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Asbestos Watch Newsletter
Winter 1997

Featured Articles:


Other Articles:

Save Money and Help the WLA at the Same Time
Asbestos Disease Research Center Plans Opening in 1998
Asbestosis and Mesothelioma are Caused By Asbestos
CCR Class Action Struck Down by Court
US Court of Appeals Rules There is Injury From Exposure
Judge and Lawyer Found Guilty of Conspiracy
Manville Trust Hurts Asbestos Victims
France Joins World Wide Movement to Ban Asbestos
UK Continues Campaign to Highlight Mesothelioma Epidemic
Book Review: Asbestos--Medical and Legal Aspects
Tim Frederickson--In Memoria
Did You get Your Fibreboard Money Yet?
Labor Party Formation Good for Asbestos Victims


Save Money and Help the WLA at the Same Time.
by Michele Hax
Board Member, Maryland



Asbestos Disease Research Center
Plans Opening in 1998
By Paul Safchuck, President

The White Lung Association wishes to announce the opening of the Asbestos Disease Research Center on July 4, 1998. Asbestos disease victims, their families and the public will have a center to establish the truth about asbestos disease and to educate the general public to the hazards of asbestos exposure. Recent court and jury rulings show a great need for education about the hazards of asbestos disease.

In Baltimore, MD, lawyers for the asbestos companies were able to convince a jury that asbestos did not cause the mesothelioma in victims who were requesting compensation. Other juries denied compensation because they were told and wrongly believed that smoking caused asbestosis and mesothelioma. The Asbestos Disease Research Center will tell the truth about asbestos hazards and will show the history of asbestos use.

Asbestosis and Mesothelioma are Caused By Asbestos
by Paul Safchuck, President

The elementary medical facts, that asbestos causes asbestosis and mesothelioma regardless of smoking, have been hidden by millions of dollars of asbestos and insurance company bribes to universities and medical institutions. In order to revive sales of asbestos the companies have to win in court.

The amount of asbestos used in the U.S. last year dropped to the 1903 level of 25,000 tons. The asbestos rock is in the ground and the asbestos companies are hoping to win back public trust in order to begin selling asbestos. The purchase of doctors and lawyers to create a suitable marketing environment for asbestos has long been the industry tactic.

The WLA wishes to announce a new campaign to educate the public about the harm caused by asbestos.

Center for Claims Resolution (CCR)
Class Action Struck Down by Court of Appeals
James Fite Editor

Twenty Two asbestos companies (CCR) who faced over 70,000 asbestos victims' lawsuits, met in late 1992 with Gene Lockes and Ron Motley. The companies proposed to settle 14,000 cases, most were cases of Lockes and Motley, for $215 million. The mass settlements saw the attorneys get an estimated $71 million.

At the request of CCR, Lockes and Motley then filed a class-action lawsuit in January of 1993 to cover all future cases against the CCR companies. Judge Weiner of Philadelphia approved the deal over the strenuous objections of the White Lung Association.

Paul Safchuck, National President of the WLA warned Judge Weiner that he was violating the constitutional rights of the asbestos victims. Judge Weiner ignored the White Lung and instead listened to the swan song of the asbestos companies and the attorney's.

One attorney, Fred Baron of Texas, showed intelligence and self sacrifice when he led the legal challenge of this rotten deal to the appeals court. The appeals court agreed that the deal, called Gorgine. discriminated against asbestos victims by classifying all of them in a scheme which was weighted against the sick and future victims.

The CCR sweetheart deal is backed by the AFL-CIO lawyer, Lawrence Gold, even though many unions and union members opposed it The "deal" has recently been declared illegal by the
Federal Appeals Court. Now Gorgine is being appealed to the Supreme court by the asbestos companies. The case is scheduled to be heard in the summer of 1996. Until then CCR members, such as Turner and Newal, Union Carbide, U.S. Gypsum, Pfizer and others, remain protected from compensation claims by asbestos victims.

U. S. Court Of Appeals For The Second Circuit
Rules There is Injury
From Exposure
by Bennie Baldwin (Board Member)

Alabama On April 1, 1996, the US Court of Appeals ruled "Just like the needle puncture in Michael. Buckley's three years of daily contact with the cancer-causing substance--contact that from time to time left him covered from head to toe in asbestos dust--constitutes a physical impact that would lead a reasonable person to fear asbestos-related cancer."

Michael Buckley, who is 41 years old, worked for various railroad companies in different capacities since the early 1970s. He claimed negligent infliction of emotional distress and medial monitoring costs arising under the Federal Employer's Liability Act for asbestos exposure he suffered while working as a Metro-North pipe fitter in the Grand Central Terminal of New York City, New York.

A federal district court had granted summary judgment to the railroad and thrown Buckley's case out of court.

