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New Movie Puts Critical ‘Spotlight’ on Sexual Abuse

The new movie ‘Spotlight’ opens nationwide on Friday. It tells the true story of The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team and their coverage of the Massachusetts Catholic sex abuse scandal in 2002. The film is receiving widespread critical acclaim and boasts an all-star cast, including the likes of Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Stanley Tucci.

The film also highlights the role of attorney Mitch Garabedian, played on screen by Tucci, in uncovering the systemic sexual abuse of children by the Catholic Church. The incredible resolve and legal work of Garabedian cannot be overstated. Under daunting circumstances, he held accountable the perpetrators and institutions that protected them.

I know this firsthand because, thankfully, his work continues today. I’m proud to say Garabedian is our co-counsel partner in the firm’s ongoing representation of boys sexually abused by Douglas Perlitz at a school in Haiti. Perlitz is currently serving a 19-year sentence in federal prison and, in 2013, Garabedian and our firm recovered a landmark $12 million settlement on behalf of 24 of the victims. We continue to represent over 100 other boys who have come forward since.

Garabedian opened the doors for other victims across the globe to come forward – and for firms like ours to join the fight.… Read the rest


Asbestos Occupation Spotlight: Military Veterans

This Veteran’s Day we honor more than 20 million men and women who served our country. We remember them for their service and selfless dedication to our country. They have made countless sacrifices on our country’s behalf and, here at Simmons Hanly Conroy, we are grateful for their service.

veterans mesothelioma lawsuit

We are honored to help military veterans who were exposed to asbestos during their service and are now battling a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma linked to asbestos exposure. Sometimes victims of asbestos exposure may not realize they were exposed to asbestos until after their diagnosis. However, because of the prevalence of asbestos use in the military, many veterans remember being exposed.

Asbestos was heavily used in all five branches of the U.S. military – the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. From transportation vehicles, ships and helicopters to mess halls and other base buildings, asbestos could be found in more than 300 products and materials used by the military.

While the military stopped using asbestos for new construction in projects in the late 1970s, buildings, ships and other transportation vehicles already containing asbestos remained in use for decades.

Military veterans exposed to asbestos are at an increased risk of developing a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma.… Read the rest


Meet the Attorney: Conard Metcalf

J. Conard Metcalf




Conard Metcalf has successfully represented hundreds of men and women diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Two representative cases include:

  • Panther v. Raybestos-Manhattan Inc., 701 P.2d 145 (Colo.App. 04/04/1985) in which the plaintiff originally brought suit against four corporations which supplied asbestos products to the shipyard where the plaintiff was employed during World War II. The plaintiff alleges that products manufactured by these corporations were the cause of his asbestosis. Two of the corporations settled prior to trial. After a trial involving the two remaining corporations, the plaintiff was awarded additional damages.
  • Fenton v. Fibreboard Corp., 827 P.2d 564 (Colo.App. 09/12/1991) in which the plaintiff filed an action for wrongful death and loss of consortium arising from the death of her husband from malignant mesothelioma. The complaint was brought against numerous manufacturers of insulation products containing asbestos, and the plaintiff sought compensation based on those manufacturers’ failure-to-warn of the dangers of asbestos. The plaintiff claimed her husband’s exposure to asbestos dust in 1957 and ’58, while working as a plumber during the construction of the United States Air Force Academy, caused mesothelioma. Prior to trial, the plaintiff entered into settlement agreements with a number of manufacturers, including the Johns Mansville Personal Injury Settlement Trust.
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Get Involved in Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November 1 marked the beginning of Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women, in every ethnic group (Lung Cancer Alliance). Each year in the U.S. more than 228,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer, and nearly 160,000 die of the disease (Lung Cancer Foundation).

In spite of these statistics, lung cancer often goes undiagnosed until it has reached an advanced level, making it difficult to treat.

We encourage you to educate yourself and others to increase awareness of lung cancer and related diseases such as mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. One of the most painful cancers, mesothelioma affects thousands each year and is one of the most difficult lung cancers to treat.

Mesothelioma is almost always caused by occupational asbestos exposure. Diagnosing mesothelioma can be difficult due to the disease’s aggressive nature and long latency period – about 20 to 40 years. Although it has more commonly been diagnosed in men over age 50, women and younger people who have been exposed to second-hand, or take-home, asbestos are at risk of developing mesothelioma as well.

The earlier a mesothelioma diagnosis is made, the greater number of treatment options available.… Read the rest


Disturbingly Scary Facts about Asbestos Exposure

An estimated 15,000 people in the United States pass away from asbestos-related diseases each year.

Even though asbestos has been identified as a cause of cancer, at least 8 million pounds of raw asbestos and asbestos-containing materials have arrived in U.S. ports since 2006 (EWG Action Fund).

Learning more about asbestos and who is at risk of exposure can help lead to greater support for banning asbestos use in the United States altogether.

Who is at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

More than 75 occupational groups have exposed employees to asbestos in the workplace. From construction workers and electricians, to auto mechanics and elementary school teachers, several occupations need to be aware of where they might come into contact with asbestos at work. Even worse, workers in asbestos occupations can take asbestos fibers home on their clothes, exposing their loved ones to the dangerous toxin at home. Here are the top at-risk occupations:

  • Construction Workers
    Prior to the 1980s, thousands of construction products contained asbestos. Asbestos-related diseases have a long latency period, so if you worked in construction before 1980, you may be at increased risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. Some roofing and flooring materials are still made with asbestos, so current construction workers are also at risk of exposure.
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