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Category: Mesothelioma

More than 50 Speakers and 500 Attendees Set to Explore Current Trends Driving Asbestos Litigation at the 2013 National Overview & Outlook

Rick Nemeroff, owner of The Nemeroff Law Firm and leading representative of mesothelioma victims, was selected to return as co-chair and moderator for the 2013 Asbestos Litigation Conference: A National Overview and Outlook. The event gives thought leaders in the asbestos field an opportunity to discuss how trends in litigation may impact future cases.

The event, hosted by Perrin Conferences, brings asbestos insurance, legal, corporate and scientific leaders together to review the direction and climate of asbestos litigation. Topics for discussion include emerging and specialized claims, recent verdicts, decisions and events, as well as strategies on litigating cases in particular states and leading jurist’s perspectives.

“We’re proud to have Rick Nemeroff chair our National Asbestos Conference once again,” said Lynnsey Perrin, founder of Perrin Conferences. “Rick’s vast experience in this highly competitive field and enviable record of results place him at the forefront of asbestos litigation.”

Practicing since 1993, Nemeroff has established himself as a leading trial lawyer, combining compassion with aggressive litigation skills to fight for individuals and families who have been harmed by the actions of negligent corporations. He is a sought-after speaker and presenter for all aspects of asbestos litigation.

“I’m honored to return as co-chair and moderator for this year’s conference,” said Nemeroff. “It’s a great opportunity for us, as representatives of victims and their families, to discuss industry and legal developments and what those might mean for our clients.”

Established in 2009, the National Asbestos Litigation Conference offers a vibrant and open forum to help attendees understand the trends currently driving asbestos litigation and what the future will present. The conference will be hosted at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on Sept. 16-18.

NEW ORLEANS – The Dallas-based Nemeroff Law Firm is announcing a verdict on behalf of a Louisiana man who was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma following decades of working around asbestos-containing materials at two manufacturing plants.

Orleans Parish jurors deliberated for half a day on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, before returning the verdict in favor of 66-year-old Thomas M. Kenney of St. Tammany Parish. Jurors agreed that defendants Rexam Beverage Can Company (formerly American Can) and asbestos product manufacturers John Crane Inc. and Haveg Inc. were negligent and responsible for exposing Mr. Kenney to dangerous levels of asbestos.

The jury found that Mr. Kenney, a Slidell resident, was exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos fibers while he worked at an American Can facility in New Orleans between 1964 and 1976, and while working as a pipefitter and machinist for Tenneco in Chalmette between 1977 and 1988. John Crane Inc. made and supplied asbestos gaskets and Haveg Inc. supplied asbestos-containing piping to Tenneco while Mr. Kenney was employed there.

Mr. Kenney, who is married with three grown children, was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in July 2010. Mesothelioma is an incurable form of cancer caused exclusively by asbestos exposure.

“Thomas Kenney worked as a loyal and valuable employee who deserved to be able to do his job in a safe environment with warnings on the products he handled,” says his attorney Rick Nemeroff, co-founder of Nemeroff Law Firm. “This is an important verdict that will go a long way to helping make sure that Mr. Kenney and his family can get the support they need to deal with his grave health problems.”

The trial team representing Mr. Kenney was led by Mr. Nemeroff and firm trial attorney Barrett Naman, as well as local counsel Mickey Landry and Frank Swarr of New Orleans-based Landry & Swarr.

With offices in Dallas, Houston and Pittsburgh, the experienced trial attorneys of the Nemeroff Law Firm fight for individuals and families who have suffered from harmful pharmaceuticals, mesothelioma, and catastrophic personal injuries or death as a result of the wrongful or negligent conduct of others. The firm secured two of Pennsylvania’s largest courtroom awards in 2010, according to The Legal Intelligencer. For more information, visit www.nemerofflaw.com.

For more information about the verdict, please contact Robert Tharp at 800.559.4534 or Robert@androvett.com.

The nationally recognized Nemeroff Law Firm won a major victory for victims of occupational diseases in Pennsylvania. In a landmark decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed a Superior Court decision and recognized an employee’s right to bring a civil action against an employer for a latent occupational disease.

