Category Archives: Blog

California Wildfires Leave Residents at Risk for Asbestos-Contaminated Water

In the wake of the devastating California wildfires that displaced thousands across Sonoma and Marin and caused billions of dollars in property damages, area residents could be at risk from contaminants in their drinking water, including asbestos and other cancer-causing toxins. The threat to the area’s drinking water comes from the debris around the Russian River, the main source of drinking water for the two devastated counties.

As the area prepares to enter the rainy season, state officials are worried that toxic pollutants from the burn zones could wash into streams, rivers, and the drinking water supply in the greater North Bay area. There are over 600 streams in Sonoma County alone, many of them leading to the Russian River and passing directly through the burn zones.

While the Sonoma County water agency says the area’s drinking water is safe for now, that all could change depending on when and how much rain comes to the area and how much debris remains when that happens. State and federal environmental officials are working hard every day to inspect thousands of homes for possible toxins, including asbestos, for removal.

Asbestos Mesothelioma Cancer

 Perhaps one of the biggest threats to residents in the North Bay area is asbestos contamination in the drinking water. Although asbestos has been tightly regulated in the U.S. since the 1970s, many homes could have been built before the regulations went into effect. For many decades, companies used asbestos-laden products like drywall, floor tiles, and roofing material to construct homes.

Unfortunately, the mineral known for his malleability and heat resistant properties is also the cause of mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that commonly affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs or abdomen. Contrary to what many corporations and asbestos makers may claim, there is no such thing as a safe level of exposure to asbestos and its possible for even a few tiny fibers to cause serious health conditions.

Although asbestos only began to be regulated in the 1970s, companies using the substance already knew for decades about the serious health consequences of ingesting or inhaling asbestos but did nothing to warn consumers or workers handling the product. As a result, tens of thousands of innocent victims suffered from asbestos exposure and developed mesothelioma cancer and other serious health conditions.

Fortunately, the law gives victims the right to file asbestos cancer lawsuits against the asbestos companies to recover compensation for damages. In addition to awards for medical bills and lost wages, filing a lawsuit can help recover for the pain and suffering felt by the victim and hold these defendants responsible for their indifference to public safety.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer

 If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

 

 

Colgate Palmolive Settles Asbestos Talcum Powder Lawsuit

New York-based Colgate-Palmolive recently agreed to settle a talcum powder asbestos lawsuit to resolve claims that its products caused the mesothelioma cancer of a New Jersey woman. The undisclosed settlement amount will compensate the victim for her cancer diagnosis without the company admitting liability for causing the plaintiff’s injuries.

Recently, women across the country have filed lawsuits against cosmetics companies alleging talcum powder caused their serious health conditions, including ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Johnson & Johnson itself is facing an estimated 5,500 talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in state and federal courts and juries in cases heard thus far have handed down substantial verdicts for plaintiffs.

According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Colgate-Palmolive faces 170 talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuits accusing the company of selling talcum powder products contaminated with the cancer causing mineral. Colgate-Palmolive claims to has settled 43 of those cases so far.

In 2015, a California jury awarded $13 million to a plaintiff who claimed her 20-year use of Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet product was the cause of her mesothelioma diagnosis and the company failed to disclose to her the risks of asbestos-contaminated products. Colgate-Palmolive eventually settled that case for an undisclosed amount to resolve the matter without the need for a lengthy appeal.

The latest case was filed in Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division-Middlesex County and the California case was filed in the Superior Court for the State of California for the County of Los Angeles. Colgate-Palmolive settled both cases for an undisclosed amount outside of court to avoid future litigation.

Asbestos Cancer Health Risks

 For many decades, companies across the country used asbestos in a variety of commercial, industrial, and military applications because of the mineral’s heat resistant properties. Unfortunately, these same entities knowingly created a dangerous product but did nothing to warn consumers about the health risks their products posed.

Although most companies phased out asbestos in their commercial products, some companies like Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson may have continued to use talcum powder from sources contaminated with asbestos. As a result, thousands of women who would otherwise have never encountered the cancer-causing agent potentially developed mesothelioma from using talcum powder based products over the course of several decades.

Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of lung cancer that commonly affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs and abdomen but can eventually spread to vital organs like the heart. There is no cure for mesothelioma and victims are often left with few treatment options once the disease begins to show symptoms decades after the exposure actually took place.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer

 If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

EPA Limits Asbestos Review

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it would reduce the size of its review of several dangerous chemicals and substances, possibly excluding asbestos from the federal review which could effectively ban the cancer causing material. The review process, mandated by Congress, began under the previous presidential administration and would have included examining the use of asbestos in millions of tons of materials already in the country.

