Future tied up in past as asbestos deaths continue in Libby

30 Dec 2009 by Wendi Lewis under News

As part of its look back at the year 2009, the Missioulian newspaper spoke with residents of , Montana, the “poster child” for and other related diseases. and its people have been decimated by asbestos exposure from the mine that for generations operated in the town. Even those who did not work in the mine were affected, as dust blanketed the town, spilled from trucks and railway cars, and particles were used as landfill throughout the town.

W.R. Grace & Company operated the mine. In 2009, the company and several of its officers were brought up on criminal charges, but a jury returned a verdict of “not guilty.” Many following the trial closely said the government botched its case against the company, and others argued Grace’s deep pockets simply outpaced the efforts of a handful of government lawyers.

The aquittal was another in a long line of emotional blows for residents, who hoped to see W.R. Grace finally brought to justice for the devastation of their hometown, their families and loved ones. Generations of residents have already died of , and many more are currently suffering from , asbestosis, lung cancer, and a host of other ailments caused by longterm exposure to .

On June 17, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finally declared a public health emergency in . This designation – the first of its kind in American history – will allow the government to increase funds to provide for medical treatment for residents, and for research into disease. According to the Missoulian, has already received $6 million, which is designated for patient screening and care, and the town is set to receive an additional $2 million for health care and home care assistance. The paper reports the health care clinic – the Center for Related Diseases () – and the local hospital are planning expansions.

At the beginning of December, a series of town hall meetings were held, hoping to address important questions about safety and health, including whether or not the government’s clean-up efforts are truly making any difference.

For residents who already have seen husbands, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives die terrible deaths from disease, it is too little too late. They try to remain strong, but they are angry, and sad, and it’s hard to hold onto hope.

Read the full article by Missoulian reporter Micheal Jamison.

  • mikecrill

    Thanks to Max “WR Grace” Baucus,his slip of the Medicare bill for Libby WILL cost BILLIONS and NOW guess who is going to pay for our/my medical? You bet…you tax payers.We all need help till we die and we will get that help one way or the other but to save WR Grace from paying for what they/THEY did…is criminal.Bad enough they got away with killing all of us now they aren't going to pay for us. Hell of a deal Max Baucus you cheaten,lieing basta*d…In your statement Max Baucus to Congress defending your slip to save Grace, you stated Max, quote:The People of Libby were poisoned and have been dying for over a decade… ” NEW RESIDENTS, continue to get sick all the time.Public health tragedies like this could happen in any town”… So what is it Max? Is Libby safe or still killing more people? And who is responsible to those “NEW RESIDENTS who are now sentenced to suffer till death, as the rest of us. The killing of innocent people has not stopped and nor has the lies being told that Libby is a safe place to live and raise a family.This is a deadly lie…and EVERYONE knows this and no one is stopping this.No warnings. No truth told to save those from this death sentence.At the settlement hearing,that I was kicked out of, less than 100 people were their and slowly one by one they got up and left when they were told, after 10 years , that they are only going to get 6 thousand.6 thousand for 10 years of hell.Then were told a year or so before anyone see anything. AND THEN, were told any money they get from other lawsuits, you have to PAY a % BACK to WR Grace.Back of what???6 thousand.This don't even bury any of us.Then to top that the State of Montana offered to settle for 3 thousand each…for 10 years of hell. Yah, 3 and 6 thousand.Unreal huh.And my children are not included for their pain and suffering they endure the rest of their lives. So of course I told them where to shove their offer and have requested and demanded that the Libby Fix be what me and my family settle for.And for the people of Libby.The Libby Fix was drafted my me in 2005 and went to the Senate for vote and passed. Then went to Congress and missed by ONE vote.(Stevens of Alaska) Had we won that vote, we all would of been taken care of with 400 thousand and medical paid.No need to give us a dime if we have to pay for our own medical.Cost on average,$500 thousand to care for a asbestos victim.And the latest is that because I am representing myself against those that did this to me, I am now being told that I have nothing wrong with me.All because of one Dr. who is a WR Grace insurance Dr. who said this.Even thou I am dying from asbestosis. So, the sick and dying people continue to be treated unfairly and I am tired of being at the bottom of this well when everyone else is getting rich from the killing of us.3 and 6 thousand is what we waited 10 years to be told? What would you think…do???? I know what I'd love to do but…..I want the Libby Fix.It's my money and I want it NOW!!! haha. would be nice. I also am still looking for a lawyer to represent me. Take care and stay away from Libby Mt. Thank you

  • http://www.mesolawsuit.com/contact.aspx Will

    If I were in that situation, I think I'd sue just to try to get the company to take personal responsibility. Sometimes it's not so much about the money as it is about making them admit what they did. Anyone in Libby who agrees with that should check out http://www.mesolawsuit.com to get more information.

  • mikecrill

    Hi Will. We have tried and have failed like OJ.Guilty of murder but the bloody glove don't fit…Because WR Grace got away with murder, who believes there is Justice in a Country where the Government is just as Guilty??? Who is going to pay? Who is going to jail? Who is going to admit guilt? The evidence is in the walking dead.Plus this crap that only Meso gets help sucks cause asbestosis is just as bad except longer to suffer till death.All the same..in the end.Why wait till we get Meso to represent us.We would like to be able to spent and enjoy anything before it is really too late.With Libby continueing the deadly exposure by the lies being told/sold that Libby is safe…10 years now I have told the truth.Sure hope it don't take another 10 years to tell the truth.May not make it that long.Thank the Lord I am here today to continue to say what I say and that is stay away from Libby Mt.No Justice Will…for us.

  • http://www.mesolawsuit.com/contact.aspx Will

    If I were in that situation, I think I'd sue just to try to get the company to take personal responsibility. Sometimes it's not so much about the money as it is about making them admit what they did. Anyone in Libby who agrees with that should check out http://www.mesolawsuit.com to get more information.

  • mikecrill

    Hi Will. We have tried and have failed like OJ.Guilty of murder but the bloody glove don't fit…Because WR Grace got away with murder, who believes there is Justice in a Country where the Government is just as Guilty??? Who is going to pay? Who is going to jail? Who is going to admit guilt? The evidence is in the walking dead.Plus this crap that only Meso gets help sucks cause asbestosis is just as bad except longer to suffer till death.All the same..in the end.Why wait till we get Meso to represent us.We would like to be able to spent and enjoy anything before it is really too late.With Libby continueing the deadly exposure by the lies being told/sold that Libby is safe…10 years now I have told the truth.Sure hope it don't take another 10 years to tell the truth.May not make it that long.Thank the Lord I am here today to continue to say what I say and that is stay away from Libby Mt.No Justice Will…for us.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jensen.sasha7 Sasha Jensen


    Plus this crap that only Meso gets help sucks cause asbestosis is just as bad except longer to suffer till death.” You are right, it is a terrible disease that does not get taken seriously by those who have never had it or known people who do.
    http://www.weitzlux.com/asbestosis-diagnosis_1962616.html

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