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(c) 2014 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Workplace Safety is the Most Important Issue This Labor Day

More than 85% of of the workers polled this Labor Day consider workplace safety as the most important issue. The study, "Public Attitudes Towards and Experiences with Workplace Safety," draws on dozens of surveys and polls conducted by NORC, one of the nation's leading academic survey operations, think tanks and public opinion firms. NORC’s analysis sought to gain a picture of Americans' experiences with workplace safety issues. The study was done for the Public Welfare Foundation, based in Washington, DC, which supports efforts to improve workers' rights.

Click here to read
the study.

For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational exposures,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

There is No Good Asbestos -- It Is All a Killer


Chrysotile Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Richard A. Lemen
Assistant Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service (retired), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (retired), Canton, Georgia, E-mail: richard@ralemen.org
The Editor’s Summary for the article by Tse et al. (2010) stated the following:

Assuming an average latency of 42 years, the authors predict that incidence rates will peak in 2009 and that diagnoses will peak in 2014. However, they caution that ongoing use of chrysotile asbestos (which has been implicated but not conclusively established as a cause of mesothelioma) and the release of asbestos fibers from older buildings during demolition or renovation may slow the projected decline.
The statement concerning chrysotile asbestos being “implicated but not conclusively established as a cause of mesothelioma” is inconsistent with current scientific opinion. I refer you to the most recent evaluation by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in which Straif et al. (2009) stated,
Epidemiological evidence has increasingly shown an association of all forms of asbestos (chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite) with an increased risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma. Although the potency differences with respect to lung cancer or mesothelioma for fibres of various types and dimensions are debated, the fundamental conclusion is that all forms of asbestos are “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1).
In addition, opinions such as that expressed in the Editor’s Summary are advanced only by scientists with prochrysotile industry bias.
When I wrote the draft for the first IARC Monograph on asbestos in 1976, which the expert committee accepted and published in 1977 as IARC Monograph Volume 14, a similar conclusion was stated: “Many pleural and peritoneal mesotheliomas have been observed after occupational exposure to crocidolite, amosite and chrysotile.” Since then—more than 30 years—science has not changed its opinion that all forms of asbestos, including chrysotile, cause mesothelioma.
In fact, in the article that is the subject of the Editor’s Summary, Tse et al. (2010) did not indicate that chrysotile is not a cause of mesothelioma; on the contrary, they stated the following:
Although the mesothelioma incidence is anticipated to decline in the coming decades, it may not decrease to background risk levels given that chrysotile consumption has not been banned under the current legislation and that secondary asbestos exposure from the environment will likely continue. Nevertheless, the hypotheses generated from this ecologic study need further confirmation by subsequent analytic studies. The present study provides supportive evidence for an immediate and global ban on asbestos use.
I hope that future Editor’s Summaries will reflect the conclusions of the article and not put forth statements that are not supported by mainstream science. I also support the conclusion of Tse e al. (2010) for “an immediate and global ban on asbestos use.”

References Top

  1. IARC 1977. Asbestos. IARC Monogr Eval Carcinog Risk Hum 14: 1–106. FIND THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
  2. Straif K, Benbrahim-Tallaa L, Baan R, Grosse Y, Secretan B, El Ghissassi F, et al. 2009. A review of human carcinogens—part C: metals, arsenic, dusts, and fibres. Lancet Oncol 10: 453. –454. FIND THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
  3. Tse LA, Yu IT, Goggins W, Clements M, Wang XR, Au JS, et al. 2010. Are current or future mesothelioma epidemics in Hong Kong the tragic legacy of uncontrolled use of asbestos in the past? Environ Health Perspect 118: 382–386. FIND THIS ARTICLE ONLINE
Click here to read more about asbestos related disease and claims for benefits. For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered asbestos related illnesses.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Slow Economic Grown Forecasts Dismal Future for Workers Compensation

Quarterly Gross Domestic Product (year-on-year...
The announcement today of slower economic growth predicts a gloomy future for the US Workers' Compensation industry. A 2nd Quarter growth rate of 1.6% is far below the minimum 2.5% rate necessary to halt the increasing numbers of unemployed workers.


