Former Plumber's Helper Receives Over $2.8 Million in Mesothelioma Settlement to Date
Written by Jason Wentworth
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:35
A 70-year old man and lifetime Yonkers, NY resident was devastated to learn that a job he held for a mere three months when he was a teenager would result in the development of mesothelioma cancer, a life-threatening form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Tragically, this form of cancer typically claims the lives of many mesothelioma cancer patients within the first 12-18 months of diagnosis. This man valiantly battled his illness for almost six years before succumbing to his disease.
Shortly after his diagnosis, the man and his family sought the assistance of the mesothelioma attorneys at Weitz & Luxenberg, one of the nation’s premier asbestos law firms.
As part of his mesothelioma lawsuit, the man provided testimony about his very brief exposure to asbestos, his eventual diagnosis and medical treatment, and how his disease was impacting his life.
The man testified that after leaving school in the 11th grade, his father helped him to secure work as a plumber’s helper at a Yonkers shipyard. During his time at the shipyard, the man recalled that he only worked on two or three commercial tanker ships that were docked at the shipyard for refitting and renovations.
He also related his duties at the shipyard, where he worked alongside the plumbers “…when [they] would take all the stuff off the piping, I was assisting them with that and putting on covering for the pipes.” In addition, the man also recalled helping the plumbers to mix the asbestos-containing cement that would be applied to pipes and other areas aboard the ships.
After only three months on the job, he decided to quit and took a job at an area grocery store. He first worked in the store’s grocery department, but was eventually transferred to the store’s vegetable and produce department. While he left the grocery store while serving in the military, he returned to the grocery store after being discharged from the Army, and worked for the grocery chain for almost 43 years.
Unfortunately, that three-month exposure to asbestos materials at the Yonkers shipyard caused him to inhale asbestos dusts and fibers, which eventually led to the development of mesothelioma almost 50 years after he was exposed to the cancer-causing mineral.
Health Problems First Develop
Several months before his 71st birthday, the man testified he began to experience chest pains and shortness of breath. He was hospitalized for what was first thought to be angina, but after his doctor reviewed a chest x-ray considered “suspicious,” the man was referred to a pulmonologist and later to a surgeon for a lung biopsy.
His surgeon gave the man the grim news that he had mesothelioma disease and that his condition was considered inoperable. His primary physician then referred the man to an oncologist, who was treating his disease with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
“Well, I Can’t Do Anything That I Used to Do...”
Since his diagnosis, the man testified that his physical health and energy levels had drastically changed since before he became sick: “Well, I can't do anything that I used to do. I used to do a lot of walking. I used to play a lot of golf. I used to be very athletic, which I can't do now. I get out of breath very fast. My breathing is very bad.”
He also testified that he is no longer able to engage in activities that he and his wife once enjoyed as a couple, including going out dancing. He also stated that in the months since his diagnosis, his energy levels and balance had been affected to the point that he needs a cane to get around.
At the time of his diagnosis, the man and his wife were dependent on their social security and pension benefits to meet their living expenses. However, throughout the man’s battle with his illness and even after his passing, his wife and adult children have been able to benefit from approximately $2.8 million secured in lawsuit settlement proceeds.
Diagnosed with Mesothelioma