The Asbestos Mesothelioma Cover-Up
THE ASBESTOS – Mesothelioma COVER-UP
Mesothelioma is caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers. The books Outrageous Misconduct: The Asbestos Industry on Trial, written by Paul Brodeur, Pantheon Books, New York, New York, 1985, and Asbestos: Medical and Legal Aspects, 4th Edition, written by Barry I. Castleman, Aspen Law and Business, Engelwood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1996 and other supplies of information show that asbestos companies had extensive knowledge that the use of asbestos in their products and by their employees would cause serious health issues for individuals in the future. however companies continued to use asbestos and placed the lives and health of their employees in jeopardy. The following are just a small sample of events that occurred that provided companies with knowledge that asbestos was dangerous:
o 1918: Frederick Hoffman, a medical statistician for the Prudential Life Insurance Company, reported in a United States Department of Labor Bulletin that American life insurance companies generally deny coverage to asbestos workers because of the “assumed health-injurious conditions of the industry.”
o 1930: One major asbestos company, Johns-Manville, produces a report, for internal company use only, detailing the fatalities and medical injuries of asbestos workers.
o 1932: A letter from the United States Bureau of Mines to asbestos manufacturer Eagle-Picher states, “It is now known that asbestos dust is one of the most dangerous dusts to which man is exposed.”
o 1933: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company doctors find that 29% of the workers at one Johns-Manville plant are experiencing from asbestosis. Johns-Manville settles lawsuits by 11 employees on the condition that the lawyer for the employees agrees that he will not bring any new actions against Johns-Manville.
o 1934: Officials at Johns-Manville and Raybestos Manhattan, rewrite an article about the diseases of asbestos workers written by a Metropolitan Life Insurance Company doctor to minimize the danger of asbestos dust.
o 1936: A group of asbestos companies agree to sponsor research on the health effects of asbestos dust, but require that the companies have complete control over the disclosure of the results.
o 1942-43: The president of Johns-Manville says that the managers of another company were “a bunch of fools for notifying employees who had asbestosis.” When one of the people in attendance ask, “Do you average to tell me you would let them work until they drop dead?” According to deposition testimony, the response was, “Yes. We save a lot of money that way.”
o 1944: The Journal of the Medical Association reports that asbestos is one of the “agents known or suspected to cause occupational cancer.”
o 1951: Asbestos companies remove all references to cancer before allowing publication of research they sponsor concerning exposure to asbestos.
o 1953: National Gypsum’s safety director wrote to the Indiana Division of Industrial Hygiene, recommending that acoustic plaster mixers use respirators “because of the asbestos used on the product.” Another company official notes that the letter was “complete of dynamite,” and urges that the letter be retrieved before reaching its destination. A memo from those files notes that the company “succeeded in stopping” the letter which “will be alternation.”
o 1989 and 1991: In 1989, the United States Environmental Protection Agency bans asbestos and most of its uses, but, in 1991, asbestos companies win a federal lawsuit which overturns the EPA’s asbestos ban.
o 1999: The Florida Supreme Court rules that Owens Corning willfully withheld information about the dangers of working with the company’s asbestos products. The Florida Supreme Court describes it as a “blatant disregard for human safety involving large numbers of people put at life-threatening risks.”
As stated, the above actions by these companies are just a small sample of the many actions by companies using asbestos which did so in disregard of the safety of their employees and other innocent victims. Companies, who so frivolously ignored the health of the public and their own employees, are the targets of our litigation
Unfortunately, millions of people have been exposed to asbestos over the years. Only now are we able to see the disastrous effects of asbestos exposure in the workplace.
As with other cancers, a speedy diagnosis is important to effective treatment of mesothelioma. If you believe that you may have mesothelioma and that you worked with asbestos in the past, you may wish to inform your doctor of this fact.
It has been well proven that asbestos is dangerous and many of these companies ignored the health risk to their employees. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma in the last five years you should seek the advice of an experienced mesothelioma lawyer so that you will know your rights under the law. Lawyers who have experience in these situations and who have won meaningful awards for their clients will best be able to help you or your loved one.
For more information contact: Maune Raichle Law firm 1-800-358-5922. The firm specializes in mesothelioma situations. Or go to: www.legal-mesothelioma-help.com