Nearly a quarter of states have asbestos claims transparency laws on the books, and Missouri is poised to raise the number to 13, according to the St. Louis Record. Even if the bill making its way through the General Assembly does not pass this session, it is expected to be reintroduced during the next one. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Texas’
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. faces approximately 62,000 claims involving asbestos-related injuries in New York, Maryland, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania. The claims allege exposure to asbestos through the tire company’s products, including floor tiles, gaskets and furnace hoses, according to Law360. Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Co. filed a petition in federal court Wednesday to declare it has no duty to pay defense costs, though Goodyear says otherwise due to an insurance policy. (more…)
The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill last week targeting asbestos injury compensation. The bill, the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017 (FACT Act) or H.R. 906, claims to “weed out unmeritorious class action claims,” according to Forbes. The act, which met tough opposition during its last run, was reintroduced by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) this year in hopes a Republican majority in Congress would see the bill signed into law by the Republican president.
H.R. 906 passed the committee by a 19-11 vote. And though it has managed to slip back onto the docket, all of the previous opposition still applies, as Legal Newsline confirmed it was the same version as last year’s bill. (more…)
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), five Texas companies have been cited for failure to notify construction workers of asbestos and other hazards during a renovation. As a result, the companies are now faced with a total of $185,150 in fines. (more…)
Asbestos is not something to be ignored, and some students in a local Dallas, Texas, high school are making their concerns of the school’s condition heard by threatening to walk out. (more…)
Three Austin, Texas-based commercial real estate renovators face paying a total of $112,000 in fines for exposing their workers to asbestos at a residential construction worksite in San Antonio, federal safety regulators said. (more…)
DALLAS – Nearby residents of Dallas County’s upcoming East Village development have begun expressing concern regarding a construction site with excessive amounts of dust clouds and debris around North Central Expressway and Haskell Avenue. Residents say they are afraid they may be exposed to harmful asbestos in material being removed during demolition of an existing building on the site, pointing to mounting piles of rubble. (more…)
The Texas Supreme Court just pushed back against asbestos plaintiffs by raising the burden of proof to show that the defendant’s products caused mesothelioma; however, the plaintiffs avoided a situation that attorneys believed would have voided all asbestos lawsuits. (more…)
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) this week announced the 2013 recipients of mesothelioma research grant money totaling $500,000. Five projects were selected for funding. Each will receive $100,000. The Foundation has contributed $8.7 million in funding for mesothelioma research since the program began. (more…)
Mesothelioma 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 12 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, and she is working with Texas State Senator Mario Gallegos, 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.