June 28, 2004

Asbestosis victim asks court to permit claim for benefits

A Libby man whose lungs were damaged from nearly 20 years of working in a vermiculite mine should be allowed to file for worker's compensation benefits despite a state law that says otherwise, his attorney told the Montana Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Bill Hardgrove, 75, claims he was wrongly denied benefits after he learned he had asbestosis in 1998 - 14 years after he quit the mine.

News Source: Associated Press  |  Published: June 28, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Alimta(R) Receives CHMP Positive Opinion for Two Cancer Indications

INDIANAPOLIS, June 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) announced today that the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has issued a positive opinion for dual cancer indications for pemetrexed. The CHMP has recommended to the European Commission that approval be granted for pemetrexed. If approved, this cancer therapy will be marketed throughout the European Union by Lilly under the brand name Alimta(R) (pemetrexed). Marketing authorization by the European Commission is expected later this year.

If approved, pemetrexed, in combination with cisplatin, will be the first approved drug in Europe to help patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma live longer(i) and, as a monotherapy, will be an important new alternative for patients suffering from second-line non-small cell lung cancer.(ii)

The CHMP's positive opinion recommends approval of pemetrexed as a single agent for patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after prior chemotherapy and in combination with cisplatin for the treatment of unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a cancer of the lining of the lungs, in patients who have not received prior chemotherapy. The CHMP based its positive opinion on its review of the comprehensive data package of pemetrexed in NSCLC and MPM.

"The dual submission and positive opinion for mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer represent a regulatory first for Lilly," said Binh Nguyen, M.D. Ph.D., medical director of Lilly Oncology Team. "We want to thank the investigators and patients for helping us achieve these important milestones."

"We are extremely pleased by the CHMP's recommendation for approval of pemetrexed in Europe. This positive opinion validates the notable clinical efficacy and controllable side effect profile seen in clinical trials," said Paolo Paoletti, M.D., vice president of oncology clinical research at Lilly. "Following approval, pemetrexed will join another Lilly cancer-fighting agent, Gemzar(R), which is a leading treatment for non-small cell lung cancer in Europe. Lilly remains committed to providing hope and innovative treatments for patients with cancer."

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the lining of the lungs. The disease is often associated with asbestos exposure and has a long latency period -- usually between 20 and 40 years. Most people are not diagnosed until the cancer is in advanced stages and treatment with surgery or radiation is not an option. It is estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 people around the world are diagnosed annually with malignant pleural mesothelioma. No drug has been approved by European regulators for this disease.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
According to the most recent World Health Organization Cancer Report, lung cancer is the world's most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. There will be 1.2 million cases diagnosed this year around the world.

News Source: PR Newswire  |  Published: June 28, 2004  |  Read Full Story

June 27, 2004

Builder fined for asbestos violations

WESTMINSTER -- The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined a local builder $56,250 for six violations in the handling of asbestos-containing materials.

News Source: Townsend Times  |  Published: June 27, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Condo conversion raises concerns over asbestos

Tenants at a 106-unit apartment complex in Pacific Beach that is being converted into condominiums have complained to state and local agencies that construction involving asbestos-laden materials could endanger their health.

News Source: SignOnSanDiego.com  |  Published: June 27, 2004  |  Read Full Story

June 24, 2004

Asbestos removal at school resumes

Now that students have left Council Rock High School North for the summer, workers will begin an accelerated asbestos-removal project.

"Over this weekend, we cleared out the cafeteria, and all of that floor tile was removed," Robert McAuliffe, director of business administration, said after yesterday's school district construction meeting.

News Source: Philadelphia Inquirer  |  Published: June 24, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Zuckerman Spaeder Lands Leading Asbestos Insurance Litigator James Sottile

WASHINGTON, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- James Sottile, well-known insurance litigator, has joined the Washington office of premier litigation firm Zuckerman Spaeder LLP. The move comes on the heels of Sottile's representation of the Lloyd's Underwriters reinsured by Equitas in a $575 million settlement of Halliburton Company's asbestos-related insurance claims. The agreement resolved the largest single direct liability of any kind faced by Equitas. With this settlement, Equitas has resolved 5 of its 10 largest asbestos exposures. Sottile represented the Lloyd's Underwriters reinsured by Equitas in all 5 settlements.

