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Founded more than 30 years ago, Weitz & Luxenberg set out to help people diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer linked to asbestos exposure.
Since then, we have grown to become one of the largest personal injury and mass tort law firms in the New Jersey and New York areas. Our clients in New Jersey get the best possible representation because Weitz & Luxenberg is both local and national.
We have a strong local presence in New Jersey: we are in court frequently; we know the Judge and Special Master, and they know us; we live and work in New Jersey, so we connect with local jurors.
Simultaneously, we have a strong national presence: we are the leading plaintiffs’ asbestos firm in the single best jurisdiction in the world, New York City; our outsized verdicts in NYC grant us leverage to negotiate with those same defendants in New Jersey; we are the 800-pound gorilla, and we are treated accordingly.
Every year, approximately 120 New Jersey residents are newly diagnosed with mesothelioma.(1) In fact, more than 1,650 New Jersey residents were diagnosed with mesothelioma between 2002 and 2014.(2)
Once a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma, the survival rate is poor. Generally speaking, the 5-year survival rate for malignant mesothelioma is only between 5 and 10 percent.(3)
As of 2013, the nationwide average asbestos-related death rate is 4.9 for every 100,000 people. The state average in New Jersey is much higher at 7.2 for residents. Some New Jersey counties even have more than double or even triple the national average. These include Cape May, Gloucester, Salem, Ocean, Camden, and Somerset counties.(4)
Some of these same counties also have the greatest number of asbestos-related deaths in New Jersey:(5)
Thousands of different types of commercial products contain asbestos. Some estimates place that number around 3,000.
In any homes built before 1978 in New Jersey, you may find asbestos in thermal insulation on boilers and pipes. You might also find it in any of these products:(6)
For decades, manufacturers and builders have used asbestos for a variety of reasons. Asbestos occurs naturally in the environment and is relatively cheap and easy to mine. In addition, this mineral is heat and chemical resistant, insulates well, and does not corrode.
Manufacturers may appreciate these qualities, but asbestos is toxic. Companies that expose people to it are putting people’s lives at risk. Asbestos exposure is linked to severe lung damage and disease, including forms of lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.(7)
Our New Jersey office was established in 1997. Since then, we have been able to get financial compensation for many of our clients who were the victims of exposure to asbestos.
Our attorneys in New Jersey regularly negotiate millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Across the firm, Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys have negotiated settlements and verdicts totaling $17 billion for our clients.
Some of our New Jersey settlements include victories for:
There are sites throughout New Jersey that are well-known for asbestos processing, usage, and exposure. Some of the worst offenders include power stations, refineries, manufacturing sites, chemical companies, and shipyards.
To stay afloat, companies may file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The company is reorganized. Money may be set aside in a trust, which oversees payments or distribution of the money to a third party.(8)
Since 2000, asbestos personal injury trusts have played an increasingly significant role in responding to claims involving asbestos-related injuries. These trusts, rather than the reorganized company, oversee the payment of compensation to victims who have filed asbestos-exposure lawsuits. There are billions of dollars in the trusts.(9)
Companies such as National Gypsum and Johns Manville have set aside money in trusts to resolve asbestos-exposure lawsuits.
The Johns Manville Products Corporation originated in 1858. Henry Ward Johns was living in a New York City tenement building. He used a clothes wringer and teakettle to create roofing shingles out of cloth and hot tar.(10)
Just a decade later, Johns had patented his first asbestos product. This asbestos product paved the way for the company’s success for the next 100 years.
In the late 1880s, Charles B. Manville and his sons started a pipe insulation company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They named it the Manville Covering Company. The company partnered with Henry Ward Johns to sell asbestos-containing products.
Just 15 years later, the two companies merged to become the Johns-Manville Corporation. They manufactured sheet packaging for cylinders, brake linings, asbestos cement, and acoustical products, among others.
Over the decades, sales grew into the millions. The company’s overwhelming success was built on the sale of asbestos-containing products.
