John, an 81-year-old veteran of the Korean War, was no stranger to adversity. John and his unit had participated in some of the war’s hardest fought and most dangerous battles, including the 1952 Battle of Triangle Hill. The battle is considered one of the bloodiest in the war.
For three days and nights, John and his unit of over 200 men exchanged fire with the Chinese army. They were fighting for a key area that contained many major roadways needed to supply troops called the Iron Triangle. Only 55 men from John’s company returned unscathed. John was one of the lucky ones.
“I was fortunate to get by without a scratch,” John remembered in a news article. “I had some close calls, but not anything that put me out of commission.”
John’s courage on the frontlines led to him receiving a Bronze Star for meritorious service.
John’s Occupational Exposure to Asbestos
Before joining the U.S. Army, John worked at a Wisconsin Proctor & Gamble paper facility as a utility man. During his service, he kept in touch with his coworkers back home. In one letter he wrote to a co-worker that was published in the company newsletter, John stated, “Every once in a while my thoughts turn back to the mill. I sure will be glad to return.”
Little did John know, returning to the mill would eventually be the cause of his death.
John returned to the facility after being honorably discharged. John spent the rest of his career working at the P&G facility as a utility man, and later as an instrument technician. He repaired and performed maintenance on boilers, pumps, compressors, furnaces, steam presses and steam pipes. He also worked alongside pipefitters, boilermakers, furnace operators, carpenters and other workers. Time and time again, John was exposed to asbestos without even knowing it.
On Thanksgiving Day 2010, John began to feel bad. Difficulty breathing and chest pains resulted in a trip to a Green Bay hospital. Doctors discovered John had a pleural effusion, or fluid surrounding the lung. After a biopsy, John was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2010.
The following April, 58 years after surviving the Battle of Triangle Hill, John passed away. He was days away from his 82nd birthday.
“[He was] a really great guy who never let anyone know how much pain his cancer was really causing him,” remembered Shareholder Tim Thompson, the lead attorney on John’s case. “He was the type of man who didn’t want you to worry about him. Even though he was clearly going through a horrible ordeal, his concern was always with his friends and family.”
Seeking Justice Through a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
After John was diagnosed, he and his family knew they didn’t have much time. John wanted to make sure his family would be taken care of when he passed. The family contacted Simmons Hanly Conroy about filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Led by Shareholder Tim Thompson, John’s legal team began work on his case. They conducted discovery into the asbestos-containing products responsible for John’s exposure. Through their work, the team was able to fulfill John’s final wish and provide for his family.
Though John passed away, he will always live on in the hearts of many as a war hero and a survivor.
Learn More About Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
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Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit can help you cover medical expenses and secure your family’s future well-being for years to come. Our mesothelioma lawyers will make the process as easy as possible for you and guide you through the legal system. Learn more about what to expect when filing a mesothelioma lawsuit by downloading our free introductory guide.