In Landis v. A.W. Chesterton, et al. and Tooey v. A.K. Steel Corp., plaintiffs developed mesothelioma from years of work-related asbestos exposure. Under prior interpretations of the Workers Compensation Act in Pennsylvania, however, Landis and Tooey were unable to seek workers compensation benefits, or file civil action against their employer, because their mesothelioma did not manifest within 300 weeks of the date of last exposure.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the Act did not apply to latent occupational diseases, or diseases that might take years to develop and be diagnosed, and therefore victims were not prohibited from filing a common law claim against an employer.

In its written opinion, the court stated that interpretations should be “consistent with the humanitarian purposes of the Act,” and “resolve in favor of the employee.”

“It is inconceivable that the legislature, in enacting a statute specifically designed to benefit employees, intended to leave a certain class of employees who have suffered the most serious of work-related injuries without any redress under the Act or at common law,” the court wrote.

“This is a major victory for our clients and for victims of occupational diseases,” said Rick Nemeroff, president and founder of The Nemeroff Law Firm. “Mr. Landis and Mr. Tooey, like many employees diagnosed with latent occupational diseases, had no chance for relief from the employers that had exposed them to occupational toxins. This opinion goes a long way toward protecting their rights, and the rights of other employees and their families, who have suffered from negligence or wrong-doing by an employer.”

John Tooey worked as an industrial salesman from 1964 until 1982 and during his employment sold asbestos containing products, which caused him to be exposed to asbestos dust. In December 2007, Tooey developed mesothelioma and died less than one year later. Spurgeon Landis worked for a manufacturer of welding rods from 1946 until 1992 and, during his employment, he too was exposed to asbestos dust. Mr. Landis was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2007 and died in 2012.

“Virtually every other state, except for the state of Louisiana, restricts the rights of victims in these cases,” Nemeroff said. “We hope this humanitarian decision in Pennsylvania will influence other states to take action to protect the rights of those have suffered due to employer neglect or misconduct.”

The appeal was briefed by Roderick S. Marshall of The Nemeroff Law Firm and Brent M. Rosenthal of The Law Offices of Brent Rosenthal, and argued by Robert F. Daley of Robert N. Peirce & Associates.

In December 2013, the Nemeroff Law Firm won a major victory for victims of mesothelioma and other latent occupational diseases in Pennsylvania by restoring their legal right to seek compensation for their injuries from their employers.
In the consolidated case of Tooey v. A.K. Steel, et al. and Landis v. A. W. Chesterton, et al., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recognized an employee’s right to bring a civil action against an employer for a latent occupational disease, ruling that employers could not use the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (“Act”) to deny workers the opportunity to obtain compensation. Under the Act, compensation from an employer was only available if the occupational disease manifested within 300 weeks of the date of last exposure to an occupational toxin.

This ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court represents a major shift in Pennsylvania law in favor of an injured employee and the significance of this decision should be clear to anyone who understands a disease like mesothelioma, which can take decades to manifest but mere months to claim the lives of its victims. Prior to this decision, employees diagnosed with mesothelioma, or other latent occupational diseases, had no chance for relief from the employers that had exposed them to asbestos or other occupational toxins. This opinion goes a long way toward protecting the rights of employees and their families who have suffered from negligence or wrongdoing by an employer.

John Tooey worked as an industrial salesman from 1964 until 1982 and during his employment sold asbestos containing products, which caused him to be exposed to asbestos dust. In December 2007, Tooey developed mesothelioma and died less than one year later. Spurgeon Landis worked for a manufacturer of welding rods from 1946 until 1992 and, during his employment was exposed to asbestos dust. Mr. Landis was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2007 and died in 2012. Under prior interpretations of the Workers’ Compensation Act in Pennsylvania, neither plaintiff could seek workers compensation benefits or file civil action against their employer, because their mesothelioma did not manifest within 300 weeks of the date of last exposure.

