NJ construction worker achieves a $2.1M lawsuit settlement before dying of asbestos-related mesothelioma cancer
The New Jersey law office of Weitz & Luxenberg negotiated the settlement on behalf of the worker’s surviving family – his wife and two children. According to his lawyer: “Almost every construction product used before the 1980s contained asbestos. Back then, manufacturers deliberately omitted health care warnings, and employers rarely provided workers with equipment to protect them against the fatal diseases asbestos causes.”
NJ asbestos cancer lawsuit
The construction worker joined his local New Jersey pipefitters’ union as an apprentice in 1978, straight out of high school. Thirty years later he was dead from mesothelioma – the signature asbestos-related disease that claims the lives of hundreds of retired construction workers every year due to the unbridled use of toxic asbestos materials in the U.S. construction industry.
“The only time I started seeing safety masks on the job was about the late 80s,” the construction worker testified during a deposition hearing. “That’s when they started offering me them, by saying, ‘It’s dusty, you know. You’re hammering and drilling in the ceilings. It’s coming down in your face, put the mask on.’ ”
He died exactly two weeks after his deposition hearing, leaving behind a wife and two sons, aged 8 and 10.
Asbestos is no longer mined in the United States, but it is still imported and used in construction. Online Web sites still sell asbestos-made products to industry contractors. With the enactment of federal regulations to protect workers against occupationalasbestos exposure, new construction work is no longer as risky as it used to be.
But renovation work on old buildings still holds certain perils. That’s because large amounts of asbestos materials remain deeply embedded in the infrastructure of most buildings built before 1980. Toxic asbestos exposure occurs when workers disturb these materials inadvertently during renovation and demolition activities.
Most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed 20 to 40 years after a job-related exposure. That’s why, despite today’s regulatory protections, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta predict the number of cases of mesothelioma will peak this year in the United States. Currently, some 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the country every year.
About Weitz & Luxenberg
Weitz & Luxenberg is recognized as the nation’s preeminent asbestos-injury law firm. Its lawyers earned that reputation over the last 20 years by obtaining record-setting verdicts and settlements for clients ravaged by the mortal symptoms of asbestos-related mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.