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A recent study by pharmaceutical company Merck’s Keytruda division published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that when doctors implement immunotherapy in concert with standard chemotherapy treatments, the rates of survival for lung cancer patients greatly increase. The study is particularly good news for mesothelioma and other lung cancer patients whose prognoses are often significantly worse since symptoms do not present themselves until the cancer has metastasized and spread to other vital organs.

Also known as pembrolizumab, Keytruda has already been prescribed for some time now to patients who have a type of malignant cancer called non-small cell lung cancer, the principal form of lung cancer and found most commonly in people who smoked cigarettes. Merck decided to expand the study of Keytruda by prescribing the drug to other lung cancer patients who were not obvious candidates for the benefits expected from the drug.

The results of the study show that when immunotherapy is introduced, the rates for death or having the cancer worsen are cut almost in half, an incredible feat that could help more than 70,000 lung cancer patients in the United States. Other studies that included immunotherapy drugs Opdivo and Yervoy, developed by pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb, have come out showing the benefits of immunotherapy for advanced lung cancer patients. Opdivo and Yervoy were found to be especially effective in patients with cancers that have gene flaws the drugs can exploit to help the immune system attack.

Our nation’s military personnel – those of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard – sacrifice much for the country. They endure rigorous training, months away from family, deployment to active combat zones, exposure to the elements, physical pain, exhaustion and more to safeguard our freedoms and keep us safe.

Even after their immediate service ends, some veterans continue to pay the price for the decision to join the military: they were exposed to asbestos while enlisted, and are now dealing with long-term health impact. Asbestos-related illnesses have been seen in vets who served many decades ago (during the Korean War or the Vietnam Conflict), and for those who fought in the more recent campaigns of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

How were servicemembers exposed?

After already handing down a $37 million verdict in favor of the plaintiffs at the conclusion of a two-month asbestos cancer trial, a New Jersey state jury recently handed down a staggering $80 million in punitive damages against the defendants. In reaching their decision, the jury determined that pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier Imerys acted with recklessness when they produced asbestos-contaminated talc products knowing full well of the dangers posed to consumers.

The Middlesex County Superior Court jury apportioned $55 million of the punitive damages to be paid by Johnson & Johnson while Imerys will be responsible for the remaining $25 million in addition to compensatory damages already handed down. The verdict and awards are significant as it is the first plaintiff’s verdict against the defendants over allegations that the pair knowingly put thousands of innocent people at risk of developing mesothelioma and other serious forms of deadly cancer.

According to the plaintiff’s lawsuit, the victim developed mesothelioma from years of asbestos exposure due to using the tainted talcum powder products produced by the defendants. Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer that commonly affects thin linings of tissues surrounding vital organs like the heart, lungs, and abdomen and is directly linked to asbestos exposure.

You have an old house that was built in the early 1900s, and your family is investing thousands of dollars in a remodeling project. The contractors have signed on for the work and are about to begin. But you may have overlooked something.

Asbestos? Couldn’t be, you think. Your inspector made no mention of it when you bought the house four years earlier. But upon your research, you learn that many older homes – including some built through the 1980s – contain asbestos.

What you discover soon startles you. Asbestos – a fire-retardant material used in home construction – can be found in a number of places within a home. When asbestos becomes damaged, its fibers become airborne and easily inhaled, potentially leading to severe illnesses such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.

A New Jersey state jury recently handed down a substantial verdict in favor of the plaintiff in a groundbreaking talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuit filed against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. After weeks of testimony, the jury awarded the plaintiff $37 million in damages to the plaintiff who claimed he developed mesothelioma after years of inhaling asbestos-contaminated talc products produced by the defendants.

The Middlesex Superior Court jury determined that Johnson & Johnson was 70% responsible for the plaintiff’s mesothelioma diagnosis and France-based talc supplier Imerys was liable for the remaining 30% of damages. The verdict came on the first full day of deliberations after two months of testimony in which both sides argued vigorously for their positions and multiple expert witnesses were called to testify.

During the trial, Johnson & Johnson’s defense lawyers argued that the plaintiff could have contracted mesothelioma from various other sources. It noted that the house in Montclair, New Jersey where the plaintiff grew up once had asbestos-wrapped pipes and that the public schools attended were also treated for asbestos at some point in the past. Fortunately, jurors sided with the plaintiff and his wife and awarded them the appropriate amount of compensation for their damages.

More than five years after filing an asbestos cancer lawsuit on behalf of her deceased husband, a New York woman has finally received justice on his behalf after the defendants in the case agreed to settle the matter. The resolution to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit came after three days of jury selection in a St. Lawrence County Court. Opening arguments were slated to begin the day of the settlement.

According to the mesothelioma lawsuit, the victim worked at Jones & Laughlin Steel Co. in Star Lake and at Gouverneur, New York and developed his disease after years of exposure to asbestos contained in talc products distributed by the defendants. The defendants included R.T. Vanderbilt Co. Inc. which operates a minerals division manufacturing facility in Gouverneur, and Newton Falls LLC.

The lawsuit accused R.T. Vanderbilt Co and other defendants of knowingly engaging in the sale and distribution of minerals that were contaminated with asbestos, a flaky white mineral that is directly linked to causing mesothelioma. Although rare, mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that commonly affects the thin linings of tissue surrounding vital organs like the lungs and abdominal cavity.

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