"Insurers face major challenges today. As some experts predict that asbestos exposure may reach beyond $200 billion, more and more asbestos defendants file for bankruptcy putting insurers on the front lines. The plaintiff's bar is also continuing its efforts to find 'the next asbestos.' Insurers today must develop and implement effective legal strategies for dealing with these major exposures. Zuckerman Spaeder offers a deep bench of legal talent for clients faced with complex litigation problems and gives me the platform to serve my clients well," Sottile said.

Sottile is expected to continue to represent Equitas and the Lloyd's Underwriters it reinsures, as well as various London Market and European insurers in litigating and resolving asbestos and other large programmatic exposures.

News Source: PR Newswire  |  Published: June 24, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Building gets new exam for asbestos

Health and environmental officials are reopening their investigation into a North Portland building used for processing asbestos-contaminated vermiculite from Libby, Mont.

The former Vermiculite Northwest facility, 2303 N. Harding St., processed approximately 190,000 tons of vermiculite mined in Libby into fireproof materials, insulation and garden products from the 1940s to the early 1990s.

News Source: Portland Tribune  |  Published: June 24, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Floyd County Annex Employees Fear Mold, Asbestos

After years of complaints from dozens of county employees, the Floyd County Commissioners say they're finally taking steps to rid the Annex building of mold, mildew, and possible asbestos. The irritants are believed to be the cause of several health problems the employees say they've developed from working there.

News Source: WAVE 3  |  Published: June 24, 2004  |  Read Full Story

June 07, 2004

Study Finds James Hardie Asbestos Fund Shortfall

MELBOURNE (Dow Jones)--A new study commissioned by building materials company James Hardie Industries NV (JHX.AU) has found a A$483 million shortfall in future asbestos liabilities in former subsidiaries operated by the company.

News Source: Dow Jones  |  Published: June 7, 2004  |  Read Full Story

New law impacts asbestos litigation

A bill signed into law Thursday, effective Sept. 1, makes it harder for Ohioans to sue for asbestos-related damages.

The new law -- the first of its kind in the country -- will require plaintiffs to prove asbestos exposure and a certain level of asbestos-related illness before trial.

News Source: Cincinnati Post  |  Published: June 7, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos Bankruptcies Face Setbacks on Two Fronts

The judge, Alfred M. Wolin in Newark, plans to retire at the end of the month, according to his deputy clerk, Gail Hansen. Judge Wolin has overseen the bankruptcies of five companies battling asbestos litigation: Armstrong World Industries, Federal-Mogul, Owens Corning, USG and W. R. Grace. Lawyers said his decision could delay proceedings while a new judge learns the details of the cases.

News Source: NY Times  |  Published: June 7, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Whistleblower In Saltonstall Case Awarded $750,000

BOSTON -- A state engineer who claimed he was punished for calling attention to hazardous conditions inside a state office building has been awarded $750,000 in damages after a Suffolk Superior Court jury found his superiors violated laws.

News Source: WHDH-TV  |  Published: June 7, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos workers arrested at GE

Eight illegal immigrants employed by the country's largest cleanup company were arrested inside a General Electric Co. plant where, federal authorities said, they found evidence of significant asbestos-removal violations.

News Source: timesunion.com  |  Published: June 7, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Milwaukee school closed after inspection finds asbestos

An elementary school will be closed temporarily after an inspection found debris containing asbestos above a ceiling tile, Milwaukee Public Schools announced Friday.

No students were at Silver Spring Elementary School on Friday...

News Source: AP Wire  |  Published: June 7, 2004  |  Read Full Story

ABB Seeking End to U.S. Legal Battle Over Asbestos Settlement

ABB Ltd., the world's biggest maker of factory robots, today will seek to resolve opposition to its proposed $1.3 billion settlement of asbestos claims that once threatened the Swiss company with bankruptcy.

