Asbestos fears close Kentucky elementary school

Part of a public elementary school in Western Kentucky closed recently after construction workers found a substance that appeared to be asbestos.

Classes were called off at South Heights Elementary School in Henderson when contractors uncovered the material while tearing up carpet. School officials are worried that tiny asbestos particles under the carpet migrated into hallways and classrooms.

Asbestos is a silent killer, sometimes taking years or even decades to make its victims ill. Those who are exposed to asbestos, including factory workers, janitors, electricians and plumbers, can later be diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma, a rare disease that starts in the mesothelium, which is the protective lining covering the internal organs of the body. asbestos

Asbestos is a carcinogen, and is highly regulated by state and federal government. The Kentucky Division for Air Quality, through 401 KAR 58:040, makes sure that workers performing asbestos abatement are fully qualified because of the potential health risks of the substance. It requires that these workers and their employers are certified to handle asbestos removal.

If you worked in an environment where you might have been subjected to asbestos fibers, even decades ago, you should talk to a lawyer about your legal options. Employers where asbestos could exist include hospitals, oil refineries, military bases and even public schools like the one mentioned above. If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma, contact Attorney Alex Davis for a free case evaluation.

Mesothelioma lawsuit: asbestos in factory tied to cancer risk

If you worked in a factory, a public elementary school, or as a plumber or electrician over the last forty years, chances are high that you were exposed to asbestos particles.

Most workers across Kentucky and Indiana had the good fortune of not getting sick due to this asbestos exposure, but a small fraction of people have contracted lung cancer or mesothelioma, a rare disease that starts in the mesothelium, which is the protective lining covering the internal organs of the body. If you became sick due to this exposure, the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is a great place to find information about this terrible disease and the workplace conditions that can lead to it. meso-absestos

There are three main types of mesothelioma. Pleural, the most common type, takes place in the lining of the lung, called the pleura. Peritoneal mesothelioma is found in the lining of the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum. Finally, pericardial mesothelioma starts in the pericardium, which lines the heart.

Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of all types of mesothelioma. But don’t expect the company responsible for the exposure to compensate you for the illness without a fight. Medical expenses tied to this rare illness can easily stretch into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. You may be entitled to additional compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of wages, and other damages. If you or a loved one suspect that you may have become sick due to asbestos exposure, either in the workplace or in the Army, Navy, or Air Force, contact Attorneys Alex Davis or Jasper Ward for a free case evaluation.

Report: asbestos victim's death tied to lawyers' brutal tactics

Victims of asbestos exposure face a grueling ordeal — the symptoms of their illness, either lung cancer of mesothelioma, present a brutal way to live out their final days. But in the case of one such asbestos victim, John Johnson of California, a news report shows that those final days may have been made worse by the tactics of lawyers representing the companies that Johnson was suing as part of his asbestos mesothelioma lawsuit.

The lawyers for the asbestos companies, aware that Johnson’s health was precarious, nonetheless submitted him to 25 hours of grueling questioning under oath. You can read the full story about Johnson’s death in this story in the Los Angeles Times. Here’s a telling quote from the story about Johnson’s depositions with the defense attorneys:

“I couldn’t believe that we had spent so much time trying to save this guy and these other people come in really trying to kill him,” says Johnson’s thoracic surgeon, Robert B. Cameron of UCLA Medical School. “You can tell when a lawyer is smelling death — they were pounding him with the same questions over and over again.”

As many as 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. The disease affects the linings of the lungs, or pleura. People who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and lung cancer often were exposed to asbestos years earlier, in settings such as shipyards, barge building companies, public schools, or work as plumbers and electricians. Obtaining financial compensation for these injuries can be a complicated and time-consuming process. In some cases, dozens of companies are involving in the manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of the materials containing asbestos.
Mesothelioma Lungs
If you want to learn more about asbestosis and mesothelioma, one helpful resource is the Pacific Mesothelioma Center. Another is the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Or you can read our previous blog posts about asbestos and mesothelioma. To learn more about your legal options related to asbestos and mesothelioma, contact Attorney Alex Davis for a free case evaluation.

Mesothelioma lawsuit verdict: $48 million for injured plaintiff

A $48 million verdict on behalf of a California mesothelioma patient and his family is being hailed as one of the top 100 legal verdicts in the United States last year.

