Four more asbestos exposure cases in Iowa


Though companies and the public often forget the families and widows of mesothelioma victims, the mesothelioma victims themselves do not forget. Making sure their family will be able to survive after losing the head of the household is a top concern of many, and it is heartening news to hear that mesothelioma widows/ widowers (and spouses of living asbestos cancer patients) continue to stand up for themselves in court.

The Madison-St. Clair Record reports today that four more mesothelioma and asbestos exposure cases have been added to the court calendar:

Mark Nuzzo filed the second asbestos lawsuit of the year in St. Clair County Circuit Court, while Gloria Hale filed the third; Marilyn Grapperhaus filed the fourth; and Joseph and Mary Bayer filed the fifth.

All of the plaintiffs are spouses of a mesothelioma victim, or the victim of an asbestos cancer, and in the suit filed by Joseph and Mary Bayer, the plaintiffs are a husband and wife. Heartbreak, anger, and economic need rank among the grieving wives and husbands’ reasons for suing. The new plaintiffs’ cases are as follows:

-Mr. Nuzzo is suing 55 companies for his recently-deceased wife Robin’s mesothelioma death. Nuzzo says his wife was exposed to asbestos second-hand. The late Mrs. Nuzzo’s father worked in a variety of jobs which exposed him to asbestos, which he carried into his home unknowingly via dusty work clothes.

-Mrs. Hale has filed suit against 45 companies for exposing her late husband Franklin Hale to asbestos. Franklin Hale died of lung cancer in 2009.

-Mrs. Grapperhaus is suing 20 companies for exposing her late husband to asbestos in his career as a sailor, carpenter, truck driver, and brick layer from the years 1959 to 2000. Charles Grapperhaus died of lung cancer in 2010.

-Mr. and Mrs. Bayer are suing 62 companies for Mr. Bayer’s exposure to asbestos throughout his career. Joseph Bayer has esophageal cancer, one of the many cancers caused by asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma and related cancers (lung, throat, abdomen, esophagus) are painful, expensive, and fatal. What these wives, husbands, and in the case of Mr. Bayer, mesothelioma victims themselves seek, are not exorbitant sums. What they want, for the most part, is justice for workers like themselves, and financial security for the mesothelioma sufferer’s family.

The plaintiff’s stated reasons for filing suit are modest, to say the least:

Because of Robin Nuzzo’s death on July 22, 2009, her family incurred substantial funeral and burial expenses, according to the complaint.

Because of Charles Grapperhaus’ death on Sept. 8, his family lost his support and services and incurred funeral and burial expenses, the suit states.

Because of Franklin Hale’s death on June 19, 2009, his family has been deprived of his support and services and incurred funeral and burial expenses, the complaint says.

In his 16-count complaint, Mark Nuzzo is seeking a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional amount, plus costs.

Whether a victim’s family seeks punishment for the companies that knowingly risked workers’ lives, compensation for the irreplaceable loss of a husband (in Mr. Nuzzo’s case, his wife), or merely the steep cost of medical and funeral services, they are entitled to that compensation. And thankfully, there are mesothelioma lawyers with the experience, size, and reputation to fight for mesothelioma victims’ families the way they deserve to be represented.

Just like with a doctor or a cop, you don’t want to need a lawyer’s services. But when you do need their services, it is good to know there are many experienced ones who can help.

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March 3, 2011. Tags: , , , . Support Information. Leave a comment.

Second-hand mesothelioma for workers’ wives

A group of women whose husbands worked in the Eternit asbestos-cement factory in Casale Monferrato, Italy, were found to be disproportionately at risk for malignant mesothelioma, according to this 2007 study.

Of the 1780 women participating in the study in 1988, only 67% were alive in 2003. Doctors found that the risk of lung cancer was no different, but that the risk of malignant mesothelioma was “significantly increased.”

Dr.s Ferrante, Bertolotti, Todesco, Mirabelli, Terracini, and Magnani came to the conclusion that

Household exposure, as experienced by these AC [asbestos-cement] workers’ wives, increases risk for pleural MM [malignant mesothelioma] but not for lung cancer.

Household exposure affects children, wives, and anyone else in the same house as a person who comes in direct contact with asbestos. If asbestos dust is stuck to the person’s skin, clothes, or hair, another household member can easily inhale that dust.

As the study of the women of Casale Monferrato showed, safe working environments concern every part of a worker’s life–if he (or she) is not adequately protected from asbestos exposure, the lives of those closest to him are endangered along with his own.

February 22, 2011. Tags: , , , . Support Information. 1 comment.

Spouses/ Partners of Mesothelioma Victims

I called this blog “Mesothelioma Wives,” because so many of the cases of mesothelioma, the deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure, have happened on the job, in fields where men are the majority, and so for years, spouses of mesothelioma sufferers were mostly women.

However, with more women serving in the military and taking on careers in nontraditional fields, husbands now have the unhappy option of being the spouse of a mesothelioma victim.

But even when women were not in the workplace in such great numbers, we were still vulnerable to mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related diseases. Women have developed mesothelioma from “second-hand exposure”–just being in the same room as her husband when he comes from work, and breathing in the toxic dust.

This blog exists for spouses, partners, family and friends of mesothelioma sufferers, and my hope is that it can be a place for information, news, anecdotes and advice. I would love contributors, so if you have an idea for a good blog post, please contact me or post about it in the comments.

February 21, 2011. Tags: , . Support Information. 1 comment.