December 20, 2011 – The mesothelioma lawsuit of a retired flooring mechanic is now assigned to a judge for a jury trial in New York City. During a career that spanned over 30 years, the plaintiff installed flooring, including asbestos-containing floor tiles and linoleum. As a result of being exposed to the asbestos contained in those products, he has recently been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

THE COURT CASE OF A RETIRED FLOORING MECHANIC, WHO WAS DIAGNOSED WITH MESOTHELIOMA FROM ASBESTOS EXPOSURE FROM FLOOR TILES, LINOLEUM, AND JOINT COMPOUND, MOVES TO TRIAL.

NEW YORK, New York, December 20, 2011 – The mesothelioma lawsuit of a retired flooring mechanic is now assigned to a judge for a jury trial in New York City. During a career that spanned over 30 years, the plaintiff installed flooring, including asbestos-containing floor tiles and linoleum. As a result of being exposed to the asbestos contained in those products, he has recently been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. He was also exposed to asbestos from joint compounds mixed and sanded in his vicinity on various projects, where he performed flooring work.

Many floor tiles and much of the linoleum (or sheet goods) used during the 1950s through to the mid-1980s contained asbestos. Installation of these materials required cutting and sometimes sanding the flooring prior to installation, which could release respirable asbestos fibers from the flooring – fibers that could be breathed by the installers and those working around them. Makers of the flooring products did not warn the public of the dangers of asbestos exposure during the installation process, even though information regarding the health hazards of asbestos was widely available to manufacturers. Similarly, manufacturers of asbestos-containing joint cement failed to adequately warn consumers of the hazards associated with mixing and sanding their products.

Asbestos was present in vinyl asbestos tiles and most (if not all) asphalt tiles. The asbestos content of felt backing on linoleum flooring was as high as 85%, according to government reports. This asbestos-containing backing or “flooring felt” was banned by the government in the late 1980s due to asbestos-related health concerns. Asbestos-containing joint compound was similarly banned in the late 1970s. Asbestos is no longer used in these products, but the effects of exposure (such as mesotheliomalung cancer, or asbestosis) that took place many decades ago are generally only seen after 20-50 years have passed.

Although manufacturers of asbestos-containing flooring tell juries that the type of asbestos in their products could not cause harm, warnings, placed in catalogs and manuals well after asbestos was removed from the products, caution installers to not create dust while removing old floors, as it may contain asbestos fibers that can cause serious bodily harm. Similarly, joint compound manufacturers tell juries that mesothelioma cannot be caused by exposure to their products, despite overwhelming medical and industrial hygiene evidence to the contrary.

Asbestos fibers are so small that they are virtually invisible to the naked eye. Accordingly, by the time a worker sees visible dust coming from an asbestos-containing product, there are literally BILLIONS OF FIBERS in that worker’s breathing zone. This means that tasks such as flooring installation, which are not typically considered terribly dusty, were often overlooked as a meaningful source of exposure until studies showed significant release of asbestos fibers while cutting tiles and other common tasks.

For over a quarter of a century, mesothelioma lawyers at Levy Konigsberg LLP have been among the pioneers of asbestos litigation in America. The firm’s attorneys have been recognized as nationwide leaders in representing the rights of mesothelioma victims and their families. Their clients have received some of the largest mesothelioma compensation verdicts in the country.

For more information about this or other mesothelioma lawsuits, please contact Levy Konigsberg LLP at (800) 315-3806 or 1-800-MESO-LAW (1-800-637-6529), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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