The decision held that Dow Chemical’s subsidiary, Union Carbide, is responsible for the most of the damages in what was the largest mesothelioma verdict in the nation last year.

Up to 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. The disease affects the linings of the lungs, or pleura. People who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and lung cancer often were exposed to asbestos years earlier, in settings such as shipyards, barge building companies, public schools, or work as plumbers and electricians.

“The chemical industry spent millions to cover up just how dangerous asbestos exposures were,” John Langdoc, one of the lawyers in the California case, told one news source.

To learn more about your legal options related to asbestos and mesothelioma, contact Attorney Alex Davis for a free case evaluation.

Man Wins a $38 Million Verdict in a South Carolina Asbestos Suit

Crane Pumps 9-18-2013A South Carolina jury awarded a Wagener equipment worker, Lloyd Strom Garvin, 74, and his wife, Velda, $38 million for health problems linked to asbestos.

The full breakdown was $10 million in actual damages, $1 million in actual damages to Mrs. Garvin for loss of consortium, $11 million each from two defendants, Durco and Crane, in punitive damages, and $5 million in punitive damages from Defendant Byron Jackson.

Crane said their company will appeal. The jury deliberated for four hours and reached a verdict at 9 PM on Wednesday, September 11. Mr. Garvin’s lawsuit named 13 defendants at first, but most had been dropped or settled by the time the trial began on Aug. 26.

According to John Monk at The State, Byron Jackson, Crane, and Durco are large pump and valve manufacturers whose gaskets and packing in their valves and pumps contained asbestos. Mr. Garvin used their valves and pumps in factory and farm work, and was thus exposed to the asbestos, throughout his life.

Mr. Garvin’s lawyers argued that defendants Crane, Durco and Byron Jackson used asbestos in their products, should have known about its dangers, and failed to take action to warn or protect people like Mr. Garvin who work with their pumps and valves. They also argued that Mr. Garvin’s mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of cancer almost always associated with asbestos exposure.

Mr. Garvin is expected to have less than a year to live. In her closing arguments, Garvin’s attorney asked the jury to award $1 million in actual damages for each year of life that Garvin would miss due to his cancer. Garvin’s life expectancy would have been another 10 to 11 years without the asbestos exposure, she argued.

Large verdicts like this one happen when there has been a lot of harm done, and because the jury felt the Defendants could easily have avoided the harm. They remind us that the justice system still works for the little guys when they are injured by big companies.

If you have been injured as a result of your use of a product, the attorneys at Jones Ward PLC would be happy to speak with you about your rights. Please contact R. Lauren Horner at lauren@jonesward.com.

Company used study to avoid liability for asbestos injuries

As many as 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. The disease affects the linings of the lungs, or pleura. People who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and lung cancer often were exposed to asbestos years earlier, in settings such as shipyards, barge building companies, public schools, or work as plumbers and electricians.

Obtaining financial compensation for these injuries can be a complicated and time-consuming process. In some cases, dozens of companies are involving in the manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of the materials containing asbestos.

One such company with potential liability for asbestos claims is Georgia-Pacific Corp., which makes paper and wood products as well as insulation and other consumer goods.gp_ready_mix_large

According to a recent news report, Georgia-Pacific Corp. launched a secret asbestos study to try to relieve the company from its potential legal troubles connected to a certain type of joint compound. The report from the Center for Public Integrity says that Georgia-Pacific faced almost $1 billion in liability from injuries caused by asbestos in the putty-like building material. The compound was made in the 1960s and 1970s, and is among numerous building materials, mostly related to drywall, that are now known to contain dangerous substances.

The company, which was named in more than 60,000 legal claims, launched the secret research program to try to convince courts that its product was not harmful. The Center for Public Integrity uncovered documents showing that Georgia-Pacific paid 18 scientists a combined $6 million to look at the toxicology of its joint compound product.

Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of all types of mesothelioma. But don’t expect the company responsible for the exposure to compensate you for the illness without a fight. Medical expenses tied to this rare illness can easily stretch into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. You may be entitled to additional compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of wages, and other damages. If you or a loved one suspect that you may have become sick due to asbestos exposure, contact Attorneys Alex Davis or Jasper Ward for a free case evaluation.

