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Home Renovations Cause Mesothelioma and Result in Seven-Figure Settlement

March 12, 2012
Home Firm News Home Renovations Cause Mesothelioma and Result in Seven-Figure Settlement

Every day, people work on maintaining and repairing their homes. Little do you suspect that the products you are using can kill you. That’s what happened to our client.

In this tragic case, an accountant in New Jersey who was close to retirement age never got the chance. He died roughly a year after being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

The attorneys at Weitz & Luxenberg worked at getting our client compensation for his impending death. We successfully negotiated a financial seven-figure settlement with the companies responsible. Our firm’s attorneys often are able to deliver such good news; we have successfully gotten settlements and verdicts totaling $8 billion for our clients.

Weitz & Luxenberg attorney Leonard F. Feldman insists, “Companies should pay for it when their products endanger the lives and welfare of the people who use them. Our client received a death sentence from putting floor tile in his house. Weitz & Luxenberg believes in fighting to get his family justice.”

Asbestos Causes Cancer

Asbestos is a known carcinogen. Asbestos is a group of natural minerals which form bundles of fibers that can be used in commercial applications.

Asbestos has been used in insulation and in products like tile, drywall, and caulk. It is also a fire retardant.(1)

Asbestos has been used since the 1800s in many industries. In building and construction, asbestos strengthened cement and plastics as well as insulation. It was used for roofing, fireproofing, and sound absorption. Asbestos also has been used in ceiling and floor tiles, paints, coatings and adhesives, and plastics.

Exposure Came from Home Renovations

In this case, our client was exposed to asbestos when he and his wife worked to improve their home. The cause of this life-threatening cancer? Asbestos floor tiles.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, our client worked with his wife to remodel first their apartment in New York and then the house they bought together in New Jersey. At the house, our client and his wife laid tile almost everywhere: in the foyer, kitchen, laundry room, study, and family room. They also had to replace and repair tiles in the garage.

In both places, they did extensive work replacing the floor with these tiles. They would both be on their hands and knees on nights and weekends.

Asbestos in Floor Tile

As our client would be cutting the tiles, the dust would be flying. Our client’s wife recalls seeing all the different colors of tiles throughout the house, covered in dust.

When they did this, they were both breathing in tiny asbestos fibers that were in the air or dust from the cuttings and hammering.

Almost all of the tile work was done while they were living in their new home. There was always dust everywhere.

Mesothelioma Caused by Asbestos

Prolonged exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer affecting the tissues that cover the internal organs.

Pleural mesothelioma occurs when the cancer affects the tissues surrounding the lungs. Symptoms may not appear for decades after exposure to asbestos.

Wife’s Testimony Key

The testimony of our client’s wife was key to the asbestos floor tile manufacturer’s agreeing to pay a substantial dollar amount in damages. She was able to describe the actual boxes the floor tile came in, and the colors of the tiles; those descriptions were spot-on.

Our client’s wife testified that her husband had laid and repaired the tiles almost continually during roughly a decade. They spent nights and weekends repairing and improving their home.

“Having good, solid testimony from a reliable witness is one of the keys to a successful lawsuit. Even though our client was no longer with us, his wife was able to recall and describe the situations that ultimately led to his death,” explains Mr. Feldman.

Asbestos Lawsuit

The danger of asbestos exposure is so well established that in 1989 the Environmental Protection Agency issued a ban on all new uses of asbestos in the United States.(2)

Even as early as the 1970s, manufacturers — large corporations making millions of dollars in profits — knew their products contained asbestos and that asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma. While they may or may not have taken precautions to protect their employees, they definitely showed no concern for their customers.

Weitz & Luxenberg fights companies that show such callous disregard toward people. Let us fight for you and help you get the justice you deserve. If you or a loved one suffers from mesothelioma, contact Weitz & Luxenberg to explore your legal options.

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