Reading Room

What is the Cold War Compensation Act

Beryllium Exposure

Jon 7470

 "The Cold War Compensation Act" is the first federal workers' compensation program to be implemented in the last twenty years. The benefit program that will be offered to beryllium workers amounts to a federal bailout of a monopolistic private industry that has hidden behind the cloak of national security and has endangered the lives of workers, their household contacts and innocent bystanders. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Asbestos Litigation

Asbestos Litigation

Jon 5491

Resolution of an asbestos claim may involve several avenues: litigation (individual or consolidated with other cases), a class action, a court-approved settlement, an administrative claim or settlement, or a claim filed in bankruptcy.

For over 3 decades, Jon Gelman has represented thousands of individuals who have become ill as a result of exposure to asbestos fiber. He is the author of a nationally recognized treatise, now in its 3rd edition, on the subject. He has lectured extensively on asbestos litigation. On behalf of his clients he has successfully brought claims against the suppliers, manufacturers and health research groups of asbestos fiber and products. These types of claims are usually referred to as product liability cases.

History of Asbestos and the Law

Asbestos Litigation

Jon 8985

A historical review of knowledge leading up to the causal relationship between asbestos and disease.

Asbestos-related disease was reported in industry more than 70 years ago. Dr. H. Montague Murray in 1906 at the Charing Cross Hospital in London testified before a governmental commission inquiry about occupational disability that he had seen a man in 1898 who was very short of breath and who had worked in an asbestos factory. The man's lungs at autopsy were badly scarred. It was Dr. Murray's prediction that since the hazards of this exposure were now known, very few similar cases would occur in the future, and there was no need to provide compensation benefits.

Social Security Disability Benefits Awarded to Nurse Who Became Sensitized to Latex

Social Security

Jon 8063

Connie R. Gates, who was awarded total disability benefits by the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court, was awarded Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits as a result of her sensitivity to latex products. Former nurse was awarded Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits due to her sensitivity to latex products.

California Supreme Court Allows Mesothelioma As Separate Case

Asbestos Litigation

Jon 5104

The California Supreme Court recently decided that a special statute of limitations for injury or illness caused by exposure to asbestos does not bar an action for a second disease, mesothelioma, which was diagnosed several years after the original diagnosis of a related pulmonary condition. The asbestos worker was exposed to asbestos fiber in various industrial workplaces from the early 1940's until 1963, when he became a television repairman.The California Supreme Court recently decided that a particular statute of limitations for injury or illness caused by exposure to asbestos does not bar an action for a second disease, mesothelioma, which was diagnosed several years after the original diagnosis of a related pulmonary condition.  

Insurance Company Ordered to Give A Computer System To A Homebound Latex Victim

Workers' Compensation

Jon 6085

A Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court has ordered that a personal computer system be furnished to a homebound former healthcare worker suffering from latex sensitivity. This ruling is consistent with a national trend by the courts toward recognizing the catastrophic impact of latex allergy on general life pursuits.

Ergonomics: Occupational Disease - Understanding the Element of the Law

Occupational Exposure

Jon 7221

The statutory formula for compensability for occupational disease is similar to that for accidental injuries, that is, “compensation for personal injuries to or for death of such employee by any “compensable” occupational disease arising out of and in the course of the employment” Section 30. There appears to me to be three essential elements of Section 30. There must be an injury or death – due to a “compensable” occupational disease – which must arise out of and in the course of the employment. There is an exception for willful self-exposure but that exception has never been established, to my knowledge, so it is not that important.  The statutory formula for compensability for occupational disease is similar to that for accidental injuries, that is, “compensation for personal injuries to or for the death of such employee by any “compensable” occupational disease arising out of and in the course of the employment” NJSA 34-15-30.

Caution: Workers’ Compensation Filing Affects 3rd Party Asbestos Statute

Asbestos Litigation

Jon 6438

The rules governing when a claim must be filed as a result of an occupational asbestos exposure have been changed by the New Jersey Supreme Court. A signed and sworn workers’ compensation claim petition, even though unsupported by medical diagnosis, is sufficient to impute discovery of the existence of a claim and toll the statute of limitations.

Dependents of Latex Allergic Hospital Worker Awarded Workers' Compensation Benefits

Latex Allergy

Jon 6671

 Janeth McFarlane worked at the Baptist Hospital in Florida for approximately two years prior to November 1, 1996. She had used latex powdered gloves. Her employer had ordered, but had not received, powder-less gloves. During her employment she did experience some respiratory difficulty but was unaware of the cause. On November 1, 1996, immediately after using latex powdered gloves, she went into respiratory failure. Her co-workers attempted to revive her but were unsuccessful. 

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