Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

Exclusive remedy provisions prove downfall for some asbestos victims

9 Jun 2017 by Sarah Mahan under Legal

Anthophyllite asbestos SEM 1 100x100 Exclusive remedy provisions prove downfall for some asbestos victimsA U.S. federal appeals court dismissed six asbestos exposure claims Tuesday for failure by the plaintiffs to sufficiently prove that their non-occupational asbestos exposure was a substantial contributor to their injuries. (more…)


Chicago Public Schools behind in handling asbestos, study finds

5 Jun 2017 by Sarah Mahan under News

cpslogo v1 min 100x100 Chicago Public Schools behind in handling asbestos, study findsAsbestos management is mandated by federal law for all schools in the United States. The regulations require schools to identify asbestos and re-inspect asbestos containing material every three years to monitor that it is not at risk of becoming airborne. Federal law also requires schools to “develop, maintain and update” an asbestos management plan, which documents recommended asbestos response actions for the school, the location of asbestos in the school and any action to repair or remove it.

A new report from Unvision Chicago and the Social Justice News Nexus at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism found Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have fallen behind in removing or encapsulating asbestos in school buildings. (more…)


School Districts consider asbestos abatement to protect students

17 Mar 2015 by Wesley Smithart under News

200px asbestos warning 150x150 School Districts consider asbestos abatement to protect studentsAs schools prepare to close for the summer, several school boards are scheduling renovations over the break, including asbestos abatement. Though getting rid of asbestos can be costly and time-consuming, many schools are finding it necessary in order to ensure the health and safety of their students and employees. (more…)


Lawsuit filed by machinist diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer

27 Feb 2014 by Temp Temple under Legal, News

Gavel Scales of Justice American flag square 100x100 Lawsuit filed by machinist diagnosed with asbestos related lung cancerAn asbestos exposure complaint was filed Feb. 12, 2014, by a Pennsylvania man who was recently diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer. Working as a machinist for numerous companies, Milton M. Schuster, Sr., was allegedly exposed to asbestos from 1954 through 1985 by his former employers’ products, leading to his diagnosis on Dec. 12, 2013, according to the complaint. (more…)


Illinois middle school finishing asbestos removal project; students slated to return next week

31 Jan 2014 by Wendi Lewis under News

IL middle school ABC7 WLS image 100x100 Illinois middle school finishing asbestos removal project; students slated to return next weekAn Illinois middle school announced it has finished clearing asbestos that was discovered earlier this month. Workers repairing a leaking pipe and cleaning up resulting mold discovered the toxic substance in broken tiles around the work site. As a result, the school was closed for cleanup. (more…)


Mesothelioma Awareness Day holds special meaning for Texas family

23 Sep 2009 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News, People

George and Betty Elo for WEB1 100x100 Mesothelioma Awareness Day holds special meaning for Texas familyMesothelioma Awareness Day will always hold a special significance for Mary Elo. On August 15, 2009, her father passed away as a result of mesothelioma. That alone would mark the day for her, but even more significant, her Dad, George Elo, was just short of his 77th birthday – which is Sept. 26, the same day designated as Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

Her father first started getting sick a couple of years ago, Mary recalls. He had a constant cough, and began losing weight and experiencing shortness of breath. He went to see his primary care physician, and was diagnosed with pneumonia. This happened several times, and always the story was the same. He even had fluid on his lungs, and he would have a short hospital stay, and even though the fluid was tested, there was no diagnosis and he would return home, Mary says.

“We had not heard of mesothelioma before he got his diagnosis,” Mary says. “The doctors didn’t seem to have any sense of urgency to find out what was going on. I began looking on the internet, and he had seven of the nine symptoms for mesothelioma.”

At that point, Mary insisted her father receive a biopsy to find out what was going on with the recurring fluid in his lungs. On June 2, 2009, they received the diagnosis – epithelioid pleural mesothelioma. By the time he was diagnosed, he was already in stage 4. Despite trying chemotherapy, he passed away by August 15.

“The system failed my father,” Mary says. “There was just no sense of urgency.”

A Navy veteran, her Dad was being treated at the VA medical center for an atrial fibrillation, and had been on coumadin for a few years. When he began having his bouts of pneumonia, the doctors at the VA called for an MRI / PET scan, and his May 12george elo with family1 300x264 Mesothelioma Awareness Day holds special meaning for Texas family test records indicated a suspicion for mesothelioma. But her parents couldn’t read the paperwork, and the primary care physicians somehow missed the notation, Mary says. He had several thoracenteses, yet never had a diagnosis for mesothelioma until Mary insisted on a biopsy nearly a month later after reading about meso online.

