Thursday, February 19, 2009
Five former officials of WR Grace, an asbestos producer, are standing trial for concealing information from the former employees and for not taking the appropriate action to protect their health. The criminal trial has been delayed since 2006 because of pending appeals.
The company has recently filed an amended reorganization plan on Feb. 3, 2009. The plan contains the following comments about workers' compensation claims:
WR Grace - Proposed First Amended Reoganization Plan 2-3-09
"3.1.4 Class 4. Workers’ Compensation Claims
(a) Classification Class 4 consists of all Workers’ Compensation Claims against the Debtors.
(b) Treatment This Plan leaves unaltered the legal, equitable, and contractual rights to which each such Workers’ Compensation Claim entitles the Holder of such Workers’ Compensation Claim. For the avoidance of doubt, in no event shall any of the Sealed Air Indemnified Parties or the Fresenius Indemnified Parties have any liability with respect to any Workers’ Compensation Claim.
(c) Impairment and VotingClass 4 is unimpaired. The Holders of the Workers’ Compensation Claims in Class 4 aredeemed to to have voted to accept this Plan and, accordingly, their separate vote will not be solicited."
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Asbestos exposure results in progressive and latent diseases including: asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. There is no known cure for mesothelioma, a rare and fatal disease. The use of asbestos is not yet banned in the US.
WR Grace manufactured asbestos insulation, Zonolite, and other asbestos containing products . For many years it mined asbestos in Libby, Montana, and left behind a legacy of disease to its former employees and residence of the mining community. Last year, the US Congress passed and the President signed, a national health care bill that provided medical coverage under Medicare for those who worked and/or resided in Libby, Montana.
Once the US District Court finalizes approval of the plan, the present and futures asbestos victims trusts will begin processing claims for payment.
- UN Agency Urges Worldwide Asbestos Ban (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- National Mesothelioma Awareness Day September 26 (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Judge Orders Arrest of CEO of Asbestos Supplier (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- New Biomarkers Discovered for Mesothelioma May Lead to Early Detection (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Benefits Available Under the Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- The Toxic Contamination of North Jersey (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
Monday, April 12, 2010
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Asbestos is a known carcinogen causally related to asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. WR Grace manufactured asbestos containing vermiculite as an insulation product. The production process contributed to the toxic contamination of the geographical area and both the workers and the residents developed asbestos related illness on a massive scale. The US Environmental Protection Agency designated Libby, MT, as a Superfund Site for cleanup and remediation.
Additionally, the Obama health care reform legislation, extended universal medical care (Libby Care) through Medicare to all residents of Libby who were exposed to fiber. This innovated medical insurance program can be extended to other areas designated as a national health emergency areas. Eventually all occupational disease claims in workers' compensation could be encompassed by the program.
The costs for medical benefits extended to the residents of Libby will be reimbursed through the Medical Secondary Acts as directed by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This concept is already in place throughout the US.
For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 email@example.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.
- What Congress Really Needs To Do To Solve the Asbestos Epidemic (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- The Top 10 Drugs Prescribed For Workers Compensation Claims (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Asbestos Disease Claims Continue to Surge (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Genetic Pre-Disposition to Mesothelioma (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Zadrgoa WTC Health Claims Fund Town Hall Meetings (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus today announced additional asbestos-related health services to be included under the health care coverage he secured for Lincoln County asbestos victims in the Affordable Care Act.
"The people of Libby and Lincoln County suffered a horrendous injustice in the name of greed, and we have a responsibility to help them heal however we can. We secured a Public Health Emergency Declaration in Libby to make sure these folks had access to all the tools they needed. Providing Libby victims with the consistent, reliable, health care they are entitled to under the law is the least we can do to help right this outrageous wrong," Baucus said.
Dr. Brad Black, Medical Director of the Center for Asbestos Related Disease in Libby said, "CARD, our patients, and the Libby community greatly appreciates Senator Baucus' work to secure legislation to provide long-term asbestos health benefits and screening. Medicare benefits, the Medicare Pilot Program for Asbestos Related Disease and ongoing asbestos screening are critical services for the affected population of today and tomorrow."
CARD is a community based non-profit organization established in 2000 that is committed to providing asbestos screening and healthcare related to the Libby asbestos exposure.
"While some in Congress are trying to end Medicare as we know it for Montanans, we strengthened it and improved access to better health care for folks in places like Libby," said U.S. Senator Jon Tester. "Today the people of Libby have better access to the health care services they need and deserve. It's a powerful investment in Montana's people."
