Over $3 Million in Mesothelioma Lawsuit Compensation Secured for Family of Man Exposed to Asbestos While Working at Fine Goods Retailer

Written by Jason Wentworth

Saturday, 07 August 2010 01:37

A New York native who retired after more than 20 years’ of dedicated service for a New York/New Jersey area fine goods retail chain discovered that instead of looking forward to continued enjoyment of his retirement with his wife of over 40 years, his life would be cut short.  Tragically, his work-related exposure to asbestos dust several decades before caused him to develop mesothelioma cancer.

Despite the fact that most malignant mesothelioma patients lose their battle with this form of asbestos cancer within the first year of their diagnosis, this man fought his disease for more than six years before passing away.

The man and his wife also sought the help of New York City mesothelioma attorneys Weitz & Luxenberg to help them seek justice for his work-related exposure to the dangerous mineral.  Since his lawsuit was filed, his attorneys have helped him and his family obtain financial security by securing over $3 million in lawsuit settlement proceeds.

Several months after his mesothelioma disease diagnosis, the man gave testimony about his work history, his lifestyle and how his diagnosis had impacted his family.

The man began working for the company in the early 1970s as a flatware sales associate, and was promoted several times to positions of additional responsibility.  In the early 1980s, he was named assistant director of security for the chain, which at that time had five retail stores in New York and New Jersey.

He testified that his first exposure to asbestos occurred on his first day on the job, as the store’s stockrooms and basements were covered with dusts that he later learned were contaminated by asbestos.  “I remember the first day I started working there I was asked to go down to the basement and get a carton of flatware stock, and I remember the dust and the little balls of fiber on the cartons that we were moving.”

The man also testified that he saw asbestos insulation on pipes, wrapped around pipes and in other locations in the building’s basement and stockrooms.

After his promotion to assistant director of security, he oversaw an asbestos remediation project at the company’s Long Island store, where his duties included developing security protocols for the abatement workers removing the asbestos.

When asked about his personal knowledge of the asbestos materials being removed from the store’s basement, he testified that “we knew that what we were removing was asbestos from these areas which had flaked off from the walls and the ceilings and the pipes.”  He also confirmed that “…the technicians who removed it told us—told me particularly that this stuff is asbestos.”

The man retired from the company in the early 1990s and enjoyed good health and a very active lifestyle, which included almost daily workouts at his local gym, running five miles every day and hiking trips with his wife.

Approximately five years after he retired, the man recalled visiting his doctor for his annual physical, which included routine chest x-rays.  Sadly, within hours of that doctor’s visit he received a phone call asking him to immediately report to the hospital for a CAT scan.  He testified that the results of the CAT scan and a needle biopsy were considered suspicious for mesothelioma, but his diagnosis was only confirmed after he underwent a surgical tissue biopsy.

Side Effects from Mesothelioma Treatment

The man tragically recalled his doctor’s initial prognosis for his condition, which led to his eventual decision to enroll in a mesothelioma clinical trial.  “We discussed the end result…and indicated that I could do one of two things.  I could let nature take its course and live out every day like it was my last, which it could be, or fight it…. we all agreed that I would fight it.   I wouldn’t just give up.”

After meeting with his oncologist, who specialized in clinical trials, the man enrolled in a clinical trial study.  Sadly, he suffered severe side effects from the clinical trial therapy which caused him to be hospitalized for almost a week to treat high fever, extreme nausea and a neutropenic condition (caused by a drastic drop in white blood cells) and neurological problems.  He testified it took him several months to recover from the clinical trial drug’s side effects and withdrew from the program.  Since that time, he acknowledged his disease had caused considerable worry about his health.

We Had A Great Life Before This…

Prior to becoming sick, the man enjoyed an extremely active lifestyle, and testified that he and his wife were avid hikers: “You got to remember something, a year and a half ago [my wife] and I spent a month hiking in Yellowstone Park and all through Utah and now I can’t walk across the mall.”

The man summarized the impact his illness had on his life, his wife, his adult daughters and his grandchildren: “We don’t see our children as much as we could, because I have trouble.  They live 120 miles away, so driving from New Jersey to Long Island is difficult for me.  We don’t go out to dinner as much.  I don’t have the strength for it sometimes.  And we just — it’s ruined our lives.  We had a great life before this.  We’ve been enjoying every minute of our retirement.”

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 August 2010 14:00.


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