Family of man with multiple exposures to asbestos receives $286,749.90 settlement check

3.28.10–“There’s a lot of stuff me and my wife used to do, all the concerts we used to go to, walks. … There’s a lot of stuff I don’t do no more.”

So said a Queens, NY man diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer as he told a court before his death about a lifetime of exposure to asbestos.

On March 8, 2010, his family received a settlement check of $286,749.90 that will hopefully help support them in the aftermath of his untimely death at just 58.

Diagnosed in 2007, he succumbed to the disease less than a year later, leaving behind his wife—a retired secretary who worked for the phone company—and son and daughter, both in their 20s. His legacy lives on as does his story of repeated exposures to asbestos fibers, which, when inhaled can cause a host of serious health problems including asbestosis—a serious lung ailment—and lung cancer.

According to court documents provided by the law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg P.C., the man was first exposed to asbestos second-hand at his childhood home in Brooklyn. At the time, his uncle who worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard was staying with the family.

“My uncle came home with his work clothes. I used to help my mother with laundry, used to use a washing board, used to shake them out the window,” he explained of how he came in contact with the deadly asbestos fibers that were nestled in his uncle’s work overalls.

During World War II (WWII), millions of individuals employed in American shipyards and American Navy veterans were exposed to asbestos since it was widely used for military ship construction. The families of those workers were also at risk when they carried the cancer-causing substance on their bodies and into their own houses and apartments.

Later on in life, this man obtained employment in boiler maintenance, again coming in contact with asbestos when he wrapped asbestos-containing insulation around boiler pipes with bands. He also installed asbestos-containing powder on the “knuckles” and “elbows” of those pipes.

Had he known how dangerous asbestos could be to his health, he could have taken steps to wear protective masks and handle it safely.

“When was the last time you went for a walk,” asked his attorney in court as the man told the story of how he didn’t know asbestos was dangerous until the 1970s.

“Two months ago,” he replied.

“How far did you go?”

“Around the corner.”

The disease debilitated him and cut his life tragically short. Yet at least his family has the ongoing monetary support they began to receive after bringing their asbestos lawsuit—a total of $3,525,000.00 to date.



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