“I was the internet MD at this point,” she says. “It drove my father crazy,” she recalls. By the time he was diagnosed, her Dad, who was 6’1”, weighed only 132 pounds.

Despite the advanced state of his mesothelioma and the toll it had already taken on his body, Mary says her dad immediately began talking to the doctors about treatment options. “He went through this whole process wanting to fight it,” she says. “He did not give up until the very end, and was willing to do anything necessary. He was definitely a warrior.”

Even while his illness sapped his strength and breath, and his chemotherapy caused him physical pain, he barely let it show, Mary says. He was still the rock of the family, looking after his wife of 55 years, Betty, along with his five kids, Mary and her sisters Lisa, Linda and Midge, and their brother Billy; as well as 8 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, all of whom live in Texas, spread out in San Antonio, Austin and Dallas.

“He put a strong face on it, even though he was struggling to breathe every day,” Mary says.

Now, the family is working to raise awareness, hoping to help other families make the diagnosis earlier, and to prevent exposure to asbestos in the first place.

“It seems like after we found out about my Dad’s diagnosis, we heard more about mesothelioma. I was watching the news after my father’s diagnosis and they were talking about Libby, Montana. Speaking to two of my friends, I found that their fathers had died from meso, and one girl’s grandmother died of mesothelioma. A contractor right here in our building, his mother is living with meso and his father passed away as a result of meso. It seems like it’s all around me.”

Mary and her family are working on awareness efforts in their cities. Mary got Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell to sign a petition declaring Mesothelioma Awareness Day in the city, george elo with family 2 300x172 Mesothelioma Awareness Day holds special meaning for Texas familyand she is working with Texas State Senator , Jr., whose father also died of mesothelioma, to create a proclamation in her father’s honor. Her goal is to get a permanent designation for Mesothelioma Awareness Day in the state of Texas.

Additionally, Mary is working with her local running clubs to establish a “Miles for Meso” event similar to the one that is taking place in Alton, Illinois, on Sept. 26 this year. She hopes to have that established and hold the inaugural race in time to celebrate Meso Awareness Day – and her Dad’s birthday – in 2010.


Miles for Meso fundraiser race set for Sept. 26

3 Sep 2009 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News, Organizations

MilesforMeso logo2 Miles for Meso fundraiser race set for Sept. 26If you live near the St. Louis area or wouldn’t mind traveling to take part in a mesothelioma awareness and fundraising event, sign up now for the “Miles for Meso5k Race and Fun Run/Walk. The event will be held in Alton, Illinois, less than 30 minutes from downtown St. Louis. The race is set for September 26, Mesothelioma Awareness Day, at 9 a.m.

Registration fee for the event is only $15 (prior to Sept. 16; $20 after Sept. 16, $25 day of the event), with all proceeds going to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, which is the national non-profit dedicated to ending the suffering caused by mesothelioma by funding mesothelioma reserach, educating patients and advocating for federal mesothelioma funding.  The event is sponsored by Simmons Law Firm, which has pledged to match every entry with an additional $15 donation to the Meso Foundation.

The race is open to everyone of all ages, from serious runners to walkers and families. The event will be coordinated by the Metro Tri Club. There will be cash prizes, and every participant registered before Sept. 16 will receive a commemorative hi-tech running t-shirt.

You can REGISTER ONLINE or download a registration form at the web site and mail it along with your registration fee to:

Miles for Meso
c/o Metro Tri Club
P.O. Box 42
Roxana, IL 62084

Checks should be made payable to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.

The 5K race will be a timed, competitive event, and the 5K fun run/walk will be a great chance for runners, walkers, families and others to show their support for a great cause.

For more information visit the official web site at www.milesformesothelioma .org.


Celebrating life in the face of mesothelioma

24 Apr 2009 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News, People

When Linda van Amerongen remembers her father, Lloyd Harloff, certainly there is sadness, and anger, at the mesothelioma that took his life. But what shines through beyond and above all that is joy, and appreciation, and celebration of a life well lived and well loved. She and her family will gather this Saturday, April 25, to celebrate Lloyd’s life on the first anniversary of his death, just four days after what would have been his 80th birthday.

“It’s a family event,” Linda explains. “We’re just going to get together and play cards, play his favorite music, just remember him. You hear a lot of times that after someone dies, their funeral should celebrate their life, and I used to think that was sort of just something people said. But with my dad, we really did. And that’s what this weekend is about. We’re going to re-celebrate him Saturday.”