However, asbestos-exposure lawsuits against the company had also been mounting. In 1982, the company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Its reorganization took several years.(11)
Two trusts emerged from the reorganization: one to resolve personal injury claims (the health fund trust) and the other to resolve property damage claims. Initially, $1 billion was set aside for the health fund trust.(12)
Since 1988, the Manville Personal Injury and Property Damage Settlement Trusts have been responding to asbestos-exposure lawsuits.(13)
National Gypsum was founded in 1925. Melvin H. Baker, Joseph F. Haggerty, and Clarence E. Williams developed a process designed to make gypsum wallboard lighter and more flexible. This product was made of a mixture of newsprint, the mineral gypsum, and starch.(14) (15)
Over the next few decades, National Gypsum grew and made millions of dollars, creating a variety of other products. By 1950, National Gypsum was making more than 150 building products and boasting $75 million in sales.(16)
In 1954, National Gypsum bought Abestone Corporation and an asbestos cement plant in New Jersey. The company’s asbestos products would later come back to haunt the company as people developed debilitating illnesses.(17)
In 1990, the company was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A new company with the same named emerged. More than $600 million in insurance policies was transferred to the NGC Settlement Trust to resolve asbestos-related claims brought against the old National Gypsum Company.(18)
By the early 1990s, the old National Gypsum Company was facing roughly 200,000 lawsuits brought by victims saying they had developed significant health issues from the company’s asbestos-containing products. The suits claimed the company had known that asbestos exposure could lead to cancer and lung diseases yet exposed people to this carcinogen anyway.(19)
The money set aside in the original trust couldn’t begin to resolve the emerging asbestos-exposure lawsuits. As a result, a new trust with additional funding was established on August 6, 2003. That trust is the NGC Bodily Injury Trust.(20)
As far back as 1931, people knew enough about asbestos and lung diseases to enact Britain’s Asbestos Industry Regulations. These regulations required companies to suppress dust in the dustiest and most hazardous areas of asbestos factories.(21)
However, diseases linked to asbestos exposure often take decades to develop. Because of this, people did not recognize the enormous toll asbestos would take on their health until the 1960s and 1970s. By then, U.S. citizens knew, the U.S. federal government knew, and businesses could no longer deny the dangers of the mineral.(22)
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversee federal regulations regarding asbestos both in and out of the workplace. Each state, including New Jersey, also has its own regulations.(23) (24) (25)
Weitz & Luxenberg was founded to help people diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses. Among our nearly 100 attorneys across the country, we have designated a specialized team of roughly 15 New Jersey mesothelioma lawyers who primarily handle these types of cases.
Our New Jersey team is based out of our office in Cherry Hill. If you become one of our clients, a W&L lawyer in N.J. will work with you personally. We’d like you to meet a few of our experienced attorneys:
Jerry Kristal had already spent 10 years fighting for families injured by asbestos when he joined Weitz & Luxenberg in 1997. Today, he is Managing Attorney of the firm’s New Jersey office. Driven since his…Read More
Leonard F. Feldman, Esq., runs our asbestos litigations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey from our offices in Cherry Hill, N.J. He joined Weitz & Luxenberg in 2009. An experienced trial attorney admitted to practice law…Read More
Alex Eiden has been an associate attorney in the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Practice Group litigation unit in the firm’s Cherry Hill office in New Jersey, since 2012. He came to us from a law office in…Read More
Jerry Kristal will be happy to review your case.
Leonard F. Feldman will be happy to review your case.
Robert M. Silverman will be happy to review your case.
F. Alexander Eiden will be happy to review your case.
Mary Grabish Gaffney will be happy to review your case.
If you live in New Jersey and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may want to contact a local mesothelioma lawyer. Although every state is expected to follow federal asbestos regulations, individual states also have their own.
New Jersey mesothelioma lawyers specialize in local laws and regulations regarding asbestos. The advantage to working with someone locally is that he or she knows not only the federal laws and regulations but also any statutes specific to New Jersey.