Published December 7, 2017
Every year on December 7th, Americans across the nation honor those who lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. This year marks the 76th anniversary of that fateful day when 2,393 non-combatants were killed in a surprise attack on the Naval Station in Honolulu, Hawaii.
On the morning of December 7, 1941, the naval station at Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service. The attack came without warning or a declaration of war, leaving American non-combatants totally unprepared. The attack resulted in the deaths of 2,393 non-combatants and the sinking of four U.S. Navy battleships. Five additional battleships were severely damaged and 188 aircraft were destroyed. As many as 1,178 non-combatants and civilians were also injured in the attack. Within hours of the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially declared war on Japan ushering America into World War II.
Many Americans choose to honor the fallen by visiting Pearl Harbor’s historic sites on Remembrance Day. The most notable sites include:
- The USS Arizona Memorial, which was placed over one of the four Navy ships that were sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor in honor of the 1,177 crew members who lost their lives;
- The USS Oklahoma Memorial, which stands in memory of the 429 men who were killed while aboard the USS Oklahoma on December 7th, 1941;
- The USS Missouri, which is the last American battleship ever built and the site of the Japanese surrender that ended WWII;
- The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, which is home to a number of WWII era planes; and
- The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, which is now a museum, but was once a formidable submarine that was built one year after the events of Pearl Harbor and is credited with sinking 44 enemy ships.
While many of us may be unable to visit Pearl Harbor on Remembrance Day, there are still a number of ways to honor the fallen. For instance, most government buildings fly the American flag at half-mast on the day commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many residents choose to honor those who lost their lives with a moment of silence or meditation, while others can visit one of the many veterans’ memorials scattered throughout the northeast.
At Thornton Law Firm, we are grateful for the bravery of the dedicated members of the U.S. military, some of whom, like the courageous heroes at Pearl Harbor, made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and well-being of others across the world.
Published on October 18, 2017
Sandi Goodwin and Lee McKenney worked tirelessly to support Andy Wainwright and Andrea Landry, and the Waters & Kraus lawyers, staying late and performing beautifully under great pressure for weeks.
Dodie Rodrigues, Kymm Smith, Joyce Murphy, Diane Mazin, Janine LoVuolo and Malissa Riehl all volunteered time, effort, and experience staying late each night to work with the trial team on weekends and after hours (even in scorching temperatures when the air conditioning was out!).
Chris Corradetti, Joe Souza, Denise Whitlock, and Kerry Brennan all provided top-notch paralegal support putting the cases together, performing investigatory work, and working with exhibits and other trial issues.
Leah McMorris, Brian Freer, and Leslie-Anne Taylor drafted countless winning bench memoranda and other research projects, motions in limine, jury instructions, and were there with all-around workhorse trial support 24/7.
Bill Warren and Nolando Brice provided seamless technical support and logistics.
We will never forget why we do the work we do for families like the Rosses and Sylvestres. But we must also remember that without the support of truly great team members like you, none of it would be possible. On behalf of the Rosses, the Sylvestres, and all of our other asbestos clients: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Call 888-491-9726 for a free consultation with Thornton Law Firm, a recognized leader in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.
Second Multi-Million Asbestos Related Verdict for Boston Law Firm in Two Weeks
Published on October 5, 2017
BOSTON, Mass.– A Superior Court jury in Boston returned a verdict of $6.8 million dollars against New England Insulation, a Canton company that distributed and installed asbestos insulation material until the early 1970s. Former Massachusetts insulator Timothy Ross passed away due to mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, on Aug. 19, 2013. His widow, Amy Ross, pursued this case individually and on behalf of his estate.
“Our family, including my children, are very pleased that justice was served,” said Ross. “Were he here, I know my husband would be greatly appreciative of the team that represented him and the jury for their hard work and dedication.”
This is the second multi-million-dollar verdict in two weeks for the Thornton Law Firm and co-counsel Waters & Kraus against New England Insulation. Last week, on Sept. 21, 2017, another Boston jury returned a verdict of $7.55 million for Gerald Sylvestre, a former New Hampshire power plant worker currently undergoing treatment for mesothelioma.
“We’re very happy with the verdict reached by the jury,” said attorney Andrew Wainwright of Thornton Law Firm. “They recognized the pain the Ross family endured through the years and rightfully held New England Insulation responsible for their actions.”
