California Mesothelioma Lawyers Help CA Asbestos Victims
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – NOWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES HAVE MORE PEOPLE DIED FROM ASBESTOS-RELATED DISEASES THAN CALIFORNIA, WHICH IS WHY JOHN PAUL GUINAN AND THE CALIFORNIA MESOTHELIOMA LAWYERS WITH THE NATIONAL ASBESTOS LAW FIRM OF LEVY KONIGSBERG LLP (“LK”) HAVE LITIGATED NUMEROUS MESOTHELIOMA AND ASBESTOS LUNG CANCER CASES ON BEHALF OF ASBESTOS EXPOSURE VICTIMS AND THEIR LOVED ONES.
Mesothelioma claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people in the Golden State between 1999 and 2010, while asbestosis added more than 400 deaths in that time period. In addition to some of the largest naturally occurring asbestos deposits in the country, California has a history of significant exposure to asbestos through naval shipyards, an injustice that has plagued many of our nation’s heroic veterans.
For example, the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco was shut down in 1991 after the Environmental Protection Agency placed it on the “Superfund National Priorities List,” an agenda geared towards discontinuing or rehabilitating sites where hazardous chemicals, including asbestos, pose an excessive threat.
Sailors stationed at this shipyard who suffer from mesothelioma would have been exposed to asbestos decades earlier however, as the disease embodies a lengthy latency period. The height of asbestos utilization at Hunters Point took place in the early 1940s, as was the case for many shipyards along the coast. Exposure in such settings occurred through work with asbestos-containing insulation, gaskets, cables, cement, pipe-fittings, and numerous other parts of naval ships and submarines. Similar risks were posed at the San Diego Naval Base, Alameda Naval Air Station, Concord Naval Weapons Station, and many other locations.
Unfortunately, other areas contaminated with asbestos on the EPA’s superfund list in California still stand as a potential hazard to the public, including the South Bay Asbestos Area in Santa Clara County. According to the EPA, this 550-acre location served as an asbestos dumping ground for a manufacturing plant for nearly three decades during the mid to late 1990s. Consequently, airborne exposure to asbestos fibers that enter the atmosphere after being disturbed by truck traffic and other activity stands as a potential risk for people who live in and around the site, located specifically at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay.
Asbestos exposure also occurred at the California Zonolite facility in Glendale. Zonolite, the commercial name for vermiculite collected at the infamous Libby, Montana mine, was acquired by the W.R. Grace Company in 1963. Vermiculite is a mineral that often contains asbestos, ultimately posing a significant health threat to the employees of W.R. Grace & Company, as well as citizens who lived in close proximity to the 2.75-acre facility. The California Zonolite location alone received more than 120,000 tons of asbestos-containing vermiculite from Libby, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipal utility in the country serving 4.1 million residents of Southern California, paid $60 million in punitive damages to the wife of one of its employees who was diagnosed with mesothelioma through the laundering of her husband’s work clothing. His work on asbestos-containing products at LADWP power plants ultimately soiled his uniform with hazardous asbestos particles, particles which his wife breathed in when she performed the laundry. This secondary exposure constitutes a fate that has been met by many who handle the clothing of a loved one who works in an asbestos trade. The LADWP employee manipulated asbestos particles through the cutting of pipes, but asbestos was also found in the power plants’ generators and electrical wires. The $60 million paid by LADWP in 2010 was thirty percent of the total $200 million received by the victim, as LADWP was found by the jury to be thirty percent liable for her mesothelioma.
Nuclear power plants of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company also contained asbestos in much of their insulation materials, including those that were used to wrap high heat equipment such as pipes, generators, and electrical wires. As a result, workers who installed, repaired, and/or removed this equipment were exposed to asbestos. Several classes of workers have filed lawsuits against PG&E, including pipefitters, insulators, welders, and electricians. A lawsuit brought against PG&E in 1998 even involved numerous residents of Pittsburg, CA who were not employed by the company, but were exposed to asbestos after pipes at a PG&E location were not properly secured to a boiler, ultimately contaminating homes and boats in the area.
California mesothelioma lawyers at LK have extensive expertise and experience in investigating complex asbestos exposure histories and representing CA asbestos disease victims in court.
