Over $4 Million Secured to Date in Mesothelioma Settlement for Family of NYC Worker

Written by Jason Wentworth
Tuesday, 29 June 2010 18:22
A New York City man who trained as a commercial painter after a two-year stint as a minor league professional baseball player discovered the serious consequences of his work-related asbestos exposure almost 40 years after he was first exposed to the cancer-causing mineral.

When he was 60, a time when most men are beginning to think about retirement and enjoying their golden years with their families, the man discovered his health problems were caused by peritoneal mesothelioma, a life-threatening form of cancer caused by breathing in asbestos dust.  Even though many mesothelioma patients succumb to their disease within the first year of diagnosis, this man bravely battled his illness for almost seven years before mesothelioma cancer claimed his life.

The man, who worked as a commercial painter for more than 17 years, worked at a number of construction sites in Manhattan, including several multi-building high rise apartment complexes constructed in the 1960s and 1970s.

As part of a mesothelioma cancer lawsuit filed on his behalf by the New York City law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg, the man provided insights into the work of an apprentice painter and journeyman at these buildings and how he was exposed to asbestos.

He testified that he found out many years later that pipes he primed and painted had been covered with asbestos, and that he had to climb in and around pipes where asbestos tape insulation had been damaged in order to perform his job.  “I’ve come to find out the pipe coverings they put on… those had to be primed and painted.  A lot of them were damaged…So, some of them you had to climb over to get to others.”

He also testified his work required him to be exposed to considerable amounts of dust and debris, which he now realizes were contaminated with asbestos dust.  His job required him to clean and sweep in the apartments, hallways, stairwells and basement areas before he could begin to paint.  The man also recalled having to move construction materials, including sheetrock and vinyl tiles, unaware that those materials contained asbestos.

Later in his career, he worked as a building renovation inspector for a New York City agency.  While he no longer engaged in physical labor, his job required him to be onsite at buildings undergoing renovations, causing him to breathe in even more asbestos-laden dust.

When asked about his illness, he recalled seeing his doctor and learning about his illness: “My stomach was expanding.  I was losing muscle tissue…Then they did a biopsy of my stomach, of the abdomen area.  And that’s when they ascertained that I had mesothelioma.”  Since his surgery, the man stated he had undergone 12 rounds of chemotherapy and was scheduled for surgery to “…shave down or cut down” a tumor on his left side.

When asked how his life had changed since being diagnosed with an asbestos cancer, he testified that he suffers from constant fatigue which prevents him from being able to engage in activities he once enjoyed.  Prior to becoming sick, he used to play one or two rounds of golf each week and ran the trail around the Central Park Reservoir approximately two or three times each week, but has not been able to golf or go running since he became sick.

After he became ill, he took several months of unpaid leave and was in the process of finalizing the process to begin receiving his retirement pension.  At the time of his deposition, he and his wife were financially dependent on her salary, as he had only received one partial pension check and stated he had not yet applied for social security or other benefits.

For the remainder of the man’s life and even after his death, his family has been able to benefit from more than $4 million obtained on his behalf in mesothelioma lawsuit settlement proceeds.

About Malignant Mesothelioma

While this man was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, malignant mesothelioma can also affect the chest cavity. That is known as pleural mesothelioma (or lung mesothelioma). Mesothelioma claims the lives of thousands of people in the U.S. every year. There is no cure for mesothelioma but there are treatment options that can be helpful for some mesothelioma patients. These include chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy (PDT). Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill mesothelioma cancer cells. The mesothelioma treatment PDT (photodynamic therapy) uses a type of light to kill cancer cells. Mesothelioma treatment options are usually most effective during the early stages of mesothelioma. Unfortunately however, in many cases, mesothelioma symptoms appear during the later stages of the cancer.

About Weitz & Luxenberg Mesothelioma Attorneys

Mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. Frequently, exposure to asbestos occurs through the recklessness of companies that made asbestos. Many of these companies knew of the lethal dangers of asbestos but chose to conceal them for the sake of profitability. Further, many companies failed to provide protective equipment to prevent exposure to asbestos. As a result, many workers such as mechanics, electricians and plumbers were exposed to asbestos and later developed mesothelioma. These people may be entitled to file lawsuits against asbestos companies.

Weitz & Luxenberg mesothelioma attorneys have a history of outstanding success in mesothelioma cases. The firm’s mesothelioma lawyers have won millions of dollars in mesothelioma cases. For a free, online case review from leading U.S. asbestos lawyers, visit http://www.weitzlux.com. For more information on jobs that involve the risk of developing mesothelioma and to contact an asbestos attorney, visit http://www.mesotheliomajobs.com.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 August 2010 21:50