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June 2013 Archives

Supreme Court allows asbestos lawsuit to proceed

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that asbestos lawsuits against Pfizer can go forward. Although Pfizer itself did not directly make asbestos, one of its subsidiaries did -- Quigley Co., a bankrupt arm of Pfizer that ceased operations in 1992. Quigley manufactured asbestos-containing products for the steel industry between the 1940s and 1970s. In 1968, Pfizer acquired Quigley.

Construction company fined $25,000 for dumping asbestos in ditch

A company that was in the process of demolishing and replacing an old hotel has just been slapped with a $25,000 fine for violating the federal Clean Air and Clean Water acts. It was also ordered to pay $6,855 in restitution to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for its expenses in monitoring the cleanup of construction materials containing asbestos that the company had dumped illegally. On top of the fine and restitution, the cleanup reportedly cost the company in excess of $50,000.

Air Force vet's asbestos lung cancer case kept in federal court

A 20-year Air Force vet and his wife discovered he had lung cancer in 2011. Since that tragic diagnosis, they have learned that the cancer was caused by asbestos he was exposed to during his military service. The couple was among 19 plaintiffs who filed suit here in Madison County Circuit Court last December against United Technologies Corporation and several other companies that manufactured the products that allegedly caused the asbestos-related illnesses in the veteran and others.

Drilling mud laced with asbestos is put in landfills. Is it safe?

It has long been suspected that oil and gas drilling workers may be at risk for asbestos-related illnesses from exposure to drilling mud, in which asbestos is often used as a thickener. The question of whether asbestos-laced drilling mud is an inherently deadly product seemed to have been answered two years ago when a Louisiana jury awarded $322 million to a former drilling rig worker who was diagnosed with asbestosis so bad that he requires oxygen 24 hours a day.

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