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said today the agency would begin covering the additional benefits July 1, 2011 under a permanent pilot program Baucus included in the Affordable Care Act to ensure Libby victims received the full range of services needed to treat asbestos diseases. Benefits cover services not already included under Medicare coverage Libby asbestos victims now receive under the law, including:
- Special home care services;
- Special medical equipment;
- Help with travel to get care;
- Special counseling, for example, help quitting smoking;
- Nutritional supplements; and
- Prescription drugs not covered by Medicare drug plans (Participants in the Pilot Program must be in a Medicare drug plan to receive this benefit.)
Today's news is the third step in Baucus' provisions to secure health care coverage for Libby under the Affordable care Act. In Spring 2010, as part of Baucus' provisions, victims of asbestos exposure in Lincoln County began getting care under Medicare. In March of 2011, Baucus announced a grant program to help Lincoln County health care providers screen for asbestos-related diseases. Before the new program announced today, Libby asbestos victims relied on temporary and uncertain grants programs to receive the additional care they needed.
Individuals can call 1-888-469-9464 to enroll in the pilot by phone or visit the websitewww.noridianmedicare.com/ard beginning June 14.
Earlier this year Baucus was announced as the 2011 Tribute of Hope Award recipient by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) for his tireless efforts fighting on behalf of residents of Libby, Lincoln County and Asbestos victims everywhere. In March, the Senate unanimously passed Baucus' resolution to designate the first week of April 2011 as "Asbestos Awareness Week," and call attention to Libby and other victims of asbestos-related disease.
Additional background on Baucus' longstanding efforts to secure declaration of a Public Health Emergency in Libby:
Baucus has been a long-time champion of asbestos awareness in his efforts to declare the mining tragedy in Lincoln County a public health emergency and make sure folks there have access to the clean-up tools and health care they need.
Since news reports first linked widespread deaths and illness to exposure to deadly asbestos fibers at the defunct W.R Grace and Co. mine, Baucus has visited Libby more than 20 times, secured millions for healthcare and cleanup, brought numerous White House cabinet secretaries to the town, helped save the CARD clinic, and has dogged the EPA to keep cleanup efforts moving forward.
The mine near Libby, Montana, was the source of over 70 percent of all vermiculite sold in the U.S. from 1919 to 1990. There was also a deposit of asbestos at that mine, so the vermiculite from Libby was contaminated with asbestos. Vermiculite from Libby was used in the majority of vermiculite insulation in the U.S. and was often sold under the brand name Zonolite.
As far back as 1999, Baucus wrote a letter to then Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala requesting immediate medical help and assistance to the area. He further lambasted the EPA's decision to not declare a Public Health Emergency, calling it an "outrage."
In 2008, Baucus released a report detailing a 2002 attempt by the EPA to declare a Public Health Emergency in Libby that was thwarted by the previous Administration's Office of Management and Budget. And on June 17, 2009, due in large part to Baucus' efforts, the EPA declared its first ever public health emergency in Libby, Montana.
After securing the declaration, Baucus fought hard, as a key author of the Affordable Care Act, to make sure the law included a mechanism for residents of Libby and Lincoln County to access the health care they were entitled to as victims of a public health emergency. As a result, Libby residents began receiving coverage under Medicare in Spring 2010.
For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 firstname.lastname@example.org have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.
- Health Law Expands Medicare to Montana Asbestos Patients (kaiserhealthnews.org)
- Asbestos Contaminates 772 New York City Schools (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- The Path to Federalization (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- The Health Reform Act Charts A New Course for Occupational Health Care (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- EPA: Mont. town cleaner but asbestos risks persist (sfgate.com)
- NJ Urged to Adopt Single Payer System for Workmens' Comp (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Medicare Pilot To Aid Libby Residents Affected by Public Health Emergency (nbcmontana.com)
- Program to aid Libby Asbestos-related disease victims (kpax.com)
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
In March 2008 Grace agreed to reimburse the U.S. Superfund program for the cleanup costs associated with its Libby, Montana, asbestos facility
Saturday, October 4, 2008
“EPA was going to let people know, but they were changed from their direction. A Public Health Emergency definitely would have helped--- it would have provided media and public attention. Without a Public Health Emergency, asbestos has not become a public health issue. That’s the politics of asbestos."Libby Montana was the former vermiculite mine site of W.R.Grace & Company. Vermiculite is a form of asbestos, a known carcinogen. Grace recently agreed to globally settle all of its asbestos claims for $3 Billion.
