Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

Deep freezing mesothelioma tumors proves a beneficial treatment

30 Dec 2016 by under Research/Treatment

research test tubes 100x100 Deep freezing mesothelioma tumors proves a beneficial treatmentSubzero temperatures aren’t what many would call beneficial to human health, especially during chilly winter months, but a recent study has found extreme cold can be beneficial in treating tumors, according to Surviving Mesothelioma.

Specifically, the University of California, Los Angeles study, published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, finds cryoablation or cryosurgery has beneficial results for patients with pleural mesothelioma cancer, a type of mesothelioma normally caused by the inhalation of asbestos particles and affecting the lining of the lungs. (more…)


California families can now sue over secondhand asbestos exposure, mesothelioma

7 Dec 2016 by under News

CA SC seal 100x100 California families can now sue over secondhand asbestos exposure, mesotheliomaIn the state of California, family members can now more easily sue loved ones’ employers for their own, secondhand asbestos exposure leading to the development of . Last week the California Supreme Court ruled to allow lawsuits against employers filed on behalf of family members who have contracted an asbestos-related disease secondhand from a relative.

(more…)


Debbie Brewer’s funeral set for June 20; family welcomes all whose lives she touched

18 Jun 2013 by under Events, News, People

debbie brewer 10 2009 100x100 Debbie Brewers funeral set for June 20; family welcomes all whose lives she touchedI was very sad to report earlier this month that our beloved meso warrior, , passed away after battling six years against . Her funeral is set for Thursday, June 20, a 1 p.m. at Weston Mill Crematorium, Plymouth, U.K. Debbie’s family says all whose lives she touched are welcome to attend the service. Well-wishers are asked – per Debbie’s request – not to wear black to the services. (more…)


Meso warriors urged to rally around Debbie

10 May 2012 by under Organizations, People

Debbie Brewer april 2012 209x300 Meso warriors urged to rally around DebbieOne of our favorite Meso Warriors, Debbie Brewer, was disappointed this week to learn that her had progressed. Many of you have been following Debbie’s story through the past several years, since she originally shared it with us. Debbie has become a leader in the fight for , and is an outspoken advocate both in her home in the U.K. and worldwide. (more…)


Merlin Olsen family settles asbestos lawsuit

29 Sep 2011 by under Legal, News, People

merlin olsen 100x100 Merlin Olsen family settles asbestos lawsuitThe Associated Press reported last week that the family of famed football and television star Merlin Olsen had settled the lawsuit it had filed against several companies. The family was seeking to hold 10 companies responsible for asbestos exposure that they say caused Mr. Olsen to contract mesothelioma, from which he died in March 2010 at age 69. The lawsuit alleged Mr. Olsen was exposed to asbestos in his youth, when working on construction sites. Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that usually affects the lining of the lungs and/or the abdomen. It typically takes mesothelioma a long time to develop after exposure. (more…)


Mesothelioma claims the life of Merlin Olsen

11 Mar 2010 by under Events, News, People

merlin olsen 100x100 Mesothelioma claims the life of Merlin OlsenNot three months ago, on Dec. 31, it was announced that football and television star Merlin Olsen had been diagnosed with . Today I learned that he has passed away, a victim of this horrible disease that lies in wait to kill. He was only 69 years old.

Olsen was a star defensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams football team, who went on to a television acting career. He played Jonathan Garvey on the series Little House on the Prairie and was the title character of Father Murphy. He also appeared on Fathers and Sons and Aaron’s Way, and filled the role of sportscaster at both CBS and NBC.

Online celebrity news magazine TMZ broke the news in December that Olsen and his family had filed a against several companies, including NBC Studios, NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, claiming they were responsible for exposing him to asbestos, which causes mesothelioma. Also named in the suit are Sherwin Williams and Lennox Industries, whose products Olsen says he was exposed to during jobs in his youth.

Read his obituary in the Los Angeles Times.