Thornton Law Firm was founded in 1978 by Michael Thornton doing groundbreaking work for victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Now the leading injury law firm in Massachusetts and the largest plaintiff law firm in New England, the firm has a dedicated team of attorneys representing thousands of clients in a wide variety of plaintiff-side work. Thornton Law Firm has represented asbestos victims in New England for nearly over 40 years. This commitment led the firm to aid in the creation of the Thornton House, which provides housing for mesothelioma and asbestos disease patients and families.
If you need help contact David McMorris, either by email, or phone 617-694-3934.
Call 888-632-0108 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.
Published on September 22, 2017
$7.55 Million Awarded to Victim in Case Against Insulation Company
A Superior Court jury in Boston returned a verdict of $7.55 million dollars against New England Insulation, a Canton company who distributed and installed asbestos insulation material until the early 1970’s. Gerald Sylvestre, a former worker in the Public Service of New Hampshire Merrimack Power Station in Bow NH, developed pleural mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer, in 2015 and is currently undergoing treatment.
“No one should have to go through this illness, and I particularly hate the suffering it has caused my family, especially because it could have been prevented,” said Sylvestre. “My wife and I were very happy with the verdict, but what meant the most was that we got to tell our story and the jury heard it and responded as they did.”
“The jury recognized the devastation this disease creates for families of workers exposed to hazardous materials,” said Sylvestre’s attorney, Andrew Wainwright of Boston’s Thornton Law Firm, “Had New England Insulation shared the knowledge they had of the dangers of asbestos with men working near them and with their products, this all could have been avoided.”
Today’s verdict is the largest award to date in New England, and was the result of a team effort between the Thornton Law Firm and Waters and Kraus, a nationally recognized asbestos trial firm.
“We are grateful for the jury’s verdict fully compensating the Sylvestres for their losses,” said Andrea Marino Landry, Thornton Law Firm’s trial co-counsel. “Gerald Sylvestre and other workers have suffered greatly from New England Insulation’s failure to share with them its knowledge of the dangers of asbestos exposure, which could have prevented this family’s pain and heartbreak.”
Thornton Law Firm was founded in 1978 by Michael Thornton doing groundbreaking work for victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Now the leading injury law firm in Massachusetts and the largest plaintiff law firm in New England, the firm has an experienced team of attorneys representing thousands of clients in a wide variety of plaintiff-side work. The firm has represented asbestos victims in New England for over 40 years and this commitment led Thornton Law Firm to aid in the creation of the Thornton House, which provides housing for mesothelioma and asbestos disease patients and families.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call Attorney Andrew Wainwright at 888-632-0108 for a free case evaluation, or tell us your story here. All legal claims have short, strictly enforced time deadlines, so contact us immediately if you need legal advice.
Call 888-491-9726 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.
Published on May 11, 2017
Mesothelioma is a type of malignant cancer that affects the thin lining of the body’s internal organs. It has been known for decades that mesothelioma is the direct result of exposure to asbestos. In response, the federal government banned many asbestos-containing products, although even today some asbestos products are still sold legally, and workers are still exposed in older structures that contain asbestos. Sadly, mesothelioma deaths continue to rise across the United States.
More Than 45,000 Mesothelioma Deaths Since 1999
On March 3, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated figures on mesothelioma-related deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2015. “Contrary to past projections,” the CDC said, “the number of malignant mesothelioma deaths has been increasing.” In 1999, there were 2,479 reported mesothelioma deaths. In 2015, there were 2,597–an increase of nearly 5 percent.
Overall there have been more than 45,000 mesothelioma-related deaths since 1999. Nearly 80 percent of these victims were men. About 95 percent were Caucasian.
Not surprisingly, the majority of mesothelioma deaths occurred when the victims were age 55 or older. The CDC noted that the time lapse between initial exposure to asbestos and the onset of malignant mesothelioma is typically 20 to 39 years – and in some cases as long as 71 years. This means workers exposed to asbestos at the age of 25 in 1977 may not be diagnosed with mesothelioma until after they have retired.
But even with modern health and safety rules designed to protect workers, exposure still remains a risk. The CDC said exposure now occurs “predominantly during maintenance operations and remediation of older buildings containing asbestos.” The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains strict standards for removing asbestos from existing buildings. But if individual employers, particularly in the construction industry, fail to abide by these standards, workers may still be exposed. This can also expose family members of such workers, the CDC said, since asbestos fibers on clothing may later be inhaled by other members of the worker’s household.
Do You Need to Speak With a Boston Asbestos & Mesothelioma Attorney?
