Masks and Respirators as Protection

By: Andrew S. Wainwright

As the world confronts the novel coronavirus (and its associated illness, COVID-19), we are becoming more aware of how masks and respirators can, potentially, protect us from airborne contaminants. Individual respiratory protection devices have been around for over a hundred years. From the use of gas masks to protect soldiers from mustard gas in World War I, to masks used to protect health care workers from pathogens, we have relied on masks to prevent the inhalation of harmful substances.

The coronavirus relief bill enacted into law this week, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, included a limitation of liability for respirator (i.e., N95 mask) manufacturers that will be in place until October 1, 2024. This new law bans health care workers and anyone else who wears an N95 mask from suing the manufacturers of those masks, as well as some other businesses involved in the respirator supply chain in coronavirus treatment. If the mask wearer subsequently develops an illness related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or COVID-19 outbreak that the mask was intended to prevent, that person cannot bring a lawsuit for that illness. The immunity:

  • Only applies for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency as declared by HHS (applicable through 2024)
  • Only covers respirators that have an emergency use authorization issued by the FDA and
  • Only extends to claims that have some relationship to treatment of COVID-19.

Further, on March 17, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services submitted a Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act COVID-19 (coronavirus) declaration in the Federal Register for the following covered persons and countermeasures:

  • Covered Persons: manufacturers, distributors, program planners, qualified persons, healthcare providers, and their officials, agents, employees. It also includes any person authorized to prescribe, administer, or dispense countermeasures.
  • Countermeasures: any drug, diagnostic, device, or vaccine used to treat coronavirus, or any device used in the administration of any such product, and all components and constituent materials of any such product.

The time period for temporary immunity will be the final day the emergency declaration is in effect, or October 1, 2024, whichever occurs first.

The PREP Act also creates a measure much like worker’s compensation, called the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). CICP will provide benefits (which can include compensation for unreimbursed medical expenses, lost employment income, and/or survivor death benefits) to certain individuals or estates of individuals who sustain serious physical injuries or death as the direct result of a countermeasure.

Masks and respirators have also been used to protect workers from harmful dusts, such as silica and asbestos. However, not all masks or respirators are created equal. A mask does not provide the same level of protection as a respirator. In fact, in the world of industrial hygiene, the term “mask” has been designated for use only to prevent inhalation of nuisance dusts: dusts that do not pose a serious health risk. “Respirators”, on the other hand, are designated for use with harmful substances. These designations have often been confused, and the risks can be severe.

Some masks and respirators have been marketed and sold for protection against particular substances, such as asbestos, that they were not designed for. Others were just defectively designed and were ineffective at protecting workers as intended. Sometimes the respirators included valves that leaked, and certain masks were not properly designed to create a good fit against the face.

OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration), NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and the U.S. Bureau of Mines have regulated the effectiveness, categorization and selection of respirators in specific work settings. These regulations have not always been followed closely.

Thornton Law Firm LLP has extensive experience in litigating dozens of asbestos cases against the manufacturers of defective masks and respirators. We have gone to trial and successfully settled these respirator cases. We know that just because a worker may have worn a mask or respirator while working with asbestos or any other industrial dust, it does not mean he or she was properly protected.  The immunity for mask manufacturers under the PREP Act is limited to masks currently being manufactured in response to the COVID-19 crisis and should have no effect on litigation regarding asbestos. If you have contracted an asbestos-related disease after using a defective mask or respirator, we can help.  Call Thornton Law Firm LLP at 888-491-9726 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.

Thornton Law Firm LLP is located at One Lincoln St., 13th fl., State Street Financial Center, Boston, MA 02111.

Asbestos is Hiding Everywhere

By: Andrew S. Wainwright

Experienced Mesothelioma Lawyers Working for You

Thornton Law Firm LLP has been representing victims of asbestos-related diseases and their families for decades.  Through our cases representing workers with mesothelioma, lung cancer, other cancers, and asbestosis, we have developed a sophisticated knowledge of how people have been exposed to asbestos. 

In the early years of the firm, the late 1970s and much of the 1980s, the vast majority of our clients were insulation workers, pipe fitters, boiler makers and other trades in the shipbuilding and power generation industries.  These were mostly union tradesmen who worked directly with asbestos-containing insulation materials.  They were exposed to tremendous amounts of airborne asbestos throughout their careers building navy and merchant ships, power houses and large industrial facilities. 