News Source: Bloomberg  |  Published: June 7, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Triadelphia Firm Fined for Asbestos Shingle Removal

A Triadelphia firm was fined $45,040 by the federal Environmental Protection Agency in connection with the company's removal of asbestos shingles from a building in Wheeling.

News Source: The Intelligencer  |  Published: June 7, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Lilly Alimta Committee Review For Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Set For July 27

This is a second indication for Alimta, which was approved Feb. 4 for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Lilly said it is pleased with early uptake of Alimta; first quarter sales were $12 mil., including $7 mil. in initial stocking.

News Source: FDA Advisory Committee  |  Published: June 7, 2004  |  Read Full Story

June 02, 2004

Asbestos gaffe burns former principal

Former Delcroft Elementary School Principal Bernadette George is now an admitted felon. It has been announced by her lawyer that she will plead guilty to violating the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, and one count of aiding, abetting and causing a crime.

News Source: delcotimes.com  |  Published: June 2, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Neighbors Post Asbestos Warning Signs at Contaminated Public Park

Last week neighborhood residents and a coalition of neighborhood organizations made the reason for the park closure clear. They posted homemade signs that said, "Park Closed. Asbestos is a cancer and lung disease hazard-There is asbestos pollution in this park."

News Source: Pulse of the Twin Cities  |  Published: June 2, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos removal, roof replacement slated for summer

The High School Building Committee, the town's newest building panel, started a project Tuesday that will require major repair and replacement work for the entire second floor of Plainville High School's original wing.

News Source: newbritainherald.com  |  Published: June 2, 2004  |  Read Full Story

St. Louis allowed to skirt law on asbestos

For more than four years, the city has been using an unapproved technique to remove asbestos as it demolished buildings for a new runway at St. Louis' Lambert Airport.

The so-called wet method, in which a building is sprayed with water as it is leveled, was denounced as dangerous by government scientists and health officials.

News Source: News-Leader  |  Published: June 2, 2004  |  Read Full Story

EPA papers adding heat to asbestos controversy

FORT WORTH -- The city's plan to tear down a boarded-up hotel using a new method of asbestos removal is drawing fire from an environmental group, which has released documents showing that some U.S. Environmental Protection Agency experts have misgivings about the project, which could set a nationwide precedent.

News Source: HoustonChronicle.com  |  Published: June 2, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Ford Ordered To Pay $10 Million In Asbestos Case

ANGLETON, Texas -- A southeast Texas jury awarded $10 million in damages Friday to the family of a woman who died of a lung disease after being exposed to asbestos dust in her father's clothing.

News Source: Click2Houston.com  |  Published: June 2, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos doubts hit 1,500 sites

More than 1,500 schools, hospitals, government buildings and businesses, nearly all of them in the Capital Region, could face serious asbestos problems because they hired a local firm convicted of rushing cleanup jobs, federal prosecutors revealed Thursday.

News Source: Times Union  |  Published: June 2, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Two Judges Are Named for Asbestos Cases

Two federal judges, John P. Fullam and Ronald L. Buckwalter, from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania were named to oversee the asbestos bankruptcy cases of the Owens Corning Corporation and W. R. Grace & Company.

News Source: New York Times  |  Published: June 2, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos Scammers Defy Judge

Alexander and Raul Salvagno miss three deadlines to post their $1 million bond.

A federal prosecutor wants a father and son responsible for the nation's largest asbestos scam arrested for not upholding their promise to post a $1 million bond.

News Source: Syracuse.com  |  Published: June 2, 2004  |  Read Full Story

Asbestos and Silica Liability Bills Pass Ohio Legislature

Legislation limiting asbestos and silica lawsuits passed the full House this week and now moves to Gov. Bob Taft's desk for his signature. House Bill 292 and HB 342 would make Ohio the first state to adopt medical criteria for filing asbestos and silica lawsuits.

News Source: Insurance Journal  |  Published: June 2, 2004  |  Read Full Story


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