically comfortable. He wasn’t bedridden, but Dad did have to wear a tube to drain the fluids from his chest. You could tell that the Weitz & Luxenberg people really cared about him.
It’s for that and many other reasons that I would highly recommend Weitz & Luxenberg to anyone who has mesothelioma. This is a law firm that goes above and beyond for their clients. They certainly did for us.