California worksites where asbestos exposure was common include:
Figure 1. Map of the most common asbestos exposure worksites in the State of California.
- Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, San Francisco
- Fibreboard Paper Products, Southgate
- Fibreboard Paper Products, Redwood City
- Frank & Enderle Co., Los Angeles
- La Habra Stucco Co., Los Angeles
- Silver Line Brake Lining Corp., Santa Clara
- American Bitumals and Asphalt Co., Oakland
- H. Krasne & Co., Los Angeles
- Riverside Cement, Crestmore
- California Portland Cement, Colton
- Raybestos Manhattan, Fullerton
- Marvin Corp., Montebello
- Republic Powdered Metals, Gilroy
- W.W. Henry, Huntington Park
- Shell Oil Refinery, Martinez
- Treasure Island Naval Station San Diego
- Consolidated Gas and Electric Company
- Los Angeles General Hospital
- Los Angeles Gas and Electric
- Los Angeles Lighting Company
- Los Angeles Water Works
- West Valley Construction Company
- Industrial Waste Processing, Fresno
- Purity Oil Sales, Inc., Fresno
- Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base
- Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield
- Santa Monica Electric Company
- American Ceramics Products, Inc., Santa Monica
- American Consumers Industries, Oakland
- Ashland Chemical Company, Oakland
If you or your loved one are a CA resident or were exposed to asbestos in California, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, please call 1-800-637-6529 or contact us electronically through this website to receive a FREE consultation with experienced California mesothelioma lawyers at Levy Konigsberg LLP.
$29 Million J&J Mesothelioma Verdict Upheld
Attorney Moshe Maimon served as co-counsel in a landmark $29 million verdict tried in Alameda County, California against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in mesothelioma lawsuit brought forth by Plaintiff Teresa Leavitt and Plaintiff Dean J. McElroy. In August 2021, the verdict was upheld on appeal, with J&J required to pay the entire judgment, plus interest, to the Leavitt family. In this historic California mesothelioma verdict, the jury determined that J&J talc powder products were the direct cause of Teresa’s mesothelioma. During the trial, she testified that she had used the product almost every day for more than 30 years but was never warned by J&J that the talc had been linked to asbestos contamination and mesothelioma.
As predicted, J&J tried to overturn the ruling and appealed the result to the California Court of Appeal. Led by the outstanding work of our California co-counsel, we proudly defended the jury’s verdict on appeal. Our team successfully argued that there were no legal, evidentiary, or courtroom errors that occurred in the trial court. The appellate court also affirmed that the $29 million dollars in compensation was justified given the severity of Teresa’s damages caused by her mesothelioma.
This case is significant because it draws a clear line that defines what is permitted in asbestos talc mesothelioma lawsuits in California. This includes the evidence necessary to hold J&J and other talc product manufacturers liable. It shows that these cases have legal merit and are worth pursuing for victims of mesothelioma.
Victories Against J&J in Asbestos Litigation
The Leavitt appellate case is not Levy Konigsberg’s first entry into the courtroom against J&J for its unsafe talc powder products. Attorney Maimon also tried the case of Lanzo v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. and Imerys Talc America, Inc.This case ended in a $117 million jury verdict. Although the case has been remanded for a re-trial, the case against co-defendant Imerys resulted in a favorable settlement during the appeals process. Attorney Maimon also helped obtain a verdict of $750 million in punitive damagesin New Jersey Superior Court Middlesex County for four mesothelioma plaintiffs who regularly used J&J talc powder products.
With our firm’s experience with asbestos-mesothelioma litigation specifically against J&J, you know that you can trust us with your case. Even if the defendant in your case is not J&J but another corporation that manufactured or sold asbestos-containing products, our firm has the experience and resources to help you pursue maximum compensation.
Asbestos & Mesothelioma FAQ
How long does it take for exposure to asbestos to have an effect?
Asbestos is an insidious substance because it can seem harmless for a while after exposure, but it is dangerous from the beginning. In many cases, the first serious symptoms of asbestos exposure like mesothelioma do not begin until 10 years after the first exposure. Some people do not know they have fallen ill from asbestos exposure until 40 years later or even longer. It is important to keep in regular contact with your primary care physician and report any health concerns, so the symptoms can be recorded soon after they begin.