The US workers' compensation industry is dependent on premiums, based on wages, paid to workers. A lack of workers on payrolls stalls the economic engine necessary to fund the system. The predictable response is an increase in rates chargeable to fewer employees in a time when the country faces a predictable deflation rate in advance of potentially soaring rates based upon inevitable inflation resultant from increased governmental spending. Seven more years, at a minimum of high unemployment has been predicted.


Compounding the scenario is the fact that the historical pattern of the past will most likely not allow for a major rebound as the facts of economic growth, globalization and transfer of manufacturing overseas has devastated the base of growth for the national workers' compensation system. 


Click here for more information on how Jon L Gelman can assist you in a claim for workers' Compensation claim benefits. You may e-mail Jon  Gelman or call 1-973-696-7900.


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Hip Implants Recalled Due to Failure

Johnson and Johnson has recalled 2 Hip Implants because of failure. The two implants were made by the DePuy Orthopaedics unit of Johnson and Johnson. The decision to withdrawn the products was based upon the fact that many patients require a second hip replacement because of product failure.
DePuy release a statement today that they two products being recalled were: the ASR XL Acetabular System, a hip socket used in traditional hip replacement, and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, a partial hip replacement that involves placing a metal cap on the ball of the femur, a method intended to preserve more bone. There about 93,000 of the defective appliances that have been implanted worldwide.

For over two years the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been besieged with complaints about the failure of the devices and painful surgery to replace them.


The office of Jon L. Gelman has advocated for consumer rights and has helped those who have unfortunately received defective medical devices. Please call 1-973-696-7900 or e-mail for further information.

Workers' Compensation and Joint Replacement

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

$500,000 Verdict Awarded Police Officer Terminated Due to Disability

The Record reports that a police officer, who was unable to work because of blood thinner therapy flowing from a work related injury and a pregnancy, was awarded $500,000 because the employer terminated her because of the disability.
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For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered accidents & exposures at work.



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Veterans at Increased Risk for Mesothelioma

The US Department of Veterans Affairs  has now recognized that veterans may be at an increased risk for the development of mesothelioma, a cancer associated with exposure to asbestos fiber. The government has announced that during World War II, several million people employed in the U.S. shipyards. U.S. Navy Veterans were exposed to amosite and crocidolite since these varieties were used extensively in military construction.


How Veterans Have Been Exposed to Asbestos during Military Service

Veterans who served in some of the following major occupations may have been exposed to asbestos:

  • Mining
  • Milling
  • Shipyard work
  • Insulation work
  • Demolition of old buildings
  • Carpentry and construction
  • Manufacture and servicing of friction products, such as clutch facings and brake linings
  • Manufacture and installation of products, such as roofing and flooring materials, asbestos cement sheet and pipe products, and military equipment

Health Problems Associated with Exposure to Asbestos

Breathing asbestos mainly causes problems in the lungs and the membrane that surrounds the lungs, including:

  • Asbestosis – Scarring of lung tissue that causes breathing problems, usually in workers exposed to asbestos in workplaces before the Federal government began regulating asbestos use (mid-1970s).
  • Pleural plaques – Scarring in the inner surface of the ribcage and area surrounding the lungs that can cause breathing problems, though usually not as serious as asbestosis. People living in areas with high environmental levels of asbestos, as well as workers, can develop pleural plaques.
  • Cancer - The two types of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos are lung cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer of the thin lining surrounding the lung (pleural membrane) or abdominal cavity (the peritoneum).

 The VA has indicated that exposed veterans may be eligible for governmental benefits including: Health Care Benefits, Disability Compensation Benefits, and other benefits including home loans, vocational rehabilitation and education.


Click here to read more about asbestos related disease and claims for benefits. For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered asbestos related illnesses.