In December 2007, her dad was plagued by a bad cough and cold that he couldn’t seem to shake, Linda remembers. He had suffered a few bouts of pneumonia in previous months, and had several chest x-rays during that time. When he visited the doctor in December, he had another chest x-ray, and doctors were concerned about some notable differences. They ordered further tests, and after a pleural effusion they confirmed a diagnosis of mesothelioma in January 2008.

“Even now when I talk to people, nine out of 10 people have no idea what it is,” Linda says. “I probably didn’t know before my dad was diagnosed, but afterward I felt like the airwaves were inundated with ‘mesothelioma.’ It was on TV, on the backs of busses. Still, every little bit people can do to raise awareness helps.”

Despite his advanced age, her dad never thought of giving up, despite mesothelioma’s bleak prognosis, Linda says. He consulted with his oncologist and immediately began the first round of chemotherapy. His family and his love of his favorite sport, golf, motivated him to fight, Linda said.

“My dad loved golf,” she says. “He played 18 holes regularly, and he actually got a hole-in-one the year before his death. Golf was always something he used to motivate himself. He had a stroke a few years ago, and golf was a big motivator for his recovery, to get through rehab and get back out on the course. So this time, he said he wanted to do the chemo and be well enough come spring to be back on the golf course with his buddies. It was something he could use as a goal.”

Unfortunately, the first round of chemotherapy proved ineffective. Despite dwindling hopes for a positive outcome, he decided to do a second round with a different drug. But his body was weakening.

“He began to really not feel well. Between January and April – he really wasn’t feeling good a lot of that time. And yet he persevered,” Linda says.

There was a series of family events in April – she calls it the “month of Sundays” because each special activity was on a Sunday – of which her dad was determined to be a part. The first Sunday, the family had a big card party at her house, then the next week a surprise 50th birthday party for Linda’s sister and Lloyd’s middle daughter, Pam.

“He was on oxygen at this point, but he was there,” Linda remembers. “Family was so important to him, and he wanted to do everything that we had planned.”

The following Sunday, the family visited their parents, Lloyd and Maryann, for Lloyd’s 79th birthday party. Linda had noticed her dad had not been eating much for a while, and that he seemed weaker at his birthday party.

“He was in a fair amount of pain, and I don’t think we even really knew how much,” she says.

As she left her parents’ house, Linda says her mom asked her to keep her phone nearby, as she thought they might have to go to the hospital soon. That night, Lloyd was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He passed away four days later, on April 25, 2008.

“This is a sucky disease,” Linda says, a bit of her anger peeking through. “It robs you, sort of unsuspectingly. And the fact that they can’t make it better at this point, for the most part … well, I know there are more and more stories of people who do survive, and I’d have loved for him to be one of those.”

Her father’s funeral truly was a celebration of his life, she says. Her dad was dressed in his favorite Chicago Cubs t-shirt, with his golf shoes on his feet. Her brother, Keith, wrote a speech about time, which he read at the event.

“He wrote this piece about how you always think you have time,” Linda says. “My dad made time for everything – to go to a kid’s ballgame, to help you paint your house. He led by example, which I think is something we’ve all discovered since he died. He was a quiet man who loved to be around his family and friends, and we’ve all learned in the past year what a big part of our lives he was.”

The family also will host a memorial mass and brunch in honor of their father on Sunday, April 26.


Canadian labor group supports asbestos ban

27 May 2008 by Wendi Lewis under Events, News

canada flag Canadian labor group supports asbestos banCanada is one of the few countries that still mines and produces asbestos, which it exports to countries such as India, Indonesia and Pakistan for use in construction material. Quebec, where Canada’s two asbestos mines are located, has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world.

This week, according to a report by the Canadian HR Reporter, the Canadian Labour Congress is calling for a ban on the mining, and a financial support plan for the approximately 700 miners who would be affected by the industry closure.

The call for the ban comes despite delays in making public the results of a scientific study examining the health risks of asbestos. According to CBCNews.ca, “Michel Arsenault, president of the Quebec Federation of Labour, in February convinced his colleagues at the Canadian Labour Congress not to call for a ban on asbestos mining until after the study was completed and made public.”

The study, conducted under the direction of Health Canada, was begun last November by a team of seven scientific and medical experts. According to CBC, the report was completed in March and promised to be released in weeks. Experts who worked on the project are objecting to the delay in releasing the report.

CBC quotes Leslie Staynor, head of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois, who worked on the study, as saying, “I want to make the record clear that nothing in the report would argue against the sensibility of an asbestos ban in Canada or for that matter anywhere else in the world.”

The CBC report points out that asbestos has been called a “deadly threat” by the International Labour Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Association for Cancer Research and many more health agencies.