The police officer, William J. Rieman, was reportedly diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in 2008, after he spent 14 years working as a police officer. According to WGRZ News (05/04/11), Rieman had compelling evidence that he was exposed to asbestos while working in city-owned buildings that were found to have contained asbestos.
Members of the Common Council voted to settle the lawsuit for $1.7 million, although Buffalo's financial control board will have to approve the settlement before it goes forward.
So far, asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, which can take up to 50 years after exposure to the asbestos to develop. People who work in buildings surrounded by asbestos can develop mesothelioma, but asbestos fibers can get on their clothing, putting their family members at risk of developing mesothelioma as well.
Meanwhile, the family of a man who died of cancer was awarded $9 million in their lawsuit against two of the man's former employers. Dow Chemical will reportedly pay 30 percent of the award, while Alcoa Inc will pay the remainder of the $9 million. The family alleged that Robert Henderson was exposed to asbestos while working at Dow Chemical as a contracted employee. He later developed mesothelioma.
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Even though some asbestos mesothelioma lawsuits are being settled, still more are being filed. Two lawsuits were filed in St. Clair County, according to The Madison St. Clair Record (04/14/11), alleging the plaintiffs were injured by exposure to asbestos. The lawsuits claim that the defendants should have known about the risks associated with asbestos exposure but did not use reasonable care and caution to protect the plaintiffs.
Both plaintiffs say they developed lung cancer that was caused by asbestos exposure, and their diseases disabled and disfigured them.