A medical doctor worked hard all his life and became a successful businessman. Then tragedy struck and he was diagnosed with mesothelioma — a terrible cancer. Exposure to products containing asbestos that began in his childhood, continued through construction jobs, and even occurred while he did lab work during pharmacy school all contributed to his illness.
Happily, his Weitz & Luxenberg attorney successfully negotiated a large multimillion dollar settlement for this New Jersey resident. It was negotiated individually with each of the numerous giant corporate defendants who manufactured and sold the asbestos-containing products.
“This settlement holds the defendants accountable for the harm they have done to our client as a result of their negligent business practices,” says attorney, Alex Eiden. “Our client is fighting for his life against his cancer. Hopefully, this financial settlement will less his — and his family’s — pain and suffering.”
The defendants in this case included a boiler manufacturer, glass container and packaging manufacturer, laboratory services and equipment supplier, and construction and roofing suppliers. The companies were all very well aware of the dangers of asbestos.
Still, their business practices displayed indifference to the health and well-being of their customers. Customers worked with dangerous asbestos without being warned of the ticking time bomb it could be.
History of Exposure
That corporate indifference went back years because our client’s exposure began when he was just a teenager. From the 1960s to the mid-1970s he was exposed to asbestos in several ways and at numerous times.
Early Exposure to Boilers
The doctor was first exposed to asbestos as a teenager, while he worked in his uncle’s boiler and furnace business. He worked with his uncle to demolish, convert and service boilers.
As part of the job, several times each month, our client served as a “gopher” who carried supplies — bricks, 50-pound bags of asbestos, and tools— then cleaned up afterwards, his uncle testified.
Additionally, the doctor was present when his uncle would convert boilers from coal to oil. This work required him to cut bricks containing asbestos and sweep up after the job was done.
Along with this direct exposure, there was secondary exposure. The doctor lived next door to his uncle. Growing up, he would hug his uncle on a daily basis when he arrived home from work, wearing soiled asbestos-covered work clothing.
The doctor was further exposed to asbestos as he worked with his father and brother flipping houses. He would fill in on weekends during the school year.
While doing these home renovations, our client worked with asbestos-containing wallboard and sheetrock. He also used flooring materials, plumbing materials (including caulk), and roofing materials (such as tar paper and shingles). All of these materials contained asbestos.
Our client continued working construction outside of pharmacy school to make extra money. He worked during breaks, summers, and when he had any extra time off from school.
He also worked for a construction company in the early 1970s as a brick layer. In this job, he mixed mortar. He was also exposed to joint compound, wallboard, caulk, roofing materials and other asbestos-containing construction products.
Lab Equipment Contains Asbestos
While he was in pharmacy school, the doctor worked with various lab products as part of his training. His exposure to asbestos came from wearing lab protective equipment, performing experiments, and cleaning up lab accidents.
Some of the lab products containing asbestos included:
- Hot plates.
High Risk Industries for Asbestos Exposure
Our client’s experiences clearly illustrate that there are greater risks of exposure associated with industries which make use of asbestos containing products. People are more likely to be exposed to asbestos if they work as:
- Automobile mechanics.
- Construction and building tradesmen.
- Demolition workers.
- Insulation workers.
- Ship builders.
- Asbestos textiles manufacturers.
- Asbestos miners.
- Asbestos millers. (1)
In these industries, workers use asbestos containing products that create asbestos dust when disturbed. Workers then breathe in this dust or swallow it. After years and repeated exposure, they are more likely to develop mesothelioma and other asbestos related health issues.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure
Exposure to asbestos causes mesothelioma to develop. Mesothelioma is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer and affects the tissues lining the lungs, abdomen, heart and other organs.
Symptoms of mesothelioma can take decades to appear. (2) This is true even when that exposure is secondary, when you are physically exposed to someone who works with asbestos. (3)
Asbestos, a heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral, gives off dust when disturbed. Once inhaled, asbestos fibers remain in your body for years. Repeated exposure tends to result in an accumulation, causing more damage. (4)
Weitz & Luxenberg Makes a Difference
Even though our client’s exposure went back several decades, Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys were able to demonstrate the defendants were responsible for the exposure the doctor suffered and the fact that he contracted mesothelioma.
Our client is a very successful medical doctor with offices serving patients in the fields of primary care and radiology. Since his diagnosis, he and his family have suffered significant economic losses. And his medical bills continue to mount as he fights for his life.
This settlement assures that our client and his family are compensated in some degree for the pain and suffering which they have and will continue to endure. Their pain and suffering are a result of callous corporate giants who knew their products were unsafe because they contained cancer-causing asbestos.
Mr. Eiden emphasizes, “Weitz & Luxenberg takes on cold-hearted corporate giants who prey upon people’s health. We are proud to get justice for our clients. It is in cases like this, when our clients cannot defend themselves, where Weitz & Luxenberg makes a difference.”