Widow of former boilermaker with asbestos cancer receives settlement check
Written by Jason Wentworth
Friday, 02 April 2010 16:15
Last week, for example, the widow of a 62-year-old Long Island boilermaker received a settlement check for $419,850 in a mesothelioma lawsuit that is still pending against other asbestos product manufacturers.
Her husband had hired the New York asbestos-injury law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg to protect his family’s future after he was diagnosed with job-related mesothelioma cancer. The disease was so aggressive that the man died 10 weeks after his diagnosis.
With representation from a Weitz & Luxenberg attorney, he launched a successful lawsuit against certain defendant companies, supported by a deposition in which he testified about the hazardous asbestos-containing work products and professional activities that led to his death.
The risky nature of his occupation became apparent immediately. According to his testimony, his father and his brother were both boilermakers. His father died in 1962 at the age of 54; and his brother, diagnosed with asbestosis, died at the age of 67.
In March of 1968, the plaintiff applied to a local Long Island boilermaker’s union and was made an apprentice at the age of 23. In just the first year of his career, he was repeatedly exposed to toxic asbestos elements without any benefit of protective gear or product warnings.
The job site was a power station in Astoria, Queens. “I had various duties there. I worked on the boiler, I worked on the precipitator, I worked on heaters, some valves, pumps, I worked on a lot of things.”
In his nine-month assignment at the Queens power station, he helped remove and replace two large “precipitators,” large particulate collection machines that remove particles from the air. “Asbestos was in the material that protected the outer shell,” he told lawyers.
Ironically, the very act of removing this particulate-gathering machinery polluted the work site with airborne asbestos fibers, endangering him and his work colleagues. The work involved physically cutting and smashing each machine, both containing generous loads of “refractory,” or asbestos-containing material capable of enduring high temperatures.
“I would try and cut them into smaller pieces, which was difficult because there was also refractory on the inside of the precipitator, which means you had to chip around that in order to cut through the steel,” he said. “Then what they would do is pick up the piece with a crane and let it free fall on the ground. The refractory would break up, creating a lot of dust and dirt and everything else.”
About Weitz & Luxenberg Asbestos Attorneys
Weitz & Luxenberg asbestos attorneys and mesothelioma lawyers are among the leading asbestos lawyers in the U.S. Weitz & Luxenberg lawyers have recovered billions of dollars in mesothelioma cancer cases. The lawyers have been recognized as the “Best Lawyers of New York” by New York Magazine. For a free online case review, please visit www.weitzlux.com.