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The Politics of Asbestos – US Government Failed the People Declares Senator Baucus


National Cancer Institute Establishes Web Site to Answer Questions About Malignant Mesothelioma


$7 Million Verdict Upheld for Wife of Asbestos Worker for Handling Workers Clothes



Monday, August 23, 2010

Stay Lifted in RICO Class Action Against Wal-Mart

A Federal Judge has lifted a stay in a class-action law suit against Wal-Mart that charges the company with conspiring with workers' compensation insurance companies to limit medical treatment for injured workers. The stay was lifted by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Blackburn on July 1, 2010. 

The claim, on behalf of 7,000 Colorado Wal-Mart workers charges conspiracy with: Claims Management Inc., American Home Assurance Co. and Concentra Health Services Inc., to control medical treatment, who may have been entitled to treatment under the Colorado Workers Compensation Act. Other allegations of fraud are also asserted.

Gianzero et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores et al., No. 09-00656, stay lifted (D. Colo. July 1, 2010).

Click here for additional articles about Wal-Mart and workers' compensation. For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered asbestos related illnesses.




Sunday, August 22, 2010

$7 Million Verdict Upheld for Wife of Asbestos Worker for Handling Workers Clothes

A NJ Appellate Court upheld an award of $7 Million dollars to the wife of an asbestos worker. The spouse washed her hushand's street clothes  that he used at work. She developed mesothelioma, a cancer associated with exposure to asbestos fiber, as a result of laundering her husband's contaminated clothing.

The worker was employed at the Exxon Refinery in Linden, NJ where he was exposed to asbestos while removing insulation from equipment at the plant.. The company held safety meetings and gave the workers helmets but did not furnish respirators to protect them from the hazards of asbestos, a know carcinogen.

Mesothelioma, a cancer associated with the exposure to asbestos fiber, has a long latency period. It may take between 15 to 35 years to develop after the first exposure to asbestos fiber. 

It has been long recognized that household contacts, ie. spouses and family members, who come into contact with asbestos workers may develop asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. The first know legal action was brought in New Jersey successfully for a household contact in 1981 who developed mesothelioma as a result of cleaning her husband's clothes. He had worked at the Union Asbestos and Rubber Company in Paterson, NJ during World War II.

The Court also rejected that the spouse,  also a former employee at Exxon, should have been required to seek benefits under workers' compensation.  
"In our view, the judge's decision here to apply the dual persona doctrine is buttressed by the Supreme Court's pronoun-cement in Olivo, supra, 186 N.J. at 405, to impose a separate duty on employers for injuries to a worker's spouse caused by bystander exposure to the asbestos brought home on work clothes. That is, although Exxon could not be held liable to Bonnie based on her direct occupational exposure, it could be held liable pursuant to Olivo, based on her separate exposure to the asbestos brought home by John from his Exxon job."



"Thus, consideration of the relevant legal principles in light of the disputed evidence presented on the summary judgment motions leads us to the conclusion that there were genuine issues of material fact about the actual extent of Bonnie's and John's exposures to asbestos, which precluded summary judgment. Whether Exxon could be held liable pursuant to the dual persona doctrine require a jury determination. Thus, we affirm the judge's denials of summary judgment."

Anderson v, A.J. Friedman Supply Co. Inc., A5892-07, NJ App Div 2010.






Click here to read more about asbestos related disease and claims for benefits. For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered asbestos related illnesses.

