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Attorney Kenneth P. Danzinger is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy with over 25 years of experience practicing law. He focuses his practice on helping individuals and families impacted by asbestos-related diseases, like mesothelioma.
Ken believes a client with a mesothelioma diagnosis needs the chance to tell his or her own story about how and when they were exposed to asbestos. He also investigates who was responsible for the exposure. To do so, he often arranges for his clients to give a deposition, which is like an interview. This gives a mesothelioma victim the chance to tell their story about their exposure to asbestos and how their mesothelioma diagnosis has impacted their and their family’s lives.
“If a victim gives a deposition, then the jury will be able to hear his or her story at trial, even if that person has since passed away,” Ken said. “That sends a powerful message because no one else can tell their story better than themselves.”
Through this process, Ken develops close relationships with clients and family members. He remains in touch with several of his clients and their families whose cases have since resolved. These friendships are what he likes most about his job.
“My job as an asbestos attorney is to help people who have been victimized through no fault of their own,” he said. “They find themselves in a terrible situation, and it’s my job to help them hold corporations accountable for knowingly exposing them to asbestos and recklessly poisoning innocent workers.”
Ken has extensive experience representing workers exposed to asbestos through their work as railroaders. He focuses his practice on Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) mesothelioma and other toxic tort cases.
“I’ve been litigating FELA cases my entire career. Most of FELA cases at the firm come to me,” he said.
The FELA is a federal law enacted in 1908 to protect and compensate railroad workers who were injured on the job. It differs from workers’ compensation laws because with the FELA, Ken must prove that a railroad was negligent, not just that the employee was injured at work.
One recent client of Ken’s was a man who worked for a railroad in California in the 1950s scrapping steam engines full of asbestos insulation and equipment. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma, hired the firm, and passed away two months later. In that short time period, Ken was able to get the case filed and to take the client’s deposition. Because of Ken’s quick legal work, the family received a significant FELA mesothelioma settlement.
In addition to FELA claims, Ken also works with clients who were plumbers, pipefitters, Navy seamen, boiler makers, machinists and who worked in other trades. He has secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients. He has taken cases to trial in multiple jurisdictions, including Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Montana and West Virginia.
Before joining the firm, Ken was a partner in a Metro St. Louis law firm where he also litigated FELA claims and worked closely with union representatives. Ken was a Madison County Assistant State’s Attorney; he worked as assistant city attorney for The City of Madison, Illinois; and he served as the attorney for Venice Township.
Ken grew up in a blue collar family in Cincinnati, Ohio, where his dad worked as a railroad brakeman and a union representative. Through his father’s work, Ken has a natural understanding of the challenges faced by those who have suffered occupational injuries.
“My clients and their families remind me of my own family, and I represent them accordingly,” Ken said. “I will work hard, I will be honest, and I will give them the best representation possible.”