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W&L Settlement in Mesothelioma Case for Mechanic Who Did Home Construction

March 12, 2018
Home Firm News W&L Settlement in Mesothelioma Case for Mechanic Who Did Home Construction

Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys filed a lawsuit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of a professional mechanic and home construction worker in his 60s.

Our client had been diagnosed with the deadly cancer mesothelioma. We sought to hold responsible the manufacturers who made the asbestos-containing products that made him sick.

Settlements Paid by Defendants

There were more than a dozen companies named as defendants in the lawsuit, all of whom settled.

Using our extensive negotiating skills for our client’ benefits, Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys have achieved settlements and verdicts of a total $17 billion.

Our client received settlement money for products containing asbestos, such as caulk, sheetrock, ceiling and floor tiles, and brakes and brake linings.

Weitz & Luxenberg attorney Mary Grabish Gaffney describes our client as “a likeable guy and a proud grandfather with strong family support.” She continues, “We are proud to help our client get the justice he deserves in his case.”

Married for four decades, our client is a family man with grown children. He first experienced symptoms of mesothelioma in the fall of 2015.

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos, yet the symptoms often do not appear until decades later. This form of cancer affects the thin tissues that line the chest, lungs, and abdomen.(1)

Asbestos is a group of minerals that form strong fibers that can be used in products to add strength or to insulate. Its commercial applications have been extensive.

Repeated exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency banned all new uses of asbestos in the United States.

Exposure to asbestos often occurs while working with products that contain asbestos, especially when that work creates dust, which is then inhaled. The tiny asbestos fibers released into a dust, or the air, can become trapped in the lungs.

These fibers cause cells to mutate. The mutated cells can become cancerous mesothelioma.

Asbestos Exposure More Likely with Certain Types of Work

There are some professions where exposure to asbestos-containing products occurs more frequently. Professional mechanics and construction workers are among those who are at higher risk of asbestos exposure, due to the nature of the work they perform and the products they use.(2)

Beginning in the 1960s and continuing for more than a decade, the client was repeatedly exposed to asbestos while working with and around asbestos-containing products when doing home construction and working as an auto mechanic.

Home Construction and Asbestos Exposure

During home construction projects, our client installed asbestos-containing floor and ceiling tiles in his own home and in his parent’s home. These home projects involved cutting and sanding the edges of tiles, creating an asbestos-laced dust in the air that he would breathe in as he worked.

Dust was created when he would remove or install caulking around windows, scraping out and sanding the residue from the old caulk. He sanded the new caulk after it dried and then he swept up, inhaling the resultant dust.

Whenever he used joint compound, it came pre-mixed, in a metal can. After gutting drywall, he would use the joint compound where the joints connected. He would apply several coats and once it dried sand in between each coat. Our client would be white when he was done sanding and would sweep up the dust each time, re-exposing himself.

While many of the products he used in these home construction projects were labeled as having asbestos in them, there were no warning labels about the hazards of asbestos exposure.

Mechanics Get Exposed to Asbestos

While working as a professional mechanic on large trucks and tractor trailers, our client often was subject to occupational friction exposure as he removed or installed original equipment, such as manufacturer brakes and parts.

In doing this work, he would chisel off the brake residue and use an air compressor to blow out the old dust. He then sanded the new brakes prior to installing them on vehicles.

Sometimes, he replaced clutches. When he did this, he removed the bell housing and the built-up clutch residue. He removed the residue using paint and wire brushes.

Next, he would blow out the residue with his mouth, inhaling the resultant dust. He then sanded the new clutches prior to installing them.

Again, the products he used were labeled as having asbestos in them. But there were no warnings on the packaging about the hazards of asbestos exposure.

Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help

According to Ms. Gaffney, “Asbestos is hazardous; exposure to it causes mesothelioma. There are no positive outcomes for those who suffer from this terrible disease. We at Weitz & Luxenberg fight to get justice for our clients, and their families, when they have been victimized by companies who put profits above their workers and customers.”

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, Weitz & Luxenberg can help you explore your legal options. Please contact one of our representatives now.

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