According to the CDC’s figures, the highest age-adjusted death rates for mesothelioma victims are found in northeastern states, notably Massachusetts and Maine. This underscores the ongoing public health crisis of mesothelioma in and around the Boston area. If you or a family member have been exposed to asbestos and need to speak with a Boston mesothelioma lawyer, contact Thornton Law Firm, LLP, online today or call (888) 491-9726 to schedule a free consultation.
Published on April 13, 2017
Class 1 Recall
The FDA has announced a Class 1 Recall of the Zimmer Biomet Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder Humeral Tray (Model 115339) following reports that the devices are fracturing at a higher rate than stated in the labeling. In December Zimmer Biomet had sent an Urgent Medical Device Recall Notice to doctors, hospitals and other medical providers recalling the reverse shoulder implants, asking that all devices in stock be identified and quarantined for removal. The FDA has now classified this recall as a Class 1 Recall, meaning that the use of these shoulder replacements may cause serious injury or death.
What is a Biomet Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder Implant?
The Biomet Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder System Humeral Tray Model 115339 is a shoulder replacement device that is surgically implanted. It is used in patients who have suffered rotator cuff tears who have also developed a severe form of arthritis called arthropathy and also already had a failed shoulder replacement.
Zimmer’s recall of the Biomet Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder implant applies to 3,662 devices manufactured between August 25, 2008 and September 27, 2011, which were distributed between October 2008 and September 2015.
The devices in question were manufactured by Biomet. Biomet was acquired by Zimmer in 2015 for $14 billion dollars.
What’s Wrong With the Biomet Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder Implant?
The devices fracture more than expected. Fractures of a defective shoulder implant may cause permanent loss of shoulder function, infection, or even death. Patients may be required to undergo another revision surgery to remove, or remove and replace, the implant, with all the risks of surgery.
What Can You Do?
If you have had shoulder replacement using the Biomet Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder implant and suffered a fracture, you may have a claim for damages. Contact the defective medical device attorneys at Thornton Law Firm for a free, thorough evaluation of your legal rights at 1-888-341-1405. Or tell us your story using our online contact form. Like all legal claims, defective shoulder implant claims must be filed within short time limits. Get legal advice as soon as possible to protect your rights.
Call 888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.
Published on January 11, 2017
During the first part of the twentieth century, many construction companies began using carcinogenic asbestos fibers in their building materials, including drywall, insulation, and ceiling tiles. Unfortunately, it was several decades before the general public discovered the link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, an aggressive and often deadly form of cancer. Although companies have since discontinued using almost all materials that contain asbestos, many individuals continue to suffer from this illness as a result of asbestos exposure. Fortunately, in the last ten years, doctors have made great strides in treating mesothelioma.
Recently, doctors have begun studying a new technique, known as photodynamic therapy (PDT), which involves injecting a light-activated drug into the bloodstream. The drug is then absorbed by cells throughout the body, although it stays in cancer cells longer than it does in regular cells. Within three days of injection, when the drug has left the body’s normal cells but remains in the cancer cells, the tumor is exposed to a special form of light through fiber optic cables that are inserted into the lungs or esophagus. The drug in the cancer cells absorbs this light, which produces an active form of oxygen that destroys the cells. There is also evidence that PDT shrinks tumors by damaging blood vessels in the tumor and by activating the immune system to attack cancer cells.
Because the drug only works in areas exposed to the light, it is hypothesized that this form of treatment could have fewer side effects, such as vomiting, nausea, and hair loss that often accompany other forms of treatment.
Scientists are also attempting to attack mesothelioma at the molecular level by identifying, correcting, or replacing genetic abnormalities. One approach to gene therapy requires the injection of genetically modified viruses that target cancer cells. These viruses can destroy the cancer cells outright by discharging a genetic material that causes cell death. Other genes can also help slow the growth of blood vessels that feed cancer cells.
Another treatment in the clinical stages is immunotherapy, which is achieved through introducing antigens, such as chemicals, bacteria, or viruses into the body, which stimulate the immune system’s response to kill cancer cells. Because only specific cells are targeted, this form of treatment may have fewer side effects than other methods, such as chemotherapy.
Contact a Massachusetts Mesothelioma and Asbestos Attorney Today
If you have been recently diagnosed with mesothelioma and have questions or concerns about your own exposure to asbestos, please contact Attorney Andrew Wainwright at Thornton Law Firm, LLP at (888) 341-1395 to schedule an initial consultation. Our offices are located in Boston, Massachusetts.
By: Andrew S. Wainwright, Esq.
Published on May 17, 2016
A California jury awarded $32.8 million dollars to a foundry worker and his wife for his developing mesothelioma after breathing asbestos while wearing a defective respirator sold by American Optical Corporation. Bill Tyler was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer caused only by asbestos, in 2015. The jury award included $10 million in punitive damages, the first time American Optical Corporation has been ordered to pay punitive (punishment) damages.
