Thursday, November 14, 2002

Lectured yesterday at "Adjusting Motor Vehicle Accident/Premises Liability Personal Injury Claims in Wisconsin," at the Astor Hotel in here Milwaukee. After, I met a reporter from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel to discuss asbestos and mesothelioma cases in Wisconsin.

Again, coalition of asbestos businesses are floating a scheme to "reform" the process for asbestos claims. This is the fourth battle in a war between victims of asbestos and businesses that profit from asbestos (asbestos is still processed and sold mainly overseas) but this time they have sympathetic ears in Congress and the White House. But if the public learns the truth, I doubt asbestos profiteers will prevail.

The asbestos-industry has known about the dangers of asbestos since the early 1900s Medical articles described asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma and the first asbestos lawsuit took place during that time. Yet, into the 1950s and 1960s companies like W.R. Grace and Owens-Corning sold asbestos ignoring asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Because tons of asbestos products were sold then and asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma are hidden for 15-45 years, the extent of the illnesses were not known publicly until the 1970s. After looking at the dangers, the EPA issued a rule banning asbestos in certain uses, but the asbestos industry fought the ban so it could continue to profit from asbestos-laced products. Since 1960 MORE THAN 250,000 persons have died the horrible suffocating death associated with asbestos and 150,000 more are predicted to die.

Don't be confused by lies told in asbestos companies' tv ads, these people are dead and dying. These are not "no injury" cases. For an amazing article describing how asbestos effectively decimated a town see the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. As a person who has witnessed the death associated asbestosis and mesothelioma and the effect it has on spouses, children and grandchildren, it's impossible for me to fathom 400,000+ families enduring such suffering.

It is simply reprehensible for asbestos companies, that profit and profited for decades, to now ask that these families be barred from accessing our civil justice system.