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The Difference between Individual Mesothelioma Lawsuits and Class Actions


One of the most frequently asked questions about mesothelioma lawsuits is “Will my case be part of a class action?” In order to better explain why the mesothelioma lawyers at Simmons Hanly Conroy always answer this question with a decisive NO, it makes sense to first define class action lawsuits.

A class action lawsuit is filed by a group of plaintiffs against the defendant liable for their common circumstances, injuries or damages. Once the class action is filed, a court must certify the class for the lawsuit to proceed. A judge is then tasked with selecting representative counsel for the plaintiffs – someone who will fairly represent the class as a whole. Finally, if a settlement amount is reached, the judge must approve the final settlement and make other decisions regarding deadlines to notify class members and more. In short, class actions can drag on for years.

Despite this, class action lawsuits against asbestos companies used to be quite common. In the late 1960s, as public awareness about the dangers of asbestos increased and doctors began diagnosing more people with asbestos-related diseases, hundreds of asbestos lawsuits were filed as part of class action lawsuits. These class action suits sought to obtain compensation for diseases ranging from asbestosis and pleural plaques to mesothelioma.… Read the rest

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Asbestos Exposure for Auto Mechanics


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.

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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

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Take-A-Ways from the 12th Annual Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference


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.

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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

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2016 International Asbestos Awareness Conference Welcomes Investigative Journalist, Mesothelioma Advocate as Keynote Speakers


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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

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Global Asbestos Awareness Week Highlights On-going U.S. Use of Deadly Carcinogen


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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

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