Secret Georgia Pacific Anti-Asbestos Study Finally Coming to Light

Georgia-Pacific Corp., a key defendant in many personal injury lawsuits because of its widely used asbestos-containing joint compound, funded a private and secret research project in 2005 with the sole goal to exonerate its product as a cause of mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by ingestion of asbestos fibers. Georgia-Pacific paid 18 scientists over $6 million and told them to hold the results “in the strictest confidence.” The scientists were under the direct supervision of Georgia Pacific’s longtime head of toxicology who was, in turn, “specially employed” by the company’s in-house counsel.

This strategy, borrowed from the tobacco industry playbook, allowed Georgia-Pacific to control the science and claim all communications as privileged — not subject to discovery in litigation. The goal of course being that lawyers representing asbestos victims would never be allowed to see the results of the study unless, of course, they were beneficial to Georgia-Pacific.

Georgia-Pacific has refused to turn over study-related documents to plaintiffs in thousands of asbestos cases in New York City. The company argues the materials are protected under attorney-client privilege and as attorney work product. A New York appellate court, however, found Georgia-Pacific may have perpetrated a fraud, thus waiving any privilege, and ordered that the study materials be turned over to a judge for review.

Georgia-Pacific has yet to turn over the documents and is considering appealing the New York decision. Regardless, pressure is mounting on Georgia-Pacific to surrender these secret documents and on other asbestos defendants to stop manufacturing false science.

The attorneys at Jones Ward PLC have many years of experience litigating against the largest asbestos defendants in the country. If you or a loved one has suffered an asbestos-related illness, please contact attorney David G. Bryant at david@jonesward.com.

Asbestos Victims Under Attack In U.S. Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives is voting on two bills that will have a negative impact on victims of asbestos exposure and their families. The House is voting on the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act [H.R. 982] – which would violate asbestos victims’ privacy and allow asbestos corporations to delay and deny justice until asbestos victims die.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of asbestos disease, or if you want to protect the rights of others injured by asbestos, please Contact Congress about FACT Act.

Find your member of Congress by clicking here;
Click on the representative’s name to go to his/her website and find their contact information;
Use the talking points below to tell them why they should oppose the bills.

Talking Points
H.R. 982 (FACT Act) would violate asbestos victims’ privacy and allow asbestos corporations to delay and deny justice until asbestos victims die. This bill is designed to benefit only corporations such as Honeywell and Union Carbide that knowingly exposed millions of Americans to deadly asbestos.

H.R. 982 will disproportionately harm veterans, who have been disproportionately exposed to asbestos. This bill is anti-veterans, anti-victims, and anti-privacy.

Even the White House has come out against the FACT Act. In a statement earlier this week, the White House warned that the legislation would make publicly available the personal information of individuals who had filed asbestos-related injuries. Additionally, it said that asbestos fraud was a non-existent problem. “The legislation is based on the false assertion that there is endemic fraud in the asbestos trust system,” the statement said.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of asbestos exposure, please contact Jones Ward PLC asbestos attorney David G. Bryant.

Hip implant lawyer answers questions on mass tort lawsuits

Filing a lawsuit against a giant corporation can seem like a daunting task. That’s why hundreds of people with claims related to defective metal-on-metal hip implants and other products trust the lawyers at Jones Ward PLC to handle the details of their cases. In addition to the complicating and often expensive details of a case against a major corporation, it can take years to resolve a hip implant claim. It’s not uncommon for a hip implant lawsuit against a company such as Biomet, DePuy, Stryker, Zimmer, or Wright to take several years to resolve.

Why does it take so long, and how does the process differ from traditional personal injury lawsuits? Attorney Alex Davis of Jones Ward PLC gives this short overview of the process.

Jones Ward Head Shot  Alex Cropped Small

1. How is a hip implant lawsuit different from a car wreck lawsuit? Unlike a lawsuit where one plaintiff sues one defendant, there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of plaintiffs with very similar injuries in product liability cases such as this. People injured by metal-on-metal hip implants often have to undergo a costly and painful surgery called revision. They may experience months of pain and trouble sleeping, walking, and even sitting due to their recalled or defective prosthetic device. Because there are so many people with similar injuries, this is sometimes called a mass tort. Unlike a car wreck lawsuit, where the plaintiff and defendant usually must both testify in court, it is rare for a plaintiff in a mass tort case to actually go to trial. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but your case would need to be selected as one of a handful of so-called bellwether cases to be tried in court. In the DePuy ASR hip implant litigation, for example, there are more than 11,000 plaintiffs. About a dozen of those plaintiffs will go to trial.