How was the plaintiff exposed to asbestos?
Bill Tyler, age 62, began working at Foundry Service and Supply in Torrance, California as a 19-year-old, from 1972 until 1992. He wore an American Optical Corporation mask for 17 years, believing it would protect him from breathing asbestos dust generated by foundry operations that included cutting Marinite boards that contained asbestos. However, American Optical Corporation knew that workers used its R2090 mask to protect against asbestos exposure, and knew that it was not designed to protect against asbestos. What they sold was a false sense of security. Tyler and his fellow workers thought they were protected from harm, and they were instead being exposed to harm.
Why didn’t American Optical R2090 respirators protect against asbestos exposure?
The R2090 respirator included a double head strap that to an ordinary consumer seemed to pull the mask tight enough against the face to protect against asbestos inhalation. But the mask was not designed for asbestos protection. It leaked around the edges, and deadly asbestos got in and was inhaled.
In addition, if there is sufficient asbestos in the atmosphere, even a high-quality respirator mask is not enough, by itself, to protect you from asbestos exposure. That’s why today asbestos removal is performed by workers wearing disposable gear over their respirators. This includes a suit, hood, gloves, and shoe covers. Before removing the gear, the worker is sprayed with water mist and all the gear must be removed while the respirator is still on. The entire outfit is sealed in asbestos waste containers before the mask is removed.
What were Tyler’s claims against American Optical?
Tyler sued American Optical for strict product liability, negligence, negligent failure to warn, concealment, and intentional misrepresentation. The jury ruled that American Optical knew its respirator would not protect against asbestos exposure, and hid that fact from Tyler and others who used the R2090 mask.
Is American Optical the only company that made respirators?
No, other companies also made dangerous respirators. Thornton Law Firm has successfully prosecuted cases over the last 15 years for workers who alleged they wore defective respirators while cutting asbestos, and developed mesothelioma as a result.
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M Co.) manufactured masks for use in workplaces where asbestos was being used, including the 8500 dust mask and the 8710 disposable respirator. (You’d probably recognize an 8710 – the disposable paper nose cone with a yellow headband and an aluminum piece that you could press to fit your nose.) 3M advertised that those masks would protect workers from dangerous dusts. Like American Optical, the 3M lawsuits allege that the devices did not provide adequate protection against workplace dust and asbestos particles. Both products have since been removed from the market by 3M Co.
Similarly, Mine Safety Appliances Company (MSA) sold its Dustfoe 66 respirators and masks with the promise that they would provide protection from asbestos dust. The Dustfoe 66 respirators were sold throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s and came in a tin box. The respirator itself was notable for its triangle-shaped nosepiece. While advertised that it could protect workers from asbestos, lawsuits allege the MSA Dustfoe 66 respirators did not provide the promised protection, and that MSA was aware of the defects. Often, these respirators were worn by workers cutting asbestos-containing materials in machine and fabricating shops.
What can I do if I have developed mesothelioma after using a defective mask?
Thornton Law Firm has been fighting for asbestos victims since 1978, including lawsuits against the manufacturers of dangerous and defective masks and respirators. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any asbestos-related disease, count on New England’s leading mesothelioma law firm to get you the full compensation you are entitled to under the law. Call our toll free number 888-632-0108 or tell us your story here. All legal claims have short time limits so call now to protect your legal rights.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos disease, call 1-888-632-0108 for a no-obligation evaluation of your legal rights, or tell us your story using our online contact form.
Published on January 5, 2016
Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts released a report sharply critical of schools across the country – including schools right here in Massachusetts – for failing to comply with federal laws meant to safeguard against the hazards presented by airborne asbestos in schools. The report, ‘Failing the Grade: Asbestos in America’s Schools‘, reveals that most schools are not aware of all the asbestos in place in their buildings. As a result, renovations and repairs are conducted without the important safety measures meant to prevent the spread and release of breathable asbestos fibers.
Asbestos in Schools – Safeguarding Students, Teachers, and School Personnel
In March Senator Markey and Senator Boxer from California asked states whether they were in compliance with the 30 year old federal law governing asbestos in schools, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (known as AHERA). Almost half of U.S. schools were built between 1950 and 1969, when asbestos was routinely used as a building material.
Where Can Asbestos Be Found in a School?