Under the revised review, the EPA would limit its examination to toxic materials imported into the country, which does also include hundreds of thousands of tons of asbestos. No asbestos has been mined domestically since 2002, but is still used in a variety of products including brake parts and other industrial applications. Since 1999, more than 45,000 individuals were diagnosed with asbestos related cancers, including mesothelioma.

The EPA review will not consider whether or not existing materials containing asbestos need revised handling and disposal rules to prevent new cases of mesothelioma cancer from occurring, particularly those amongst first responders like firemen and police. Currently, only materials containing more than 1% of asbestos are subject to federal regulations, leaving thousands of Americans at risk of exposure for new and old products.

A recent article by The Chicago Tribune on the subject cited a 2015 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health which analyzed 30,000 cancer-related deaths of firefighters in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. That report concluded that firefighters developed mesothelioma at a rate twice as high as the national average, possibly from exposure to flame retardant chemicals and materials like asbestos.

Millions Still at Risk of Serious Health Problems from Asbestos Exposure

Without rethinking our handling and disposal of cancer causing materials, millions of Americans will continue to be at risk of developing life-threatening conditions like mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma has no cure and can take decades to show symptoms, a reality that severely limits the treatment options for many patients fighting the cruel disease.

Although nothing can undo a mesothelioma diagnosis, victims can hold asbestos manufacturers responsible for putting their deadly product into the stream of commerce knowing full well about the risks to public safety. While federal laws have only targeted asbestos since the mid-1970’s, companies using the product were well aware of the health risks to people coming in contact with the mineral.

By filing an asbestos cancer lawsuit, victims can recover vital compensation to pay for medical treatment and lost wages incurred while fighting the disease. Common professions affected by asbestos exposure include first responders, pipefitters, welders, carpenters, and military servicemembers serving aboard Navy ships or shipyards.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

Asbestos Disposal Company Sues Montana DEQ Over Safety Concerns

A Montana asbestos disposal and abatement company recently filed a lawsuit against the state’s Department of Environmental Quality over allegations that the department has failed to enforce state laws on proper asbestos handling and disposal in landfills. The lawsuit claims that Montana’s failure to adhere to state law on proper asbestos disposal in open air landfills ultimately puts workers, waste transporters, and the general public at risk to exposure of deadly, cancer-causing materials.

The lawsuit, filed in District Court in Butte-Silver Bow County, alleges “failure to manage asbestos waste … both at the level of inspection and at the entry to appropriate landfills, asbestos waste is regularly being dumped in open air in our landfills, endangering landfill workers, transporters, and anyone who breathes air in the area of these dumps.” The plaintiffs claim that despite having regulations more strict than federal asbestos laws, Montana is allowing unlicensed companies to do business, putting the public at risk.

Like many states, Montana requires companies engaged in asbestos abatement, removal, and disposal to be licensed and certified to perform the procedures since airborne asbestos can pose a significant health risk for those in proximity. However, in its response the state asserted that it was not legally required to more aggressively enforce the law and the burden instead rests on the property owners and contractors to comply with applicable ordinances.

Plaintiffs Demand State Regulators do More to Protect Residents

The plaintiffs contend that the state needs to do more to police the property owners trying to save time and money on waste disposal fees by turning to companies that do not hold a license or are trained to properly demolish structures with asbestos. Furthermore, the plaintiff hopes the DEQ will do more to train landfill workers on proper asbestos handling as well as change procedures at these dumping sites.

Montana is no stranger to widespread injuries caused by exposure to toxic asbestos. One asbestos contamination site well known to state residents is the vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana. Thousands of residents living near the mine have died because of asbestos-related diseases, particularly mesothelioma, which is a rare and deadly form of lung cancer directly linked to asbestos exposure.

Thousands of claims against the mine’s owner, WR Grace, accuse the company of knowingly poisoning the miners and townspeople by failing to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks of asbestos exposure. About half of the victims filing claims were workers or family members but the other half are believed to have no connection to the mine whatsoever, except that they lived in proximity to the site.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer

 If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

 

California Appeals Court Reinstates Talcum Powder Asbestos Cancer Lawsuit

A California Appeals Court judge in San Francisco recently reinstated an asbestos cancer lawsuit against talcum powder manufacturer Colgate-Palmolive after finding that the plaintiff’s attorneys presented sufficient evidence for a jury to decide whether or not the victim’s injuries were caused by the defendant’s product. A California Superior Court judge previously tossed out the mesothelioma lawsuit without a trial on the grounds the plaintiff failed to retain any containers of talcum powder alleged to have caused the victim’s cancer.