Related Articles
History of Asbestos and the Law

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

US Workplace Deaths Decrease

A preliminary total of 4,340 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2009, down from a final count of 5,214 fatal work injuries in 2008. The 2009 total represents the smallest annual preliminary total since the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program was first conducted in 1992. Based on this preliminary count, the rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2009 was 3.3 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, down from a final rate of 3.7 in 2008. Counts and rates are likely to increase with the release of final 2009 CFOI results in April 2011. Over the last 2 years, increases in the published counts based on information received after the publication of preliminary results have averaged 156 fatalities per year or about 3 percent of the revised totals.
Economic factors played a major role in the fatal work injury decrease in 2009. Total hours worked fell by 6 percent in 2009 following a 1 percent decline in 2008, and some industries that have historically accounted for a significant share of fatal work injuries, such as construction, experienced even larger declines in employment or hours worked. In addition, some source documents used by CFOI State partners to identify and verify fatal work injuries were delayed, due at least in part to fiscal constraints at some of the governmental agencies who regularly provide source documentation for the program.
Key preliminary findings of the 2009 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries: 
- Workplace homicides declined 1 percent in 2009, in contrast to an overall decline of 17 percent for all fatal work injuries. The homicide total for 2009 includes the 13 victims of the November shooting at Fort Hood. Workplace suicides were down 10 percent in 2009 from the series high of 263 in 2008.
 - Though wage and salary workers and self-employed workers experienced similar declines in total hours worked in 2009, fatal work injuries among wage and salary workers in 2009 declined by 20 percent while fatal injuries among self-employed workers were down 3 percent. 
- The wholesale trade industry was one of the few major private industry sectors reporting higher numbers of fatal work injuries in 2009. 
- Fatal work injuries in the private construction sector declined by 16 percent in 2009 following the decline of 19 percent in 2008.
- Fatalities among non-Hispanic black or African-American workers were down 24 percent. This worker group also experienced a slightly larger decline in total hours worked than non-Hispanic white or Hispanic workers. 
- The number of fatal workplace injuries in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations rose 6 percent, one of the few major occupation groups to record an increase in fatal work injuries in 2009.
 - Transportation incidents, which accounted for nearly two-fifths of all the fatal work injuries in 2009, fell 21 percent from the 2,130 fatal work injuries reported in 2008. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

US EPA Removes NJ Millington Asbestos Site from Super Fund List

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has successfully completed cleanup work at the Asbestos Dump Superfund site in Long Hill Township and Harding Township, Morris County, New Jersey and has deleted the site from the National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites, commonly known as the Superfund list.

Between 1927 and 1975, under the operation of several different manufacturing companies, waste products containing asbestos were disposed of throughout the site, resulting in soil contamination. The nearby Passaic River was also threatened by runoff of contaminated surface water from the site. Currently, site properties are owned by the State of New Jersey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and private parties. National Gypsum Company is the responsible party for the site. 


Asbestos is a known carcinogen and the known cause of asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Click here to read more about asbestos related disease and claims for benefits. For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered asbestos related illnesses.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Intentional Tort Claim Against Employer Proceeds for Pesticide Spraying

A US District Court in NJ is allowing a claim of injured agricultural worker to proceed against an employer directly for an intentional tort  flowing from a pesticide spraying. 


The workers, residents of Puerto Rico, were employed on  a NJ farm harvesting produce. hey were employed to work in fields that the employer recently applied pesticides or was actually spraying the pesticides. Is was alleged that the employer failed to provide medical assistance after the workers became ill and did not provide the employee's physicians with complete with complete information on the [potential pesticide exposure that would have allowed better treatment.


The Court denied the defendant's motion for summary judgement and is allowing the case to be heard.


Montalvo v. Larchmont Farmes, Inc., Civil Action No. 06-2704 (RBK/AMD) 2010 WL 3025045 (D.N.J.) decided July 29, 2010,


Click here to read more about pesticide exposures and workers compensation.


For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational exposures,


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Asbestos Used by Brake Workers Linked to Malignant Mesothelioma

A recent study published in the Annals of Occupational Hygiene finds that exposure to chrysotile asbestos fiber manufactured by a friction materials factory, Raybestos Manhattan Inc., was causally to malignant mesothelioma, a rare and fatal disease. This appears to be consistent with the association previously established among Quebec asbestos miners and at a South Carolina asbestos textile factory. 


Raybestos Manhattan formerly had many frictional materials plants in operation throughout the US. One facility was located in Passaic NJ. That plant closed in June of 1975. Hundreds of workers' compensation claims were filed by the former workers who suffered from illnesses as a result of the exposure to asbestos fiber. Claims were also filed against the manufacturers and distributors of asbestos products including the asbestos mines in Quebec. 


Annals of Occupational Hygiene, doi:10.1093/annhyg/meq046 


Click here to read more about asbestos related disease and claims for benefits. For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered asbestos related illnesses.