2. Are hip implant cases part of a class action? Most product liability cases involving medical devices are not part of a class action lawsuit. That’s partly because there are just too many individual unique details in each case. Instead, they are often consolidated in a special proceeding called Multi-District Litigation, or MDL for short. There are many advantages to an MDL, and some pitfalls too. One aspect of the process is that each plaintiff retains his or her right to a trial by jury in their home state, even if the MDL court is located in Minnesota (Stryker), Ohio or Texas (DePuy) or Indiana (Biomet).

3. Why does it take so long to resolve a mass tort case? The time required to settle or resolve a mass tort case depends on the facts and the product involved. However, in a case such as the DePuy ASR hip recall, the defendant manufacturer produced more than 50 million pages of documents as evidence. In addition, there are dozens of expert witnesses and doctors on each side, and thousands more pages of medical records for each plaintiff. The group of lawyers representing the plaintiffs — sometimes called a Plaintiffs Steering Committee — must prove each aspect of the case against the defendant in order to succeed. Sometimes a settlement agreement is reached early. Sometimes it is reached only after a handful of trials. With so much evidence, even one trial can take months of preparation on both sides.

4. What kind of proof do I need? A successful hip implant claim starts with medical records showing the type of device your surgeon used. Typically, the device must have been implanted between 2002 and 2012 in order to be a true metal-on-metal hip. Additional records may also be needed from your employer, your federal income tax returns, and your other medical providers including hospital and physical therapy. These records are confidential, and are protected by federal privacy laws. Your attorney will order the records and evaluate them to analyze why your hip implant failed. If the claim is valid, much of this information will be incorporated into a document called a Plaintiff Fact Sheet. You won’t have to pay anything for this service up front. Lawyers in cases such as this only earn a fee if the case is resolved successfully. That’s called a contingent fee relationship.

Here is a list of some of the hip implant devices under litigation by the attorneys at Jones Ward PLC.

Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG: Feb. 2009 to June 2012.

DePuy ASR: 2005 to 2010.

DePuy Pinnacle: 2003 to 2011.

Biomet M2A Magnum: 2004 to 2011.

Biomet M2A Taper: starting in 2003

Smith & Nephew BHR and/or R3 liner: 2006 to 2012.

Zimmer Durom: generally between 2007 and 2010.

Wright Conserve (shell) and ProFemur (neck): 2003 to 2012.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective or recalled metal-on-metal hip implant, contact Attorney Alex Davis for a free case evaluation, or send an email to alex@jonesward.com.

"Craze" Workout Supplement Contains Meth-Like Compound, According to New Study

A widely distributed workout supplement named “Craze” and made by Driven Sports, Inc., contains a chemical compound that is very similar to the illegal drug methamphetamine.

Craze 10-21-2013A new study by researchers based out of the Harvard College of Medicine found that instead of any orchid ingredients, which were listed on the label, the supplement contained N,α- DEPEA, a chemical compound similar to meth. The researchers initially undertook the study because numerous athletes had tested positive for meth usage, and thus failed their drug tests.

Craze was sold online and in stores such as GNC and Walmart. Walmart pulled the supplement from its shelves this summer, when reports of amphetamine-like ingredients first surfaced. However, other consumer outlets are reportedly still selling the defective supplement.

The Food and Drug Administration has taken no action against the manufacturer, Driven Sports, Inc. The Drug Enforcement Administration, however, is reportedly considering a criminal investigation against Driven Sports and another company, Gaspari Nutrition, whose weight loss supplement Detonate has exhibited similar unlisted compounds.

Both companies have stated that they are no longer manufacturing or selling these drugs, but they may still be available at retail outlets.

If you have taken Craze or Detonate and suffered an injury related to your use of these drugs, such as liver damage, convulsions, extreme rise in body temperature leading to brain damage, or stroke, the attorneys at JONES WARD PLC would be happy to discuss your rights with you. Please contact attorney R. Lauren Horner at lauren@jonesward.com for more information.