To reverse years of precedent and succeed where other plaintiffs had failed, The Nemeroff Law Firm decided to take the case to the state Supreme Court, arguing that latent occupational diseases, such as mesothelioma, were outside the jurisdiction of the Act and that the Act’s provisions, when applied to these cases, were unconstitutional. Nemeroff was able to prevail relying on Lord Corp. v. Pollard, 548 Pa. 124, 695 A.2d 767 (1997), Boniecke v. McGraw Edison Co., 485 Pa. 163, 401 A.2d 345 (1979) and Greer v. U.S. Steel Corp., 475 Pa. 448, 380 A.2d 1221 (1997). In each of these cases, the employees’ civil action would survive the exclusivity provision if it was determined the injury was not compensable.

The Court ultimately agreed, ruling that the Act did not apply to latent occupational diseases, or diseases that might take years to develop and be diagnosed, and therefore victims were not prohibited from filing a common law claim against an employer. In its written opinion, the Court stated that previous interpretation of the Act would leave “the employee with no remedy against his or her employer, a consequence that clearly contravenes the Act’s intended purpose of benefitting the injured worker.”

The Court went on to state that the Act does not apply to latent occupational disease claims because it is “inconceivable that the legislature, in enacting a statute specifically designed to benefit employees, intended to leave a certain class of employees which have suffered the most serious of work-related injuries without any redress under the Act or at common law.”

After all, while manufacturers and suppliers of harmful toxins bear their share of responsibility in these cases, an employer is the last line of defense for an employee and is obligated to provide a safe work environment. In this landmark decision, the court ruled that interpretations should be “consistent with the humanitarian purposes of the Act,” and “resolve in favor of the employee.”

The implications of this decision cannot be overstated, as it reverberates well beyond these two unfortunate victims. While the ruling was based on the occupational disease mesothelioma, there is nothing in the Court’s reasoning to indicate that employers will be shielded from providing compensation for other occupational diseases with long latency periods. Other latent cancers, such as benzene-induced leukemia, should fall within the Court’s decision as long as the occupational disease first manifests more than 300 weeks from the date of last exposure to the industrial toxin.

It’s very rare as an attorney to have an opportunity to make or change the law, and even more rare to right a wrong for a class of victims and their families who have suffered so greatly. And while neither client lived to see the results of their appeal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision does bring some measure of justice to their families and to the families of other unfortunate employees who suffered from occupational diseases that did not develop until years after toxic exposure had ended.

We can only hope that this humanitarian decision in Pennsylvania will influence other states to take action to protect the rights of those have suffered due to employer neglect or misconduct.

Editor’s Note: The appeal in the case of Tooey v. A.K. Steel, et al. and Landis v. A. W. Chesterton, et al. was briefed by Roderick S. Marshall of The Nemeroff Law Firm and Brent M. Rosenthal of The Law Offices of Brent Rosenthal, and argued by Robert F. Daley of Robert N. Peirce & Associates.

Rick Nemeroff, a leading asbestos lawyer and founder of the nationally-recognized Nemeroff Law Firm, is among the nation’s top trial attorneys selected to speak at the American Bar Association (ABA) 23rd Annual Spring CLE meeting. Nemeroff will be part of a panel of experts at the “Learn Trial Techniques from the Best” session on Saturday, April 5 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Nemeroff will offer proven techniques for preparing for, conducting and winning trials. Presenting the plaintiff viewpoint, he will discuss his unique trial skills, on topics ranging from jury selection through verdict, which have resulted in significant legal victories.

Nemeroff is a sought-after speaker, author and consultant on litigation techniques and maintains an active trial practice with record-breaking verdicts. His firm recently won a landmark case, convincing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse previous decisions and allow employees with latent occupational disease to pursue legal action under the Workers Compensation Act. The decision was a major victory for Nemeroff’s clients and other victims of occupational diseases.

“This venue brings viewpoints from all sides – plaintiff, defense, industry and insurance – to a forum where we can discuss the latest developments and share winning techniques and strategies,” Nemeroff said.

This year’s ABA conference, “Hot Topics in Toxic Torts and Environmental Law,” features preeminent plaintiff and defense attorneys as well as leading corporate and insurance counsel from across the country. Program topics will include the environment, energy, asbestos, consumer product regulations, managing mass tort cases and more. The event runs April 3-5 at the Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

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Phone: 866.342.1929
Email: info@nemerofflaw.com