The exposure to asbestos has been long linked to several disease including, asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure occurs when the toxic particles are ingested or inhaled into the body. When asbestos articles attach themselves to the lining of the lung, pleural mesothelioma, a fatal disease, results. The fibers may also attach themselves to the mesothelioma linings surrounding the heart and abdomen.
Libby Montana was declared a Federal Superfund site in 1999. Following that declaration, the Federal government has poured millions of dollars into cleaning up the asbestos-contaminated site. The failure to declare the site a public health emergency limited the Federal government’s role in providing even more extensive cleanup operations and healthcare to those residents who innocently suffered the avoidable exposure to asbestos.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
US Department of Labor notifies former New Jersey nuclear weapons employees of energy workers’ compensation program
The U.S. Department of Labor is notifying former workers of 26 New Jersey facilities about benefits that may be available to them under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act administered by the department's Office of Workers' Compensation's Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation. Survivors of qualified workers also may be entitled to benefits.
Former employees of the following sites may be eligible for EEOICPA compensation and medical benefits if they worked at the facility during a period of covered employment: International Nickel Co. Bayonne Laboratories in Bayonne, Westinghouse Electric Corp. and Bloomfield Tool Co. in Bloomfield, U.S. Pipe and Foundry in Burlington, Aluminum Company of America in Garwood, National Beryllia in Haskell, Kellex/Pierpont in Jersey City, Chemical Construction Co. and Standard Oil Development Co. of New Jersey in Linden, Middlesex Municipal Landfill, Middlesex Sampling Plant and United Lead Co. in Middlesex, Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Brunswick Laboratory in New Brunswick, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in Princeton, Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, Maywood Chemical Works in Maywood, American Peddinghaus Corp. in Moonachle, Baker and Williams Co. and Wykoff Steel Co. in Newark, Bowen Laboratory in North Branch, J.T. Baker Chemical Co. in Phillipsburg, Callite Tungsten Co. in Union City, Tube Reducing Co. in Wallington, Rare Earths/W. R. Grace in Wayne and Vitro Corp. of American in West Orange.
The department urges all potential eligible former workers and their survivors to contact its New York Resource Center at 800-941-3943 or visit DEEOIC's website at http://www.dol.gov/owcp/energy for more information.
On July 31, 2001, the Department of Labor began administering Part B of the EEOICPA. Part B covers current and former workers diagnosed with cancer, beryllium disease or silicosis caused by exposure to radiation, beryllium or silica while working directly for the U.S. Department of Energy, that department's contractors or subcontractors, a designated Atomic Weapons Employer or a beryllium vendor. Individuals or their survivors found eligible under Part B may receive a lump sum compensation payment of $150,000 and medical expenses for their covered conditions. Part E, created by an amendment to the EEOICPA on Oct. 28, 2004, and administered by the Labor Department, provides federal compensation and medical benefits to DOE contractors and subcontractors who worked at covered facilities during a covered time period and sustained an illness as a result of exposure to toxic substances.
In support of the Labor Department's implementation of the EEOICPA, DOE maintains a list of covered facilities under the EEOICPA, which is periodically updated and published in the Federal Register. DOE also maintains a searchable covered facility database, which contains additional information pertaining to each of the facilities, including years of covered activity and an overview of the type of work performed. The database can be accessed online athttp://www.hss.doe.gov/healthsafety/fwsp/advocacy/faclist/findfacility.cfm.
It is the Department of Labor's goal to disseminate information concerning EEOICPA benefits to potentially eligible claimants across the country. To aid in this effort, the department maintains 11 resource centers nationwide to provide in-person and telephone-based assistance to individuals regardless of where they live. To date, the department has delivered more than $10 million in EEOICPA compensation and medical benefits to 114 eligible claimants living in New Jersey and more than $7.7 billion nationwide.
More articles about the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act
Monday, December 21, 2009
The stage was set last June 17th, when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared Libby, Montana, a Public Health Emergency, because of asbestos present at the site. The geographical location was the site of a W.R. Grace vermiculite mine.
The legislative provision was "buried" deep in the legislation at the last moment, reported Robert Pear of the NY Times. The amendment was made Senator Max Baucus of Montana, who lead the Senate legislative committee crafting the legislation. The convoluted political bartering over the last few days reflects a sentinel change in how injured workers may be receiving medical care in the years ahead. It is anticipated that major changes will be offered over the years ahead to modify and expand the coverage.
