UK Parliamentary Group Declares Final War on Asbestos, Calls for Complete and Accelerated Eradication

In Britain, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health (“the Group”) is demanding legislation that will work to completely eliminate asbestos from buildings in the UK.  The Group wants to put regulations in place that will require the safe, phased, and planned removal of asbestos in every workplace in Britain.  It also wants asbestos reports included in all home-buyers’ surveys and a national program of asbestos surveys.

In its recommendations, the Group wants to require that all commercial, public, and rented domestic premises …

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The High Court Down Under Allows Earlier Cause of Action Accrual in Lawsuits Claiming Inevitable Onset of Mesothelioma

On October 7, 2015, the High Court of Australia dismissed the appeal of a negligent employer and held that where the contraction of mesothelioma was an inevitable result of asbestos exposure, the cause of action accrues shortly after the initial exposure as opposed to when the symptoms manifest.

This ruling came from a case in which the plaintiff inhaled asbestos fibers in the course of his employment. The plaintiff’s mesothelial cells changed quickly after the initial exposure, but the symptoms were not apparent until 2013 …

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Thoracic Surgeon Provides Heated Chemo, Hope for Veterans With Pleural Mesothelioma

Good news has come out of Boston for veterans suffering from mesothelioma.  Thoracic surgeon Dr. Abraham Lebenthal recently performed the first intraoperative heated chemotherapy procedure for a VA patient with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a procedure that should aid in this hard-fought battle against this cancer.  As Lebenthal said in an interview, “[f]or some veterans, it could mean the difference between long-term survival or not.”

While some doctors have differing opinions as to this heated chemotherapy’s effectiveness, Dr. Lebenthal has been lobbying for its use …

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Insurer Claims that Firm Overbilled by $3M in Asbestos Lawsuits

On Monday, October 5, 2015 a Swiss Re insurer filed suit in a California federal court claiming that a law firm billed $3 million extra in several asbestos lawsuits.  Initially, Westport Insurance Corp. launched an investigation into Vasquez Estrada & Conway LLP’s billing practices after it became suspicious of a firm partner’s estimates for defending Hill Brothers Chemical Co.

In the complaint, the insurer alleges that Vasquez Estrada attorneys billed insurers more than $9 million for two years of work defending Hill Brothers, $6 million …

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Asbestos Firm Ordered to Turn Over Client Information in Garlock RICO Case

U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen affirmed a previous judge’s refusal to quash subpoenas issued by Garlock Sealing Technologies to 29 law firms, including Baron & Budd, Brayton Purcell, and Williams Kherker Hart Boundas. Garlock argued that the client records sought from these firms could help establish a pattern of racketeering by Belluck & Fox.  Though Judge Mullen agreed with Belluck & Fox’s assertion that the discovery requests were broad, he noted, “[y]et, so is the fraud in which Plaintiffs are alleged to have engaged.”

In …

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