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Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization Issues Statement of Warning Regarding Asbestos Exposure During July 18 Explosion in New York

Amount of Asbestos Released Unknown; Short Term Exposure Also Poses Risk

July 19, 2007 - NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an organization dedicated to serving as the voice of asbestos victims, today issued the following statement from Executive Director Linda Reinstein on the potential dangers of asbestos exposure following the July 18 steam pipe explosion in Manhattan.

“It is unconscionable that, according to early news reports, officials are claiming that asbestos released into the air from yesterday’s explosion in Manhattan poses no known risk to affected individuals. While it may be true that disease is ‘unlikely’ to occur from such an episode, it is never correct to characterize any level of asbestos as safe. It has been well established that there is no safe level of asbestos. We are seeing from the unfortunate residual effects of 9-11, even short term exposure to asbestos can cause significant health problems.

It is imperative that we continue to educate the public about the continuing risks associated with the asbestos fiber. This is not said to cause unnecessary fear, but, rather, to ensure that the facts are set straight so that lives may be saved. The kind of incident that occurred yesterday demands proper clean up procedures and safety precautions, using the best our science has to offer for those near the explosion site to avoid potential health complications months or years from now – including deadly asbestos related diseases. The steam pipe explosion clearly shows that the approach of Sen. Patty Murray in banning asbestos in the USA, as has been done in dozens of countries in the world, is the best approach to protect now, and in the future, the health of Americans.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) states 100,000 workers die every year due to diseases related to asbestos exposure and the numbers are unfortunately growing. It is our hope that New York officials will take the proper measures to ensure the safety of its citizens following this unfortunate incident. Asbestos has not been banned in our country and this kind of emergency reaffirms the immediate need to do so.”

About Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO seeks to give asbestos victims a united voice to help ensure that their rights are fairly represented and protected, and raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and the often deadly asbestos related diseases. ADAO is funded through voluntary contributions and staffed by volunteers. For more information visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org.

Contacts

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)
Doug Larkin, 703-250-3590 x1245
Cell: 202-391-1546
doug@asbestosdiseaseawareness.org


Laborer files asbestos claim in Madison County

By Steve Gonzalez -Edwardsville Bureau

8/27/2007 - Robert Cooper of Pennsylvania filed an asbestos suit against 49 defendant corporations alleging he was exposed to asbestos while working from 1942 to 1981 as a coal miner, gunner, assembly line worker and mechanic at various locations in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Illinois.

Cooper claims that during the course of his employment and during home and automotive repairs he was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed asbestos fibers emanating from certain products he was working with and around.

According to the complaint filed Aug. 23 in Madison County Circuit Court, Cooper was diagnosed with mesothelioma on April 18.

"The plaintiff's exposure and inhalation, ingestion or absorption of the asbestos fibers was completely foreseeable and could or should have been anticipated by the defendants," the complaint states.

Cooper claims the defendants knew or should have known that the asbestos fibers contained in their products had a toxic, poisonous and highly deleterious effect upon the health of people.

Cooper also alleges that the defendants included asbestos in their products even when adequate substitutes were available and failed to provide any or adequate instructions concerning the safe methods of working with and around asbestos.

He also claims that the defendants failed to require and advise employees of hygiene practices designed to reduce or prevent carrying asbestos fibers home.

Cooper also claims that he has sought, but has been unable to obtain, full disclosure of relevant documents and information from the defendants leading him to believe the defendants destroyed documents related to asbestos.

"It was foreseeable to a reasonable person/entity in the respective positions of defendants, that said documents and information constituted evidence, which was material to potential civil litigation-namely asbestos litigation," the complaint states.

He claims that as a result of each defendant breaching its duty to preserve material evidence by destroying documents and information he has been prejudiced and impaired in proving claims against all potential parties.

"Plaintiff has been caused to suffer damages in the form of impaired ability to recover against defendants and lost or reduced compensation from other potentially liable parties in this litigation," the complaint states.

As a result of the alleged negligence, Cooper claims he was exposed to fibers containing asbestos. He developed a disease caused only by asbestos which has disabled and disfigured him, the complaint states.

He seeks damages to help pay for the cost of his treatment.

Cooper also suffers "great physical pain and mental anguish, and also will be hindered and prevented from pursuing his normal course of employment, thereby losing large sums of money," the complaint states.

He is seeking at least $550,000 in damages for negligence, willful and wanton acts, conspiracy, and negligent spoliation of evidence among other allegations.

"In addition to compensatory damages, an award of punitive damages is appropriate and necessary in order to punish the defendants for willful, wanton, intentional and reckless misconduct and to deter them and others from engaging in like misconduct in the future," the complaint states.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Court Judge Daniel Stack.


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