The mesothelioma asbestos cancer lawsuit claimed that Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder product, manufactured from 1870 to 1995, was produced using talcum powder contaminated with asbestos from mines in Montana, North Carolina, and Italy. The lawsuit states that the victim started using the product as a young girl and continued cosmetic use of Cashmere Bouquet for decades until her mesothelioma cancer diagnosis.

The plaintiff’s expert witness, a mineralogist, analyzed talcum powder from the three mines and concluded the source material to be contaminated with deadly asbestos, a flaky white mineral commonly found in talc and vermiculite. The defense countered with their own witnesses who claimed the defendant’s product was asbestos free and could not have possibly caused the victim’s deadly cancer.

While the defense’s position was initially successful, the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco handed down a unanimous 3-0 decision to send the case back to the lower court for trial after concluding the plaintiff’s mineralogist and other expert witnesses provided enough evidence for a jury to decide the matter. In its decision, the Appeals Court held that there was no evidence that the plaintiff suffered asbestos exposure from any other source and the case was a factual dispute to be heard in court.

Talcum Powder Asbestos Cancer Lawsuits

 Victims across the country have filed talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuits against cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies over allegations that these defendants knowingly produced a defective and dangerous product. For years, companies knew of the link between asbestos and serious health conditions but did nothing to warn the public of exposure or alter product formulas to and keep consumers safe.

Asbestos exposure is causally linked to mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer commonly affecting the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs and abdomen. In addition to talcum powder products, asbestos has been found in many industrial and commercial applications including insulation, vinyl floor tiles, drywall, and roofing materials. Under the law, asbestos cancer victims have the legal right to file lawsuits against asbestos companies and recover vital compensation to pay for medical treatment, recover lost wages, and damages for pain and suffering.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer

 If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

 

Michael Throneberry Recognized For AIOPIA’s 10 Best For Client Satisfaction

The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of Personal Injury Attorney Michael Throneberry as a Two Years 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys for Client Satisfaction

The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Personal Injury attorneys in each state.  Attorneys who are selected to the “10 Best” list must pass AIOPIA’s rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research, and AIOPIA’s independent evaluation.  AIOPIA’s annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the attorney selection process.

One of the most significant aspects of the selection process involves attorneys’ relationship and reputation among his or her clients.  As clients should be an attorney’s top priority, AIOPIA places the utmost emphasis on selecting lawyers who have achieved significant success in the field of Personal Injury law without sacrificing the service and support they provide.  Selection criteria therefore focus on attorneys who demonstrate the highest standards of Client Satisfaction.

We Congratulate Michael Throneberry on this achievement and we are honored to have him as a Two Years AIOPIA Member.

You can contact Michael Throneberry directly at 480-454-6008 or arizonamesotheliomaattorney.com.

After Jury Hands Down $13 Million Award, Hillshire Brands Sues Insurer Over Bad Faith Negotiations

 

After a California jury handed down a substantial $13 million verdict against Hillshire Brands over the company’s role in the plaintiff’s mesothelioma cancer diagnosis, the defendant is now the plaintiff after it sued its insurance carriers over bad faith negotiations related to the asbestos cancer trial it lost. The parent company of Tyson’s Foods and one time owner of the Union Sugar plant west of Santa Maria, California seeks to recover money under its insurance policies with carriers California Casualty Co. and American Home Assurance Company.

Hillshire Brands filed its bad faith lawsuit against its insurers only days after an Alameda County jury ruled in favor of the plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit on behalf of their deceased family member who passed away due to mesothelioma. Their lawsuit claimed that he and other townsfolk near the Union Sugar Plant suffered from serious asbestos exposure twice a year when the company operating the plant performed renovations that sent asbestos dust into the air.

Asbestos was once commonly used in many industrial and commercial applications because of its heat resistant properties, including insulation and pipe gaskets. Unfortunately, the flaky white mineral also causes a number of serious health problems, including mesothelioma lung cancer and asbestosis. The condition affects thousands of unsuspecting Americans every year, usually decades after initial exposure.

After taking the case all the way to trial and losing, Hillshire Brands now claims that it attempted to settle the case multiple times with the plaintiff for amounts within the policy limits of insurance provided by California Casualty Co. and American Home Assurance Company. Hillshire Brands claims that its insurers failed to participate in a pair of mandatory settlement conferences with the plaintiff’s attorneys and itself had no authority to negotiate a resolution to the case.

Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that the insurance companies failed to provide any assistance to Hillshire Brands in preparing for a settlement prior to trial or in anticipation of a substantial jury verdict. Reports indicate that the plaintiffs also extended an offer to settle the claim within Hillshire Brands’ policy limits, but the two insurance companies refused the resolution. What comes next could be a prolonged legal battle between two sides that refuse to accept liability for the harm their negligence has caused.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.