On December 8, 2009, his alma mater, Utah State University, where he was selected twice as an NCAA All-American, among other honors, announced it would name its football field after him – Merlin Olsen Field. How truly sad that he will never see a team take the field that now bears his name. Watch the tribute video created by the university at the announcement:

What a sad loss of a man who truly seemed to care genuinely for others, for his family and his community. He will be genuinely missed.


Football, television star Merlin Olsen diagnosed with mesothelioma

20 Jan 2010 by under News, People

merlin olsen 100x100 Football, television star Merlin Olsen diagnosed with mesotheliomaOn Dec. 31, the online celebrity news source, TMZ, revealed that football and television star Merlin Olsen has filed a lawsuit against a number of companies, claiming they are responsible for exposing him to asbestos, resulting in his recent diagnosis of malignant . Companies named in the suit are Sherwin Williams and , whose products Olsen says he was exposed to during jobs in his youth, but also NBC Studios, NBC Universal, and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. It is unclear from the lawsuit how the television and movie companies contributed to Olsen’s asbestos exposure.

Olsen was a professional football player for the Los Angeles Rams team, and later had a successful career as a sportscaster and actor, most notably on shows “Little House on the Prairie” and “Father Murphy.”

According to the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the defendants “were engaged in the business of manufacturing, fabricating, designing, assembling, distributing, leasing, buying, selling, inspecting, servicing, installing, repairing, marketing, warranting and advertising a certain substance the generic name of which is asbestos.”

News reports say Olsen, with wife Susan by his side, is fighting his mesothelioma and currently undergoing chemotherapy.

Read the complaint.


Entertainment world loses famed columnist Archerd to mesothelioma

9 Sep 2009 by under Events, News, People

The entertainment world is mourning the passing of a legend, famed columnist Army Archerd, who passed away Tuesday at a Los Angeles, California,  hospital at age 87. Archerd, a U.S. Navy Veteran who served during World War II, died of . Archerd penned a “must read” gossip column for the Hollywood industry trade paper Daily Variety for more than 50 years.

According to a report by the Associated Press, it is believed Archerd contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos during his military service, as asbestos was widely used to insulate vessels for decades. He began his journalism career with AP before moving into writing for the entertainment industry, and he was among the first journalists to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

According to a story by ABC News/Reuters News Service, the entertainment writer was so influential in the industry that when he criticized some derogatory lyrics penned by in the 1995 song “They Don’t Care About Us,” the “King of Pop” called Archerd personally to let him know he planned to re-record the song.

Archerd is survived by his wife, Selma, a son and two stepsons.


More asbestos danger for California town

12 May 2008 by under Events, News

Last week I posted news that the federal Bureau of Land Management, under the direction of the Environmental Protection Agency, closed a 48-acre recreational area in California known as Clear Creek due to concerns about high levels of in the area. The land is a popular area for off-road hiking, biking and ATV adventures, with about 35,000 visitors a year. But now it seems that is a growing concern throughout a wide swath of California, where naturally occuring is prevalent. The Los Angeles Times reported May 2 about a community in El Dorado Hills, Calif., that is being investigated by the EPA for high asbestos levels.

Inspectors donned air filters and protective gear while running, biking and playing baseball and other sports in areas of the town to monitor asbestos levels. The paper reported that initial EPA assessments were worst along a creek-side trail in El Dorado Hills Community Park, where asbestos levels were 22-43 times higher than ambient air levels when stirred up by the common recreational activities tested.

It shouldn’t come as a complete surprise to the town. Already, the newspaper reported, asbestos concerns were responsible for a $2.5-million cleanup at , including replacing the running track with a new all-weather surface.

Still, there is active ground clearing and new home construction throughout the town, with an affluent population and fine homes priced in the $700,000 range.

