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Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: March 2015


The asbestos attorneys at Simmons Hanly Conroy are committed to giving you the latest asbestos and mesothelioma news. Below is a group of some of the most recent news stories covering asbestos exposure, mesothelioma research and other headlines from throughout the globe.

  • Study finds 21 new cases of mesothelioma in group of MN miners
    mesothelioma newsA group of 69,000 mine workers were exposed to asbestos while employed in Minnesota’s iron mining industry between the 1930s and 1982. Among that group, 21 more men have been diagnosed with mesothelioma – in addition to the 80 cases previously identified, that brings the total of mesothelioma cases to 101.
  • VIDEO: ADAO – “Asbestos Kills”
    The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) recently released a video promoting Global Asbestos Awareness Week, which runs from April 1 – 7. Watch and share the video to help spread asbestos awareness.
  • The Asbestos Transparency Farce
    Corporate institutions aim to push legislation through Congress that is all about invading the privacy rights of its victims – primarily the individuals who have been physically harmed by asbestos exposure at the hands of such corporations.
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Simmons Hanly Conroy Client Ellen Patton to be Awarded at the 2015 ADAO Conference Dinner


People from all kinds of backgrounds have been impacted by mesothelioma and asbestos. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) strives to honor such people at its annual Asbestos Awareness Conference. This year, ADAO will honor the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to the asbestos and mesothelioma cause.

  • Ellen Patton
    Award: Alan Reinstein Award
    asbestos awareness advocateAs a client of Simmons Hanly Conroy, Ellen has experienced firsthand the devastation of a mesothelioma diagnosis. She is a steadfast asbestos awareness advocate – she delivered a speech titled “A Patient’s Mesothelioma Journey” at a Senate briefing in 2013 in Washington D.C. She has also started a soap making business that donates 10 percent of its profits to ADAO.

    “After outliving the 12 to 18 months prognosis I was given, I felt it was my duty to warn oth-ers of the dangers of asbestos,” Ellen said in a Simmons Hanly Conroy interview. “I needed to speak for those who had gone before me and could speak no more.”

  • Dr. Jorma Rantanen
    Award: Dr. Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award
    When it comes to spreading asbestos awareness and advocating for the elimination of asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, Dr. Rantanen has worked tirelessly. He will be honored by ADAO on April 18.
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Petersen/Siddall Families and Law Firms Present Fire Prevention Gift to SIUE


Fire Prevention check Chancellor's office 03-10-15The families of Lauren Petersen and Lacy Siddall along with their attorneys Ted Gianaris of Simmons Hanly Conroy and Tom Long, of Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard PC, have partnered with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to produce a fire safety video in memory of SIUE students Lauren and Lacy.

The two women passed away from their injuries after their off-campus apartment caught fire in April 2012. The video will share the girls’ stories and emphasize the importance of fire safety for college students. The families and their attorneys have each donated $5,000 toward the video production, for a total of $20,000.

“No one should have to experience the pain and suffering these two families have gone through,” said Gianaris. “It was an honor to represent the Petersen family, and if this video can help prevent another family from experiencing similar heartache then it is well worth the effort.”

The 19-year-old Petersen was a student in the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences. The 21-year-old Siddall was studying speech-language pathology in the SIUE School of Education, Health and Human Behavior.

The families and their attorneys fought a large insurance company for two years before winning in 2014. During the fight, they all agreed that if they won they would use some of the proceeds to honor the girls and try to prevent college fire tragedies in the future.… Read the rest

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VIDEO: Corporate Companies Knew Asbestos Was Deadly


Asbestos use in America has been called one of the largest man-made epidemics in U.S. history. This is because the health dangers of asbestos have been known for centuries – in fact, health conditions resulting from asbestos exposure were noted as early as the year 100. Contrary to this realization, asbestos use was only just getting started.

As years passed, asbestos use increased. By the late 1800s and early 1900s, companies were using asbestos in their products – the mineral was praised for its fireproofing abilities – despite knowing that inhalation of asbestos particles could lead to respiratory problems. Those same companies hid any illness among employees exposed to asbestos. They also failed to provide workers with protective gear designed to prevent inhalation of the asbestos fibers.

Instead of preventing the asbestos exposure or providing protective gear to employees, executives quietly offered compensation to those dealing with health problems from exposure that occurred while on the job. This forced employees to keep quiet about the underlying cause of their illness.

This behavior lasted for years and affected thousands of workers across the country. Due to the latency period associated with mesothelioma, men and women who were wrongly exposed to asbestos continue to be diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases today.… Read the rest

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Syngenta Case Update: How Misleading Marketing Harmed the U.S. Corn Market


Switzerland-based Syngenta, the world’s largest crop chemicals company, is currently facing over 175 lawsuits in eight states by corn farmers, exporters, grain handlers and others who have been adversely impacted by the company’s false claims.

Syngenta Case UpdateThe lawsuits center around Syngenta seed products Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade that feature a genetically modified organism (GMO) strain.

At Simmons Hanly Conroy, every GMO corn lawsuit case is personal. Illinois corn growers and exporters—like Decatur-based Trans Coastal Supply Company— are our neighbors. We’ve seen the impact of Syngenta’s actions first-hand.

What’s Next?

Not a single one of our clients impacted by the false claims made by Syngenta got into corn farming to become rich. They are second, third generation farmers—hard-working people who get up before the sun every day, rain or shine. These are people who run family-owned, mid-sized exporting businesses. They have suffered tremendous losses, and we are committed to helping them recover and get back to the business of growing and selling corn.

We are working tirelessly to help our clients recover what they have lost through Syngenta lawsuits—seeking damages to compensate for the impact of Syngenta’s actions on our clients.

The cases have been consolidated under pending multidistrict litigation (MDL). In December 2014, the MDL was assigned to U.S.… Read the rest

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