As the 1980s progressed, many of the manufacturers of industrial insulation materials sought to manage their asbestos liabilities through the bankruptcy process.  These corporations segregated their assets and put their former asbestos insulation manufacturing subsidiaries into bankruptcy, leaving little for the victims of the asbestos products that profited those corporations through much of the 20th century.

Why is Mesothelioma Increasing in the Population?

Although asbestos was mostly removed from industrial insulation materials with the advent of OSHA in the early- to mid-1970s, and many of the industrial workers have succumbed to mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases, there are still people contracting and dying from mesothelioma.

These people fall into a few basic categories.  There are the families of workers who brought asbestos home on their clothing; others were exposed to asbestos through products that contained asbestos that few people knew about.  In addition, we have the people who were exposed to materials such as talc and vermiculite, which contained asbestos as a contaminant, not an intended ingredient.  And again, these people had no knowledge that talc or vermiculite contained asbestos.

Who is At Risk?

Thornton Law Firm LLP has represented dozens of family members who themselves contracted mesothelioma.  Spouses and children of industrial workers were exposed to asbestos dust brought into their cars and homes.  Through helping with the laundry, giving daddy a hug when he got home from work, or simply riding in the family car children were exposed, and now, as adults many years later are getting mesothelioma.  They never worked in factories, power houses or ships, and they never suspected that they were exposed to asbestos.  Thornton Law Firm LLP has the experience and resources to investigate and successfully litigate these cases. 

Surprising Sources of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos has turned up in many places and products that those exposed would never have suspected.  From various automotive products, such as brakes and gaskets to residential building materials such as floor tile, wall material, plaster, spackle, putty, siding, and roofing material, the home do-it-yourselfer typically worked with many asbestos-containing materials.  Asbestos can be found in many plastics, especially in electrical equipment, such as circuit breakers.  Asbestos has been used in filter material, including cigarette filters in the 1950s.  Asbestos has even shown up as a contaminant in the most benign products, such as talcum powders, cosmetics and even baby powder.

Experience Counts

Thornton Law Firm LLP has represented victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases who have been exposed to all of these products.  We are experienced in finding exposures to asbestos that the victims of mesothelioma would never have thought possible. 

 
Thornton Law Firm LLP is located at One Lincoln St., 13th fl., State Street Financial Center, Boston, MA 02111.

Thornton Law Firm’s 2019 Super Lawyers

By: Patricia M. Flannery, Esq.

Thornton Law Firm, LLP, the respected Boston, Massachusetts plaintiffs’ injury law firm, is pleased to announce that four partners, Michael P. ThorntonDavid J. McMorrisAndrew S. Wainwright, and Garrett J. Bradley, have been named Super Lawyers by Massachusetts Super Lawyers Magazine, and that partners Andrea M. Landry and Evan Hoffman, and Of Counsel Guillaume Buell, were named Rising Stars.

The Massachusetts Super Lawyers list is limited to less than five percent of attorneys in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Rising Stars list is even more exclusive, with less than 2.5% of a state’s lawyers selected.

Founded in 1978, Thornton Law Firm LLP represents thousands of individuals, families and institutions in a wide variety of legal claims, including children born with birth defects from chemical exposure; mesothelioma and asbestos; defective drugs and medical devices; whistleblowing and financial fraud; securities class actions; toxic torts; and catastrophic personal injuries.

Thornton Law Firm’s 2019 Super Lawyers

The Thornton Law Firm lawyers named 2018 Massachusetts Super Lawyers are:

Michael P. Thornton, Founder & Chair

2019 – Top Rated Class Action & Mass Torts Attorney in Boston, MA

Previous years: Class Action/Mass Torts, Securities Litigation, Personal Injury – Products, Environmental Litigation

Selected to Super Lawyers 2007 – 2019

David J. McMorris

2019 – Top Rated Class Action & Mass Torts Attorney in Boston, MA

Previous years: Class Action/Mass Torts, Personal Injury – General, Workers’ Compensation

Selected to Super Lawyers 2004 – 2005, 2007 – 2019

Andrew S. Wainwright

2019 – Top Rated Products Liability Attorney in Boston, MA

Previous years: Personal Injury – Products, Class Action/Mass Torts, Workers’ Compensation, Personal Injury – General