While some residents expressed concern, I was struck by the comments of residents who seemed to want to ignore the threat, or who refused to believe there would be a problem as a result of the asbestos. The Times quoted residents who “shrugged off” the news, saying “the whole thing seems like overkill.” Others objected to “the government” “overreacting,” saying “there’s risk in life whatever you do.”

One resident, who is worried about the effects on her children, recalling how her daughter brushed up clouds of asbestos-laden dust after a cheerleading routine, said, “Most people around here seem more worred about home values than health.”

The same types of risk dismissals are found in the Clear Creek story, where outdoor enthusiasts are vowing to fight the recreational area’s closing, telling the government to stop meddling and let them take the risk.

I just don’t understand this attitude. Asbestos is proven to be a danger, causing asbestosis, mesothelioma and other lung and stomach cancers. If people were told they were building their homes on radioactive land, or bike riding through Chernobyl, they would be concerned. Why is this deadly threat so much less apparent to them? Most seem to have the attitude that they will “worry about it later.”

What about the children? With the often long latency period for asbestos damage, youngsters exposed to asbestos now are at risk of developing problems in the prime of life. Are parents really willing to risk the lives of their children in order to not be “inconvenienced” or to “make their own decisions” independent of government recommendations?

If the EPA were to turn away from this danger, to issue a warning but not aggressively pursue closures and clean-up, what would the public say years from now, when people are affected with asbestosis and mesothelioma? “Where was our warning?” “Where was the government, to tell us there was danger?”

You can’t have it both ways.


Asbestos in CSI toy sparks lawsuits

16 Apr 2008 by under Legal, Organizations

Public Justice recently filed suit in federal and California state courts against CBS Broadcasting, Inc., Planet Toys, Inc., and several retail manufacturers in response to their production and marketing of CSI toy kits containing . has been linked to mesothelioma, a deadly lung cancer, as well as other cancers, asbestosis and pulmonary fibrosis.

CBS licenses the toy, which is based on its popular CSI: Crime Scene Investigation ™ television program. Planet Toys is the manufacturer.

According to a Public Justice press release, the federal complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleges that CBS and Planet Toys were negligent in their quality control measures and that they promoted the CSI toys although they contained a hazardous and potentially lethal carcinogen.

In November 2007, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) released results of a study of a number of products, including the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation ™ Fingerprint Examination Kit. It was found that the CSI toy’s fingerprinting powder contained asbestos. The fingerprinting powder containing asbestos also can be found in related CSI toy kits, the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation ™ Field Kit and the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation ™ Forensic Lab Kit.

The story was covered in the news media, including CNN, in December 2007. On Feb. 21 CNN did a follow-up report and noted that the Planet Toys had not yet issued a recall.

Public Justice reports that in a meeting including representatives from , CBS and Planet toys in December 2007, CBS and Planet Toys agreed to remove some of the toys from store shelves, and to work with Public Justice to further test the toys. However, Public Justice reports that months later, there has been no joint testing, Planet Toys continues to deny the products contain asbestos, and there has been no recall.

The Public Justice press release quotes Linda Reinstein, executive director of ADAO, who says, “Our pleas for the companies to do the right thing have fallen on deaf ears. It is unacceptable and unnecessary to have asbestos in toys, and especially in powder form, its most dangerous state. Most Americans falsely believe asbestos has been banned, but our recent product testing results prove asbestos remains a threat to public health.”

The federal complaint is a class action suit that asks the defendants to “provide refunds to consumers, pay for asbestos testing of toys that have been opened, and pay for appropriate medical treatment for consumers who have been exposed to asbestos,” according to the release. The state lawsuit “seeks civil penalties for violations of the law, in addition to injunctive relief.

Read the full text of the Public Justice press release here. This site also contains links to the federal and California state complaints.

Public Justice is a membership-supported law firm with more than 3,500 members, comprised of trial lawyers, other attorneys, and public interest advocates worldwide.

ADAO is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of “asbestos awareness, education, advocacy, prevention, support and a cure.”