Although the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration began regulating asbestos-containing products in 1973, asbestos use continued for decades in many industrial and consumer products sold in the United States.
The automotive industry prized asbestos for its low cost as well as excellent friction and wear capabilities. In spite of studies demonstrating the hazards of asbestos back to the early 20th Century, a number of automobile manufacturers and suppliers used the toxic mineral for transmission parts, clutch facings, brakes, gaskets and other components into the 21st Century.
Almost 100 years of asbestos use resulted in an avalanche of auto worker and mechanic deaths. Nevertheless, the auto industry argues that the asbestos in brakes doesn’t cause cancer and the levels of exposure are safe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NIOSH, OSHA and the World Health Organization disagree: brakes cause cancer and there is no safe-level of exposure.
Thousands of victims filed lawsuits against Ford and other manufacturers due to exposure to asbestos used in clutches and brakes. Ford’s brake linings contained up to 60% of the dangerous toxin. Tired of losing trials and compensating sick mechanics and their families, Ford and others in the auto industry spent over $40 million for journal articles and expert studies aimed at casting doubt on the link between asbestos brakes and mesothelioma in auto mechanics.… Read the rest
The 12th Annual Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference, once again, underscored the civil injustices committed against countless workers and families exposed to asbestos. Simmons Hanly Conroy was honored to participate as a platinum sponsor of the event, which took place in Washington, D.C., this past weekend. The entire conference is available to view on livestream here.
Firm COO Todd Adamitis accepted our sponsorship award during the Saturday night awards banquet. The firm’s role of protecting the legal rights of asbestos victims is only one piece to understanding this complex issue. There are the researchers, the physicians, occupational experts and the people who matter most: the patients and families whose lives have been devastated by an asbestos-related disease. Events like the ADAO conference bring everyone together in the fight against the man-made tragedy of asbestos.
Below are some take-a-ways from this year’s conference that outline how all of these important pieces fit together and why we continue to fight.
Asbestos use continues.
“It’s absurd that the world still uses asbestos with the history going back to the 1930s showing the danger,” said Dr. Arthur Frank during his presentation, “Asbestos Absurdities: Continuing Use.” Dr. Frank is a professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Drexel University School of Public Health.… Read the rest
Investigative journalist Paul Brodeur and mesothelioma advocate Dr. Eudice Goldberg will serve as keynote speakers for the upcoming Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization’s 12th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference in Washington, D.C.
The conference will take place this weekend following Global Asbestos Awareness Week. The event features experts, patients, lawmakers and more who come together to increases awareness of the dangers of asbestos.
“The 2016 conference will recognize leaders in the media, health and safety community, and government agencies whose voices and actions have been critically important to ending the man-made asbestos disaster,” said ADAO Co-founder and President Linda Reinstein. “This year’s experts representing over 40 countries will once again join together to advocate for the urgent need to secure a global asbestos ban because otherwise no one is safe from the devastation caused by this human carcinogen.”
Brodeur, Saturday’s keynote speaker, has played a large role in educating the nation on the occupational and environmental health hazards caused by asbestos. Having penned numerous articles on the subject during his 40-year career as a writer at The New Yorker, Brodeur later compiled his works into four books.
Among his non-fiction books is Outrageous Misconduct: the Asbestos Industry on Trial, which reveals behind-the-scenes efforts by U.S.… Read the rest
The beginning of April marks the start of Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW). Organized by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the asbestos and mesothelioma community uses the week to educate people about the fact that asbestos is a deadly human carcinogen that is still not banned in the United States and continues to claim lives of thousands of people globally.
As part of GAAW, the U.S. Senate designed the same timeframe – April 1-7 – as National Asbestos Awareness Week earlier this month.
“We are extremely pleased to have bipartisan support for the 12th ‘National Asbestos Awareness Week’ Resolution as we continue our concerted efforts to educate the public on the dangers,” said ADAO President and Co-Founder Linda Reinstein.
We applaud the senators, especially Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey, and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, for their continued support in recognizing this important issue. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 107,000 people are killed by asbestos-related diseases each year. In America, up to 15,000 people die annually from asbestos-related diseases.
The only way the use of asbestos can be stopped is by educating and raising awareness. GAAW aims to teach people about the negative impact the mineral has on day-to-day life.… Read the rest
A Texas jury awarded a $502 million verdict last Thursday to five plaintiffs injured by Pinnacle hip implant devices. The verdict, called ‘eye-popping’ by Law360, holds Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and DePuy Orthopedics accountable for manipulating the science in order to market the defective device.
The bellwether trial lasted 37 days filled with long hours of testimony and evidence exhibits. My colleague, shareholder Jayne Conroy, was on the front lines with the legal team that did ground-breaking work in the courtroom, presenting evidence of hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to orthopedic surgeons.
The result was not just a huge victory for these five patients, but for the thousands of patients around the country who have also suffered serious injuries as a result of hip implants. It is both Jayne’s and my expectation that this verdict will have a significant impact regarding a possible global settlement.
Read the firm’s official announcement here.
Since the announcement, news of the verdict has been making headlines. A compilation of the articles is below.
Jury Awards $502 Million Total to Plaintiffs in 5 Separate Cases at Conclusion of Pinnacle Hip Implant Consolidated MDL Trial, HarrisMartin Publishing, By HarrisMartin Staff
Johnson & Johnson Must Pay $502 million Over Hip Devices, Modern Healthcare, By Lisa Schencker
J&J Ordered to pay $502 million over Pinnacle hip failures, Chicago Tribune, By Tom Korosec and Jef Feeley
Johnson & Johnson Must Pay $500 Million to 5 Plaintiffs in Hip Implant Case, Fortune
J&J Patients Won $498M Verdict With Rare Scope of Evidence, Law360, By Sindhu Sundar
Johnson & Johnson hit with $500 million verdict in hip implant trial, Reuters, By Jessica Dye
J&J Ordered to Pay $502 Million Over Pinnacle Hip Failures, Bloomberg Business, By Tom Korosec and Jef Feeley… Read the rest