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October 9, 2012

Exposure to Asbestos: When are we at risk of being in contact with it?

Asbestos can ruin the lives of people who become sick with one of the many Asbestos- related diseases. Most people are exposed to asbestos while at work, which unfortunately, is where we spend most of our time. Being a great insulator, asbestos is often used as insulation in buildings and remains in many buildings today because it is more dangerous to take it out. Taking it out would cause the small asbestos fibers to become airborne which could then cause more harm than good. Now that asbestos is known to make people fatally ill with diseases such as Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, and Asbestosis, help is available to compensate victims of asbestos disease.

In a current news article from the United Kingdom's Ponteford and Castlford Express, a 67 year old woman was exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with Mesothelioma from her five years of working as a Tailoress in a factory. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Although the woman, named June Preston, worked in the factory for a short five years, it was plenty of time to come into contact with the tiny asbestos fibers that lodge into the lungs. Sadly, in March of this year, June passed away due to her exposure to asbestos. Her husband is currently seeking compensation for her death.

Asbestos is found in many factories and is extremely common in certain materials used in construction or similar jobs. It is said that in most big cities, you can find the small asbestos fibers in the lungs of the people who live there. Not all of those people will become sick, but those who have had enough exposure may. There are many jobs, job sites, and professions that can make your risks of contracting an asbestos related disease much higher than others such as:

Shipbuilding
Sheet metal worker
Power plants
Construction- they use products that contain asbestos
Manufacturers of asbestos products
Pipefitters, steamfitters, boilermakers, refractory workers
The Textile Industry- asbestos may be woven into the fabrics
Auto-Repair shops- asbestos was used in brake pads
Military/Navy veterans- exposed to asbestos products

If you or someone else you know has become ill with Asbestosis, Lung Cancer, or Mesothelioma and has worked at one or several of the sites listed above, you may have a possible asbestos related claim.

May 15, 2012

Oakland Mesothelioma Attorney Calls For Improvement In Disability Claims Processing At Oakland Veterans Administration Office

Mesothelioma Attorney Michael J. Mandelbrot, an attorney representing veterans in the Oakland and Alameda County area suffering from mesothelioma and lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure they experience while servine in the military, today called for reforms in claims processing at the Oakland Veterans Administration office.

Mr. Mandelbrot's action came in response to the Veterans Administration Inspector General's report of May 10, citing an average of 320 days for a Veteran's claim to be processed at the Oakland regional facility, compared to an average of 241 days at other facilities nationwide. Alarmingly, the report noted that close to 40% of the claims processed at the Oakland facility were done so incorrectly, and only five of eight major office functions were in compliance with Federal Standards. Though the report appeared to focused on disability claims stemming from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it heightens concerns as to the level of service all Veterans are receiving from the Veterans Administration in Oakland.
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"It is completely unacceptable, that those Veterans who have served our country with valor and honor are being left at the mercy of an inefficient, error prone bureaucracy. For many, receiving VA assistance is literally the difference between having money for medical assistance, food, and warm clothing, or not. Reforms must be put in place to streamline process, and get support to our Veterans and their families.", commented Mr. Mandelbrot.

Congresswoman Jackie Spear D-San Mateo has responded to the report of the Veteran Administration Inspector General, by organizing a public forum in San Francisco on May 21st. Attending the forum will be the Oakland Veteran's Administration Director and the Veteran's Administration Western Regional Director. It is anticipated that the Veteran's Administration will try to explain what has caused the slow down and errors, and also announce measures to fix the problem. The meeting will be run in a town hall style format, and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is a rare, incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Many mesothelioma patients contracted the disease as a result of exposure to asbestos that occurred while serving in the United States Navy. Asbestos fibers are natural occurring microscopic mineral bodies that were heavily mined and used in the manufacture of insulation and construction materials due to their heat resistant properties from 1940 until 1980. Some have estimated that as many 27 million people, equaling roughly 40% of the American labor force, were exposed to asbestos during this time period.
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Mesothelioma claims the lives of approximately 600 to1000 Armed Forces Veterans every year. The number grows even larger when deaths from other asbestos caused diseases, such as lung cancer and asbestosis, are factored into the equation.
"Unfortunately many do not realize it, but the human death toll from the Cold War today continues to increase. If it were a human enemy killing 600 to 1000 of our nation's heroes annually, there would be a far greater public outcry. It is my firm's privilege to fight for compensation on behalf of United States Armed Forces Veterans, and their families." Mr. Mandelbrot continued.

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