Asbestos in schools may be found in the insulation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; as fireproofing on the structure; as ceiling material, either sprayed or tiles; in roofing and floor tiles; in wallboard or plaster walls or ceilings; in soundproofing material; even in chipped paint. As long as the asbestos materials are undisturbed and in good condition, the EPA maintains the risk is minimal and recommends they be left in place. But as older schools require constant maintenance, and often require repairs or updating, work done poorly or by workers unaware that asbestos is present can cause serious exposures.
What Does Federal Law Require of Schools?
AHERA requires that each state monitor asbestos in schools and prevent exposure by:
- Inspect every school once, then re-inspect every 3 years
- Develop an asbestos management plan. A copy must be kept at the school
- Annual notification to parents, teachers and employees re the plan and any abatement planned or completed
- Designate an asbestos coordinator
- Periodic surveillance of known/suspected asbestos
- All inspections and abatement be performed by accredited professionals
- Asbestos awareness training for custodial/maintenance employees
Serious Asbestos Management Problems Identified In Our Schools
Markey’s report is based on the response of 20 states. More than two-thirds reported having schools that contain asbestos, and most of that asbestos is unabated. Neither the states nor the school districts are complying with AHERA. Only 288 of the 3,690 school districts that have schools with asbestos actually perform periodic inspections of those schools – less than 10%. Similarly, the report found that “States do not appear to be systematically monitoring, investigating or addressing asbestos hazards in schools.”
What Can You Do?
Parents, teachers or employees should ask for an annual asbestos statement if you are not receiving one. Ask to see the school’s asbestos management plan. Ask if your child’s school is periodically inspected for asbestos. If you see deteriorating materials in your school, report it to the designated asbestos coordinator. States are required to keep your children safe, but the Markey report shows that states are failing to do so.
Thornton Law Firm is Massachusetts’ first, most successful, and most respected team of mesothelioma lawyers. We have had the great privilege of representing injured asbestos victims in mesothelioma and asbestos cases since 1978. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call on our experienced, compassionate mesothelioma lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation by calling 1-888-632-0108 or by telling us your story online. Like all legal claims, asbestos claims have short time limits. Do not delay seeking advice.
By Leah M. McMorris and Evan R. Hoffman
Calls to poison control centers regarding e-cigarette and vaping liquids have risen dramatically over the past four years. In 2013, over 1,000 calls linked to liquid nicotine exposure were reported in the United States. In 2014, that number surpassed 3,800. In 2013, Minnesota alone had 50 reported children poisonings from e-liquid, a ten-fold increase from 2012. In December a toddler in upstate New York who drank a vial of liquid nicotine died – the first death of a child from swallowing vaping liquid.
Nicotine is an acute toxin, meaning that adverse effects occur immediately or within a very short period of time after ingestion. Exposure to nicotine by swallowing or contact with the skin can result in nausea and vomiting, as well as respiratory arrest, seizures, and even death. A lethal dosage of nicotine is considered to be between 1 and 13 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. The nicotine levels in most e-liquids range between 1.8 and 24 percent, though they can be as high as 10 percent. For a 200-pound adult, a teaspoon of 1.8 percent nicotine concentrated e-liquid may be fatal. For a small child, the fatal amount is significantly lower.
There is no government regulation of e-liquids, although the FDA has proposed regulations. No regulation of manufacture, no government testing, no government specifications. Most manufacturers do not disclose the ingredients in their vape liquids on the label. We know that most e-cigarette liquids contain nicotine, flavoring, and solvents, but the actual ingredients of most products are unknown.
Children may be particularly vulnerable to nicotine poisoning, attracted by the kid-friendly flavors – like fruit, candy, and food – and colorful packaging of e-cigarettes and vape pens. Compounding the hazard of attractive colors and images, many e-liquid manufacturers do not use child-proof caps or tamper proof packaging. A few states have already enacted legislation requiring child-resistant packaging for e-liquid (Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Davis County, Utah) and federal legislation has been introduced. Massachusetts has no legislation regarding child resistant packaging for e-liquids. Enacting legislation to require manufacturers to use child-resistant packing is an important step in protecting young children who may be drawn to the colors and images on the packaging from experiencing the potentially lethal effects of liquid nicotine poisoning.
Many e-liquid manufacturers do not adequately warn consumers about the hazards associated with liquid nicotine exposure. At Thornton Law Firm, we have represented victims of chemical and substance exposures for 40 years. We are currently investigating nicotine liquid poisoning. If you have any questions about these potentially harmful products, please call 888-491-9726 to speak with a Thornton Law attorney today, or contact Thornton Law Firm online for a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your legal rights.