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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.

The initial work on the project started March 10 with the families meeting with Residence Life Cinema, a division of Swank Motion Pictures, to discuss storyboarding for the video. The film company hopes to have it ready to release this fall in time for 2015 freshman orientation.

Residence Life Cinema provides campuses nationwide with entertainment, student development content and communication tools through campus channels and streaming technology. Their services include serving as a recruitment and retention tool, and encouraging student success by addressing critical issues such as campus safety, binge drinking and sexual assault through various programming materials.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of nearly 14,000.

Credit: -SIUE News- http://www.siue.edu/news/2015/03/PetersenSiddallFamiliesLawFirmsPresentFirePreventionGift.shtml

Photo (L-R): Simmons Hanly Conroy Shareholder Ted Gianaris, SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, Rex and Bobbie Petersen, Shirley and Coy Siddall, and Thomas Long, counsel at Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard PC.

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Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: February 2015


The mesothelioma lawyers 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 world.

  • 3 plead guilty to role in large asbestos release in MI
    Three suspects have pleaded guilty for their roles in what could be the largest asbestos release in Michigan since 1971. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that cleanup could cost as much as $1.03 million, according to court documents.
  • Announcing the winner of the 2015 Outstanding Nurse Award
    The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) has announced the second annual winner of the June Breit and Jocelyn Farrar Outstanding Nurse Award – Joanna Redondo of the Hillman Cancer Center. After initial nominations and the selection of five finalists, community voting led to the selection of Joanne as the 2015 winner.
  • Meet the 2015 ADAO Conference keynote speakers: Dr. Jorma Rantanen and Susan Vento
    The keynote speakers for this year’s ADAO Asbestos Awareness Conference have been announced. Dr. Jorma Rantanen is a specialist in occupational health and served for 30 years as the Director General of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. Susan Vento is the widow of Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District representative Bruce Vento, who died from asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.
  • Feds, Michigan crack down on shoddy asbestos removal
    The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and federal prosecutors are stepping up their efforts against property owners and contractors who violate the federal Clean Air Act. Specifically, the crack down pertains to the improper removal of asbestos from buildings scheduled for demolition.

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Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: December 2014


The mesothelioma lawyers at Simmons Hanly Conroy understand the importance of staying up to date on 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 world.

  • EPA: Asbestos cleanup reducing health risks in Libby
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a human health assessment for Libby, one of the largest sites of asbestos exposure, which found that cleanup efforts at the site are reducing deadly asbestos poisoning.
  • Asbestos remains legal despite fatal illnesses linked to it
    Asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, claim the lives of 10,000 Americans every year. Despite this, all efforts to legislate an asbestos ban have been stopped by powerful industrial lobbies and partisan wrangling.
  • Asbestos: An ongoing challenge to global health
    A new article in the journal Annals of Global Health details the current state of asbestos use worldwide, including the how the global spread of asbestos is changing. However, there are still examples of flawed science that are used to justify continued use across the globe.

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Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: November 2014


Here at Simmons Hanly Conroy, our asbestos attorneys want to keep you up to date on the latest asbestos and mesothelioma news. Below is a list of some of the most recent news stories covering asbestos exposure, mesothelioma research and other news from across the globe.

Genetically modified cells learn to fight mesothelioma
Researchers can genetically reengineer the human immune system to recognize cancer cells and attack them. This new treatment is showing promise in fighting tumors in cancers like mesothelioma.

Two companies fined $380,000 over asbestos exposure
Two companies exposed their workers to asbestos during the demolition of a Seattle apartment building. In addition to this, the companies did not properly clean up the dangerous material following the demolition.

EPA awards $124k grant to help reduce asbestos exposure in Texas schools
Earlier this fall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Texas Department of State Health Services with $124,741 to go directly toward reducing asbestos exposure in Texas schools.

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Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: October 2014


The asbestos attorneys at the Simmons Hanly Conroy are dedicated to providing the latest asbestos and mesothelioma news to keep you up to date. Below is a short list of some of the most recent news stories covering asbestos exposure, mesothelioma research and other news from across the world.

  • Curcumin, the Asian spice, helps fight mesothelioma when combined with other natural anti-cancer proteins
    Combined with certain peptide molecules, curcumin has been found to inhibit the progression of mesothelioma. The study, published in the Oct. 14 edition of Clinical Cancer Research, found that the combination greatly increased the body’s level of a protein inhibitor that combats the progression of mesothelioma. The next step is to begin clinical trials.
  • Suburban asbestos deaths blamed on ‘factory of death’
    In Melbourne, Australia, the catastrophic effects of the Wunderlich factory are finally coming to light. More than a dozen deaths have occurred in the area that are directly linked to asbestos exposure at the factory, where children once played in piles of asbestos dust.
  • Twenty builders a week die from asbestos in the UK
    Construction occupations are often known for being high-risk asbestos occupations. A survey done by the United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Executive revealed that carpenters, painters and decorators still come into regular contact with asbestos – as much as 100 times per year. The survey also revealed several myths believed by those in the construction industry pertaining to asbestos exposure.

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