Weitz & Luxenberg obtains $1.1M settlement for NYC day laborer with mesothelioma

January 26, 2010

Day laborers involved in demolition and renovation work risk asbestos exposure much more than other workers because of the nature of their work and because of the close on-site proximity of other tradesman noted for stirring up construction dust, including plumberselectricians and brick layers.

Dust is the key word here. In old residential and commercial buildings, asbestoswas commonly used to fireproof walls, floors, ceilings and steam pipes. Much of the dust springing forth from demolition work is toxic asbestos dust.

Asbestos exposure kills 3,000 people in the United States every year, and occurs through the regular inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers, a situation common to high risk occupations in the construction, automotive and military industries (especially in the U.S. Navy).

The day laborer

Thirty years ago, before asbestos regulations were enforced, day laborers were hired at daily wages to knock down walls and ceilings in old buildings, strip steam pipes of asbestos wraps, mix asbestos-laden plaster and compound powders together, and regularly saw and sand sheetrock walls made with asbestos materials.

“It was very dusty. There were no masks. Nobody ever gave us masks,” said a 68-year-old day laborer dying of asbestos-related mesothelioma cancer.

Weitz & Luxenberg this month obtained a $1.1 million settlement for him against the manufacturers of these materials after he disclosed to our attorneys the hazardous work conditions he had to endure.

New to this country, he began work as a New York City day laborer in 1976 and continued for three years. In 2008, he underwent surgery at Beth-Israel Hospital, where doctors drained his right lung of much fluid. There was no healing on his right side. Four weeks later he had additional surgery.

Long incubation period

The insidious thing about mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs or abdomen, is that most cases are diagnosed 30 years or more after exposure. Toxic asbestos fibers embedded in lung tissue often take that long to develop into tumors, or to even show symptoms of the disease.

In January, 2008, doctors diagnosed his condition as mesothelioma cancer and began standard treatment that included chemotherapy and radiation. While the prognosis is never good, the settlement money helps relieve his family’s financial burden brought on by medical bills and lost wages.

When it’s time to seek justice

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and seek FREE legal guidance and answers to your concerns from a seasoned mesothelioma lawyer, please notify us through the communication form below. We will press your claim to help you pay for medical bills, future and past lost wages, damages and suffering. There is no cost to you until we win a settlement or a verdict.

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