Selected to Super Lawyers 2004, 2009, 2014 – 2019

Garrett J. Bradley, Managing Partner

2019 – Top Rated Securities Litigation Attorney in Boston, MA

Previous years: Securities Litigation, Personal Injury – General, Personal Injury – Products, Class Action/Mass Torts, Antitrust Litigation

Selected to Super Lawyers 2017 – 2019; Rising Stars 2010

Thornton Law Firm’s 2019 Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars are:


Andrea Marino Landry

2019 – Top Rated Products Liability Attorney in Boston, MA

Previous years: Personal Injury – Products, Personal Injury – General, Class Action/Mass Torts

Selected to Rising Stars 2013 – 2019

Evan Hoffman

2019 – Top Rated Class Action & Mass Torts Attorney in Boston, MA

Selected to Rising Stars 2019

Guillaume Buell

2019 – Top Rated Securities Litigation Attorney in Boston, MA

Selected to Rising Stars 2019

What Are ‘Super Lawyers’?

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from across the United States in more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law.  For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

For More Information

Thornton Law Firm provides legal services to clients around the country from our offices in Boston and Beverly Hills. If you need help with a legal claim, contact Thornton Law Firm online or call 1-888-491-9726 to speak with an experienced attorney for a free assessment of your legal case. All legal claims are subject to short time limits for filing, so call today for a no-obligation consultation.

This may be considered Attorney Advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter.

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Five Thornton Law Firm Attorneys Named Super Lawyers

By: Patricia M. Flannery, Esq.

Published on December 27, 2018

Thornton Law Firm, LLP, Massachusetts’s leading plaintiff’s injury law firm, announced today that four partners, Michael P. Thornton, David J. McMorris, Andrew S. Wainwright, and Garrett J. Bradley, were named Super Lawyers by Massachusetts Super Lawyers Magazine, and that partner Andrea M. Landry was named a Rising Star.

The Massachusetts Super Lawyers list is limited to less than five percent of attorneys in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Rising Stars list is even more exclusive, as less than 2.5% of a state’s lawyers are selected.

Thornton Law Firm, located in Boston, Massachusetts, represents thousands of individuals, families and institutions in a wide variety of legal claims, including children born with birth defects from chemical exposure; mesothelioma and asbestos; defective drugs and medical devices; whistleblowing and financial fraud; securities class actions; toxic torts; and catastrophic personal injuries.

Thornton’s 2018 Super Lawyers

The Thornton Law Firm lawyers named 2018 Massachusetts Super Lawyers are:

Michael P. Thornton, Founder & Chair

2018 – Class Action

Previous years: Class Action/Mass Torts, Securities Litigation, Personal Injury – Products, Environmental Litigation

Selected to Super Lawyers 2007 – 2018

David J. McMorris

2018 – Class Action

Previous years: Class Action/Mass Torts, Personal Injury – General, Workers’ Compensation

Selected to Super Lawyers 2004 – 2005, 2007 – 2018

Andrew S. Wainwright

2018 – Personal Injury Products: Plaintiff

Previous years: Personal Injury – Products, Class Action/Mass Torts, Workers’ Compensation, Personal Injury – General

Selected to Super Lawyers 2004, 2009, 2014 – 2018

Garrett J. Bradley, Managing Partner

2018 – Securities Litigation

Previous years: Securities Litigation, Personal Injury – General, Personal Injury – Products, Class Action/Mass Torts, Antitrust Litigation

Selected to Super Lawyers 2017 – 2018 Rising Stars 2010

Thornton Law Firm’s 2018 Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star is:

Andrea Marino Landry

2018 – Personal Injury Products: Plaintiff

Personal Injury – Products, Personal Injury – General, Class Action/Mass Torts

Rising Stars 2013 – 2018

What Are ‘Super Lawyers’?

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from across the United States in more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law.  For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

Get In Contact With One of Boston’s Leading Firms Today

Thornton Law Firm provides legal services to clients around the country from our offices in Boston and Beverly Hills. If we can help you with your legal claim, get in touch with us online or call us at 1-888-491-9726. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced attorneys for free assessment of your legal case. All legal claims are subject to short time limits for filing, so call us today for your no-obligation consultation.

Thornton Law Firm Lawyers Named 2017 Massachusetts Super Lawyers

Call 888-491-9726 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in plaintiff personal injury litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.

By: Patricia M. Flannery, Esq.