What happens if you touch asbestos?
The primary danger from asbestos is not touching it, but rather inhaling asbestos down you’re your lungs. So, if you are handling asbestos in any way, or around it, when it becomes airborne, this is hazardous. Asbestos is dangerous when the fibers get into your breathing zone, regardless of who or what is disturbing the asbestos.
Can I live in a house or building with asbestos if it’s not disturbed?
If asbestos is completely sealed off an undisturbed, then it likely will not pose a hazard. But if asbestos is disturbed in any way that creates dust or the release of airborne asbestos fibers, then it is dangerous. If there is asbestos inside the walls of a building or a home, it may be recommended to leave the asbestos in place where it is sealed off and separated from the building occupants or residents. Asbestos should only be removed from a building or homes through a professional asbestos abatements where all precautions required by the EPA and OSHA are followed.
Is mesothelioma curable if caught early?
Although progress has been made for asbestos treatments that increase the number of years someone can live with mesothelioma, there is still no known cure. Unfortunately, even if it is caught early, there is no way to completely cure it. The disease is considered a terminal cancer. For this reason, anyone with mesothelioma, should seek legal advice as quickly as possible to preserve any legal rights to compensation that they may have.
Does chemotherapy work for mesothelioma?
Chemotherapy can slow down the progression of mesothelioma and prolong survival, but it is not a cure. Your doctor might recommend chemotherapy or another alternative, depending on your overall health.
What is the survival rate of mesothelioma patients?
Mesothelioma is a terminal and aggressive cancer. On average, patients live 12 to 21 months after a diagnosis. Multiple studies have concluded that there is only a 10% survival rate after 5 years of diagnosis. Peritoneal mesothelioma (less common than pleural mesothelioma) has longer survival rates, with many patients now living five years or longer. If you lost a loved one to mesothelioma, then you should still seek legal advice about filing a wrongful death claim.
ATTENTION: Mesothelioma has no known cure and often causes severe pain, suffering,
and other types of damage, such as loss of consortium, and loss of income.
Additionally, due to the exceedingly high cost of mesothelioma treatments,
many families exhaust savings and accumulate financial debt in order to
pay for the medical expenses of their family member.
Under the law of most states, pain and suffering from mesothelioma may be compensated through the award of money damages, usually obtained with the help of experienced mesothelioma attorneys. In some states other types of damages may also be recovered.
Asbestos litigation affords mesothelioma victims the opportunity to receive financial compensation and hold accountable the companies that caused their asbestos exposure.
IMPORTANT: If you or your family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should get in touch with a mesothelioma lawyer as early as possible to determine if you have a mesothelioma case and to:
- Preserve your rights to bring a legal action against the responsible parties within the limited time frame allowed by law, known as statute of limitations;
Obtain maximum compensation in your case by being able to:
- Preserve evidence and establish facts of the asbestos exposure while the claimant is still alive and able to provide information;
- File and resolve a lawsuit against the responsible parties before they file for bankruptcy or, if they already have, to obtain compensation before their bankruptcy trust funds run out of money;
- Expedite your case, as courts tend to give higher priority to mesothelioma lawsuits where the claimant is still alive.
Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced mesothelioma lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline at (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.
NOTE: While our offices are located in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Georgia, many of our mesothelioma lawyers are licensed to practice law in a number of U.S. states and have the capability and extensive experience of representing mesothelioma clients throughout the United States. You are encouraged to contact us with any questions.
FAQs on Mesothelioma in California
Mesothelioma is a serious disease associated with exposure to asbestos. A total of 45,221 people died from malignant mesothelioma in the United States during 1995 through 2015, as reported by CDC. Here, we provide answers to frequently asked questions about mesothelioma in California.
If you or your loved one has developed Mesothelioma in California, contact our firm at (800) 315-3806 to find out how we can help.
Q:What Are the Sources of Compensation in Mesothelioma Claims?
