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Over $4.5 Million Secured to Date in Mesothelioma Settlement for Family of NYC Plumber

Written by Jason Wentworth

Tuesday, 06 July 2010 21:23

A life-long New Yorker who first started working for his father’s plumbing business in the 1950s was dealt a tragic blow when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer more than 50 years after he was first exposed to asbestos on the job.

As part of his malignant mesothelioma lawsuit, which was filed on his behalf by the law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg, the man provided testimony about his work history, his asbestos exposure, his illness, and the devastating effects the disease had on his quality of life.

The man first began working as a helper at his father’s residential plumbing business when he was a teenager, where he recalled mixing up asbestos pipe covering and other materials.  After a five-year sabbatical when the man worked as an office worker for a company in Manhattan, he returned to his father’s business as a full time employee and apprentice.

He testified his job routinely required him to work with asbestos-containing pipe coverings, asbestos rope and asbestos furnace cement while working on repairs on steam and water lines. “We had to cut the covering off, repair the leaks, and then put the new covering on.”  He was also exposed to asbestos when working on gaskets, which required him to “…scrape off the old gasket material… buy a piece of sheet asbestos…cut it to size and… ball peen hammer holes through the flanges…”

His work history also involved work as a steamfitter, where he performed repairs on residential boilers at many Manhattan brownstones.  He recalled working conditions as places where “dust was flying all over the place.”  He also testified about the air quality in the boiler rooms: “The only ventilation going to the boiler room is whatever fresh air is going to the gas burner is required.  The ventilation isn’t to help anybody to breathe down there.”

Signs of Disease Develop

When the man was 65 years old, he visited his doctor for his yearly physical and testified that this was when “all the trouble” with his health began.   After complaining of shortness of breath, his doctor ordered chest x-rays and other tests.  He related that his daughter-in-law, who worked as oncology nurse, served as patient advocate and the family had tried to keep him in the dark about the seriousness of his condition.  After being told, he stated “That’s when I realized — that’s when it struck home how bad it was.”  He subsequently underwent surgery for pleural mesothelioma (or lung mesothelioma), where his surgeon removed part of his lung and fourteen lymph nodes.

Impact on his Family

The man testified about his fatal asbestos cancer diagnosis:  “Nobody said it’s cured.  I am up in the air with that.  I don’t know where I am with that…It makes you feel lousy – you know.  I am apprehensive.  I have got seven grandchildren I would like to see.”

He also testified about how the disease had affected his ability to engage in routine activities, and that walking up the steps to his bedroom at night left him out of breath.  He also stated that merely picking up his then infant granddaughter was a physical strain.

During the seven years this man battled his illness, and even now, after his death, he and his family continue to benefit by his attorneys’ fight for justice.  In the years since his diagnosis, the family has received proceeds of approximately $4.5 million in settlement funds.

About Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma often develops in the lining of the chest cavity but it can also develop in the lining of the abdominal cavity. When this occurs, it is known as peritoneal mesothelioma. Mesothelioma symptoms associated with peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal swelling, fever, night sweats and weight loss. There is no cure for mesothelioma but current treatment approaches are most effective when applied during the early stages of mesothelioma. Chemotherapy involves the use of a drug regimen to fight mesothelioma cancer. The mesothelioma treatment PDT (Photodynamic Therapy) uses light of a specific wavelength to fight the cancer.

About Weitz & Luxenberg Mesothelioma Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is likely that you or your loved one was exposed to asbestos at the workplace. The mesothelioma attorneys of Weitz & Luxenberg have successfully represented many workers in mesothelioma cases. Some of these workers include mechanics, plumbers, sheet metal workers and electricians. Weitz & Luxenberg asbestos lawyers have won millions of dollars in mesothelioma cases and have established themselves as the leading asbestos attorneys in the U.S. For a free online case review, visit http://www.weitzlux.com. For information on jobs that involve the risk of developing mesothelioma, visit http://www.mesotheliomajobs.com.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 August 2010 21:48

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