Published on November 27, 2017

We are pleased to announce that five attorneys from Thornton Law Firm have been selected to the 2017 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list. This is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than five percent of attorneys in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and all firm sizes, assuring a credible and relevant annual list.

The Thornton Law Firm lawyers named 2017 Massachusetts Super Lawyers are:

Michael P. Thornton

David J. McMorris

Andrew S. Wainwright

Garrett J. Bradley

Super Lawyers Rising Stars honors attorneys who are either forty years of age or younger or have been practicing for ten years or less. No more than two.five percent of Massachusetts lawyers are selected each year to receive this honor. For the fifth year in a row, Andrea Marino Landry has  been recognized as Thornton Law Firm’s 2017 Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star:

Andrea Marino Landry

Super Lawyers’  annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes:

  • Peer nominations
  • Independent research
  • Evaluations from a highly credentialed panel of attorneys

The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys to be used as a resource for both referring attorneys and consumers seeking legal counsel.

Please join us in congratulating Michael P. Thornton, David J. McMorris,  Andrew S. Wainwright, Garrett J. Bradley and Andrea Marino Landry on their selection. For more information, go to SuperLawyers.com.

Great Teamwork Leads to Great Results

By: Andrew S. Wainwright, Esq.

Published on October 18, 2017

After working for two incredible trial results in two weeks for our clients, Thornton Law Firm would like to recognize the hard work and dedication of the asbestos trial team members:

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.

Jury Awards $6.8 Million Verdict to Mesothelioma Victim’s Widow

Second Multi-Million Asbestos Related Verdict for Boston Law Firm in Two Weeks

By: David McMorris, Esq.

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.

Super Lawyers Awards – 2016

logo-superlawyers

By: Patricia M. Flannery, Esq.

Published on December 19, 2016

Super Lawyers is a national rating service that recognizes attorneys from over 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and achievement. The selection process includes rigorous independent research as well as peer nominations and evaluations and is conducted on a yearly basis. The lists are then published in magazines across the country. At Thornton Law Firm, LLP a number of our attorneys have been the proud recipients of this coveted award.

Selection Process

Super Lawyers chooses attorneys based on a multiphase selection process that combines peer evaluations and independent research. In order to be considered as a candidate, a lawyer must be formally nominated by a peer that practices in the same state or be identified by the Super Lawyers research department. During the research process the Super Lawyers team looks for attorneys who have attained certain honors, have unique credentials, and have received positive results. The department also evaluates each nominated lawyer on 12 factors of peer recognition, including:

  • Verdicts and settlements;
  • Transactions;
  • Representative clients;
  • Experience;
  • Honors and awards;
  • Special licenses and certifications;
  • Position within the law firm;
  • Bar and professional activity;
  • Pro bono and community service;
  • Scholarly lectures and writings;
  • Education and employment background; and
  • Other outstanding achievements.

Each of the categories is given a separate point value. Candidates with the highest point totals from both small and large firms are then selected. Only around five percent of the lawyers in each state are chosen for the award.

Our Attorneys

Our law firm is proud to have a number of attorneys on our legal team who have been designated as Super Lawyers.

Michael P. Thornton, the founder and chair of Thornton Law Firm, LLP has received this award for his nationally recognized work in toxic tort litigation. As a result of his dedication, the firm has become one of the largest and most well-known law firms in the Northeast for its representation of victims exposed to toxic materials. He has been named a Super Lawyer every year since 2007.

David McMorris, one of Thornton Law Firm’s trial lawyers and the director of our health care subrogation and workplace injury practice, has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America as well as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer. He is also a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and has obtained jury verdicts in favor of clients injured in construction accidents or due to asbestos poisoning and toxic exposure. He was first named a Super Lawyer in 2004.

Andrew Wainwright manages the Thornton Law Firm, LLP asbestos trial practice and has successfully litigated numerous mesothelioma cases. In recognition of his professional excellence Mr. Wainwright was recognized as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer in 2004, 2009, and 2014.

Andrea M. Landry is an experienced partner at Thornton Law Firm, LLP and has successfully represented victims of toxic exposure, including children born with birth defects, and clients injured by defective consumer products. Ms. Landry has been named a Super Lawyer Rising Star for the last three years.

Contact an Experienced Complex Litigation Attorney

If you live in Massachusetts and were recently injured as a result of another person’s negligence, please contact Thornton Law Firm, LLP at (888) 491-9726 to schedule an initial consultation with one of our renowned and experienced attorneys.

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