Occupational diseases have always been problematic to the State workers' compensation systems. They have been subject to serious and costly proof issues. They were "tag along" claims for a compensation system that initially was enacted in 1911 to cover only traumatic claims. The proposed legislation is a first major step to move occupationally induced illnesses into a universal health medical care system and will provide a pilot project for addressing the long awaited need to furnish medical care without serious and costly delays.
By allowing Medicare to become the primary payor and furnish medical care, those without a collateral safety net of insurance will be able to obtain medical care effectively and expeditiously. While cost shifting from workers' compensation to Medicare has been an historically systemic problem in the compensation arena, this legislation maybe a first major step to legitimatize the process. The legislation may allow for great accountability and expansion of the Medicare Secondary Payment Act (MSP) to end cost shifting that has become epidemic in proportion. It is good medicine for an ailing workers' compensation system.
Click here to read more about workers' compensation and universal health care.
Friday, March 8, 2019
Friday, November 15, 2013
Today's post was shared by Legal Newsline and comes from legalnewsline.com
PORT GIBSON and LAUREL, Miss. (Legal Newsline) – Last decade’s flood of mass silicosis suits into Mississippi courts dried up in the heat of scandal, but new silicosis suits are steadily streaming into the same sympathetic courts.
The new suits, like thousands that federal judge Janis Jack reviewed in 2005, depend on little evidence beyond X-ray reports of a well paid expert.
In a dramatic turn of events, the expert behind the new suits once joined Jack in ripping the experts behind the old suits.
Pulmonologist Steven Haber of Houston, who now testifies at $450 an hour for depositions and $5,000 a day for trials, once echoed Jack’s opinion that doctors manufactured reports for the lawyers who paid them.
Those doctors lost reputations and licenses, and avoided prosecution by invoking Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination.
Haber has found success employed as an expert for attorneys Allen Smith of Ridgeland, and Timothy Porter, Patrick Malouf and John Givens of Jackson, who run a constant cycle of trials around the state.
At a wrongful death trial in September in Port Gibson (Claiborne County), defense attorney Walter Johnson of Watkins & Eager in Jackson confronted Haber with an affidavit he had produced for purposes of the WR Grace bankruptcy. In it, Haber was critical of B-readers, or readers of X-rays.
Haber testified that he never met the deceased claimant Lawrence Armstrong and that the only information he had reviewed...
Friday, March 4, 2011
- UN Agency Urges Worldwide Asbestos Ban
- Libby Care Launches - Center for Asbestos Related Disease Ground Breaking
- The Health Reform Act Charts a New Course for Occupational Health Care
- Public Meeting Held On Zadroga Health Compensation Fund (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- WR Grace Asbestos Bankruptcy Plan Receives Initial Approval (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- National Mesothelioma Awareness Day Resolution Approved by Congress (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
Friday, April 19, 2013
US EPA Reports: Better Planning, Execution and Communication Could Have Reduced the Delays in Completing a Toxicity Assessment of the Libby, Montana, Superfund Site
Sunday, April 24, 2011
"NIOSH has determined that exposure to asbestos fibers causes cancer and asbestosis in humans and recommends that exposures be reduced to the lowest feasible concentration."
For more about this correction see The Pump Handle article.
- Asbestos Contaminates 772 New York City Schools (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- NIOSH Seeks Information About World Trade Center Cancer Claims (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Zadroga Fund Cancer Claims Info Sought by NIOSH (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- NIOSH Proposes Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia As Compensable (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- WR Grace Asbestos Bankruptcy Plan Receives Initial Approval (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- CDC's NIOSH says WHAT about asbestos??? (scienceblogs.com)
Monday, July 11, 2011
|Senator Max Baucus (MT)|
The recent discovery of the spread of asbestos contamination in Libby MT, which had been declared a Public Health Emergency, is shocking. Asbestos, a known carcinogen, associated with mesothelioma, is reportedly still lingering throughout the community.
- Health Reform Coverage for Asbestos Victims Expands (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- The Ugly Canadians (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Quebec Does the Dirty Deed - Funds Asbestos Production (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Canada Called A Pariah State (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Fallen Asbestos Workers Honored at a Memorial Mass (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- EPA: Mont. town cleaner but asbestos risks persist (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- New danger found in Montana asbestos town (cbsnews.com)