Former NYC Garment Industry Worker Wins Over $1.8 Million to Date in Mesothelioma Settlement
Written by Rachel Schechter
Thursday, 29 July 2010 00:45
A man who spent his life working for, and eventually owning, two dressmaking businesses in the New York City’s fashion district tragically discovered, many years too late, that asbestos materials used to insulate pipes and boilers in the factory pressing areas exposed him to the dangerous cancer-causing mineral, asbestos.
Many years after the native New Yorker retired to Florida, he received the chilling diagnosis that his health problems and diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer was caused by secondary exposure to asbestos.
While many malignant mesothelioma cancer patients lose the fight against the asbestos cancer within their first year of diagnosis, this man survived for more than six years after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. He stood up for his rights with the help of mesothelioma attorneys in the New York City law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg, who filed a mesothelioma lawsuit on the man’s behalf. Over the course of his illness and even after his death, his family has benefited from more than $1.8 million in lawsuit settlement proceeds.
As part of the man’s lawsuit, the man gave testimony about his work in the garment industry and how he came to be exposed to asbestos-contaminated dusts.
The man testified that his first job in the New York garment industry was as a general maintenance man for a Manhattan garment house. He recalled that the building had boilers and “pipes that lead to the boiler” that provided steam in the pressing area, and that he was in this area of the factory “all the time.”
He also testified that workers would come into the factory to perform repair work in the factory, including the boilers and pipes, and that these workers used products that he later learned contained asbestos: “I recall seeing cement bags when the people would come in, especially when they had to put up the wall and repair the pipes.”
Several years later, the man began his own dressmaking businesses, where he continued to be exposed to asbestos. He testified that as the business owner, it fell to him to not only hire contractors to repair pipes and boilers, but that he would sweep the factory floors from time to time.
Many years later, his recollection of his work for his companies led to a greater understanding of his asbestos exposure history: “…I think just the general exposure of the dirt and dust and so forth, and I believe that would make me exposed to asbestos from what I understand. I mean, reading in the paper, the different kinds of cases when they tell me — when I’ve read at different times about asbestos being associated with dust and beside the things that we mentioned, so that would be the other ways that I think I was exposed to it.”
“I Have This Cancer Called Mesothelioma…”
He also provided testimony about his health and eventual diagnosis with mesothelioma cancer. After experiencing prostate and testicular problems, he underwent a testicular biopsy. That biopsy led to his diagnosis of testicular mesothelioma.
Like other types of mesothelioma cancer such as pleural mesothelioma (also known as lung mesothelioma) or peritoneal mesothelioma, testicular mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. The man testified that after his diagnosis, his doctors began to ask him about his work history and potential asbestos exposure. The man stated his doctors told him that the mesothelioma disease was caused by exposure to asbestos and that his illness was caused by inhaling asbestos-contaminated dusts.
When asked about how his diagnosis had affected his life, he testified “I have this cancer called mesothelioma, and that’s it, and I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.” He also related his fears about his health from what would be considered “minor” health concerns: “I experience a lot of mental anguish, too, at this point, because every time I feel a back pain or a cough, I say, “Here I go again.”
He also expressed regret about how his illness was affecting his hobbies and other activities he once enjoyed. An avid golfer, he testified that before becoming sick he would golf an average of three-four times each week. Since his diagnosis, he only plays occasionally, and is only able to play 9 holes.
In addition, he and his wife enjoyed traveling, and had visited Russia, China and many other cities in Europe, and was part of a group that took independent studies at a local university and traveled with that group. Since he became ill, he had not been able to travel at all.
On a financial level, he also expressed concern about his expenses, as he and his wife were dependent upon Medicare to cover his medical care. As a former business owner, he had no pension income, and the couple was dependent upon investment income and their monthly social security benefits to cover their living expenses and other financial obligations.
The most frequent mesothelioma cause is asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma symptoms typically appear decades after the exposure has taken place. People who have worked with asbestos containing products such as mechanics, plumbers and electricians are usually at high risk of developing mesothelioma. Mesothelioma treatment techniques generally provide relief from mesothelioma symptoms. The mesothelioma treatment PDT (photodynamic therapy) attempts to kill mesothelioma cancer cells by using light of a specific wavelength. Other mesothelioma treatment techniques include radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy.
About Weitz & Luxenberg Mesothelioma Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a Weitz & Luxenberg mesothelioma attorney may be able to help. Weitz & Luxenberg is a leading mesothelioma law firm with asbestos lawyers who have recovered millions of dollars in mesothelioma cases. The firm’s clients include former mechanics, sheet metal workers, construction workers, electricians, plumbers and others suffering from mesothelioma. Weitz & Luxenberg asbestos attorneys have been recognized as the “Best Lawyers of New York” by New York Magazine. For a free, online case review from a leading mesothelioma lawyer, visit http://www.weitzlux.com. For more information on jobs that involve a risk of developing mesothelioma, visit http://www.mesotheliomajobs.com.