A:Every case has unique factors, such as the locations where the claimant was exposed, what companies manufactured and supplied the asbestos products, and what sources of compensation are available. At Levy Konigsberg, our process was established to ensure the least stress and discomfort for our clients during the legal process. The Firm has three simple steps, initially requiring only a few hours:
• A meeting with us that takes about an hour;
• A questionnaire we can help you fill out;
• We need to hear your story about what happened over your working career and your illness.
Q:How Much is a Settlement for Mesothelioma Worth?
A:A detailed assessment of a set of factors must be performed to fairly answer this question. The value of a claim will reflect the degree of the illness, your financial and personal losses, now and future, the evidence supporting your claim, the companies who caused you to be exposed to asbestos, along with their financial resources and insurance, and whether the company is still operating. We perform a thorough investigation into the pertinent details and only then, can provide you with an estimate about the amount that could be recovered in compensation.
Q:Is it Worthwhile to File a Claim?
A:The compensation recovered in a mesothelioma claim may be able to provide the financial support your spouse or family needs throughout their lifetimes. The earlier the claim is filed, the faster your claim can be resolved.
Q:How Can I Prove Exposure to Asbestos from Many Years Ago?
A:Thousands of workers were exposed to asbestos, in countless California industries. The asbestos-containing products were not labeled adequately, and often had no warning at all about the cancer risks involved with these products. If you are uncertain where you were exposed, a review of your work history can often reveal the location where you were exposed and the products used there.
Q:How Long Will it Take to Recover Compensation?
A:The length of time to settle a claim varies. Generally, when the mesothelioma victim is still living, the claim could be resolved more quickly. We understand the our clients are suffering greatly from the effects of mesothelioma and have a limited life expectancy. Our firm has the professional skill and resources to move a claim through the system quickly.
Q:How Prevalent Is Mesothelioma in California?
A:Nowhere in the U.S. have more people died from asbestos-related diseases than in California, with 5100 deaths over an 18-year period. Many California residents were exposed to asbestos at various naval shipyards, such as the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco, which was shut down by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1991. Many other were exposed at work sites scattered throughout California, including rubber plants, brake shops, paint manufacturing facilities and power plants.
Q:What Are the Most Common Sources of Asbestos Exposure?
A:Before the mid-1970s, most insulation materials in the U.S. contained asbestos. It was an inexpensive, highly effective, flame-retardant, thermal, and acoustic insulator used in many different building materials. Asbestos was commonly included in hundreds of products, including:• Siding materials• Vinyl floor tiles• Window caulking and glazing• HVAC duct insulation• Plaster • Roofing materials• Some types of linoleum• Corrugated heavy duty 4 by 8 foot panels• Fiber cement• Blown-in attic insulation• Construction glue products• Automotive parts
Q:Where Has Asbestos Exposure Occurred in California?
A:Over the decades, many people in California have been exposed to asbestos, both on the job and off. Among many others, California sites where known asbestos exposure has occurred include:• Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco• San Diego Naval Base• Alameda Naval Air Station• Concord Naval Weapons Station• South Bay Asbestos Area, Santa Clara County• California Zonolite facility, Glendale• Los Angeles Department of Water and Power plants• Pacific Gas and Electric Company nuclear power plants• Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, San Francisco• Fibreboard Paper Products, Southgate and Redwood City
Q:Does Workers’ Compensation Pay Benefits for Mesothelioma?
A:Workers’ compensation is designed to protect workers who are injured on the job, and to protect employers from employee lawsuits. If you have developed mesothelioma after work-related exposure to asbestos, workers’ comp benefits may cover the cost of your medical expenses and reimburse you for a portion of lost wages. Workers’ compensation alone is not enough to cover the losses experienced in a life-threatening disease such as mesothelioma. If a negligent third party contributed to your exposure and resulting illness, you may recover far more in compensation by filing a claim or lawsuit.
Q:Why Choose Levy Konigsberg for Mesothelioma Representation in California?
A:Our team of talented lawyers at Levy Konigsberg have been working for decades to protect the rights of those who have been injured through the negligence of others. We are the firm you can go to when the stakes are high. Since 1985, we have been fighting for the rights of people who have been affected by harmful asbestos exposure.
Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.
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