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Thumbnail image for iStock-92402940.jpgA New York bankruptcy court finally put to rest an attempt by General Motors Corp. (GM) to recoup money paid to the widow of a former long time Ohio employee who contracted mesothelioma from various GM products over his 37-year career with the auto giant. In addition to filing claims against the victim’s widow, GM attempted to recover funds paid out to the victim’s estate by several asbestos bankruptcy trusts connected to the asbestos contaminated products that allegedly played a role in the deceased auto worker’s condition.

GM filed its lawsuit against the defendants in Henry County, Ohio, in August 2016 claiming, among other things, the auto giant made workers’ compensation payments to the sickened auto worker ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 before reaching a final disability settlement. GM argued the companies running the asbestos bankruptcy trusts owed the automaker a legal duty under Ohio law to inform any parties which may have claims to the settlements from the trusts.

GM eventually withdrew its Ohio complaint and filed claims in federal courts in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York but was met with stiff defence from attorneys representing those trusts. Attorneys for those entities cited a “channeling injunction” that bars claimants and bankruptcy trusts from continuing litigation related to asbestos claims. Specifically, The injunction bars “any actions against the trust for the purpose of directly or indirectly collecting, recovering, or receiving payments or recovery with respect to any asbestos-related claims, including, but not limited to, claims for subrogation.”

Thumbnail image for NaitonwideMesotheliomaAttorney_ThroneberryLawGroup.jpgMesothelioma is a rare and very aggressive form of cancer, often affecting the thin lining of tissues surrounding the lungs and abdomen, and although there is no definitive cure for the disease, medical advancements have helped many live longer, more comfortable lives. Traditional mesothelioma treatments include standard oncology practices of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, but in recent years there have been numerous other advancements, including immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy helps mesothelioma patients by boosting the individual’s immunal response to the disease and is used in concert with various other treatments. While immunotherapy drugs cannot defeat the disease on its own, the hope is that a multi-pronged approach can help alleviate symptoms and give patients longer survival time.

How does Immunotherapy Work?

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for iStock-526953477.jpgAsbestos is a naturally occurring mineral once commonly used in many industrial, commercial, and military applications for its heat-resistant properties. Sadly, the substance is also causally related to developing mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that typically affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs and abdomen.

Despite what many asbestos-industry advocates purported throughout the years, there is no safe or acceptable level of asbestos exposure, nor is there any type of asbestos less prone to causing mesothelioma. Although some health organizations deem certain types of asbestos more toxic than others, they all pose serious health risks and are heavily regulated, if not banned outright.

Depending on the application and country of origin, manufacturers have used different types of asbestos to create their products. There are six different types of asbestos, which include chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for iStock-95843330.jpgA U.S. District Court judge recently sentenced a Cleveland businessman to almost five years in jail and imposed a $7.8 million fine for the defendant’s failure to properly abate his property of asbestos before demolishment. The defendant, a 53-year-old ohio man, will spend 57 months in prison for violating the Clean Air Act and several counts of fraud committed against a Louisiana company by submitting false invoices.

According to reports, the defendant owned and operated several waste disposal companies throughout the city of Cleveland and the state of Ohio including Reach Out Disposal, All Points Rubbish Disposal and Axelrod Rubbish Recycling. Prosecutors alleged the defendant leased the National Acme plant in 2011 and subsequently purchased the property in 2012 with the intent to demolish the building and parcel out the scrap metal for sale.

The defendant failed to obtain a permit to demolish the factory but went ahead with the project anyways, creating an open air dump in a residential area with a school nearby. The rubble dumped at the waste site contained asbestos fibers and contaminated the air, a serious violation of The Clean Air Act that put local residents at risk for potentially deadly health conditions like mesothelioma.

NaitonwideMesotheliomaAttorney_ThroneberryLawGroup.jpgA study conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham and recently published in medical journal Lung Cancer suggests adding zoledronic acid to treatment regimens may help mesothelioma cancer victims combat the rare and deadly lung cancer. The drug is in a class of bisphosphonates commonly used to treat osteoporosis and prevent skeletal fractures in cancer patients. Researchers believe the drug may be particularly useful for treating patients in the later stages of malignant mesothelioma.

According to the study, the drug reduced the buildup of fluid in the lungs, known as pleural effusions, and helped growth of new tumor blood vessels in animal trials. Zoledronic acid may help block cell signaling pathways essential for the growth of cancer cells. Although the drug may not be the knockout punch to kill mesothelioma tumors, the research suggests zoledronic acid, sold as Reclast or Zometa for bone disease, can help put the brakes on tumor growth.

Researchers evaluated a number of factors including the patients’ levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and biomarkers mesothelin and osteopontin. Clinicians used positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to track the patient’s’ response to the drug. Patients who failed to respond to treatment were found to have already higher levels of VEGF and osteopontin prior to treatment.

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