The US Court of Appeals ruled that even though Buckley smoked, he was entitled to a jury trial to determine whether his exposure as a pipe mechanic qualified him and his co workers for medical monitoring. In looking at the case the Court found that Buckley was easily exposed to enough asbestos in his three years with Metro North to contract asbestos disease, that medical monitoring for this disease was different than normal medical check ups and that Metro North did not protect him with training and equipment until 1987, long after his first exposure. The appeals court vacated the decision against Buckley and sent it back for jury trial.

Judge and Lawyer Found Guilty of
Conspiracy to Conduct Racketeering
(information published in New York Times)

In October of 1996 James Malkus and Dennis Adams were convinced of conspiracy to conduct racketeering with lawyer Patrick Frega in San Diego, California. Federal prosecutors charged that Mr. Frega paid over $25,000 to the judges in return for favorable treatment. The case hinged on the testimony of Michael Greer, once San Diego's most powerful Superior Court judge who also admitted he took over $75,000 in bribes when he was judge.

Manville Trust Hurts Asbestos Victims
by correspondent William Pierce

The Johns-Manville Corporation (renamed Manville in 1981) was the leader of the asbestos industry in the United States. The company sold asbestos for thirty years while it knew asbestos would harm the people who worked with it. The company paid compensation for asbestos disease in the 1930's. The name Johns-Manville represents the classic case of corporate greed and public harm. This corporation hid behind bankruptcy to escape paying compensation to thousands of workers who were sick in the early 1980's.

The Manville Corporation appealed to New York Judges Lifland and Weinstein to help it escape from paying asbestos victims their compensation. The Judges approved a plan which created the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust. This "Trust" was supposed to pay the asbestos victims. After the "Trust' was created nobody could sue Manville for compensation, everyone was required by Judge Weinstein to get their compensation from the "Trust".

The "Trust" paid the first 27,610 asbestos victims an average of $38,000. These payments totaled almost 1.2 billion dollars. One forth of this money went to the asbestos victims' attorneys who helped set the "Trust" up. This disgrace happened in the Bankruptcy Court of Judges Lifland and Weinstein. They overruled the objections of the White Lung Association and agreed with Manville that there was enough money to pay all the asbestos victims.

After the Trust had been open for two years it was obvious that there were more asbestos victims than could be paid. In 1990 the Manville Trust ask to Judges to declare it a "limited fund". This ruling would mean that there was not enough money in the "Trust" and the victims could never be paid. The Judges hired "special consultants" to make these recommendations. The entire affair was a shameful rip off of the people who were sick.

It was no surprise that Judges Lifland and Weinstein's consultants recommended that the "Trust" was a limited fund. Once this was accomplished the "Trust" began to pay victims 10 cents on the dollar. At this rate the "Trust" paid another 119,657 victims an average of $5,057.00 each between 1991 and 1996.. It is currently offering $4,585 to $25,726 asbestos victims.

As of September 30,1996, there are 173,186 additional victims asking for compensation from the "Trust"-More asbestos victims are applying for compensation than anyone, except the White Lung, estimated. Today, over 2,000 new victims apply each month.

Many victims wonder "Should I take the pitiful $3,000 from the Manville Trust?" If the victim takes the money and signs the release they sacrifice all future rights. Many people feel that this is the only thing to do because the court has taken all future rights. Other people believe that the victims should not take the money and keep their rights to sue Manville These people believe that there are many corrupt and illegal activities surrounding the "Trust", its officials and the Judges involved. These people are investigating potential corruption between "Trust" officials and lawyers for both the victims and the asbestos companies. If these suspicions turn out to be true then it might be possible to force the resignation or imprisonment the judges and attorneys involved and dissolving of the "Trust" altogether. If the "Trust" is found to be involved in illegal activity and is dissolved, then many believe Manville (now Scheuller) could again be sued in court. Victims could get their true justice and compensation.

There are additional things that need investigation. The Manville Corporation changed its name to Schuller in 1996. Part of the Bankruptcy agreement was that the "Trust" would own almost 80% of Manville (Schuller). In 1996, the Manville (Schuller) corporation paid dividends on its stock for the first time since 1981. The "Trust" promptly traded its right for future profits on its stock for more stock. Now the Schuller corporation does not have to pay the "Trust" any dividends on its stock, thus all profits can be paid to any holders of Schuller stock except asbestos victims.

There are many questions which asbestos victims have about these dealings. The main question is how this company could poison the entire country for fifty years and they walk away, change its name and keep its profits. Meanwhile those who are dying from Manville asbestos are offered 'chump change'. All of this has been made "legal" by Judges Weinstein and Lifland, who seem to be very good friends for the asbestos companies, lawyers on both sides and the non-Trust holders of Schuller stock.

Another question which the White Lung has raised before the court is why so much money is spent on the "Trust" operations. In the first nine months of 1996 the "Trust" spent almost six million dollars on operating expenses while paying sick workers a few thousand each. Many times lawyers make more in one day than the asbestos victims lifetime compensation from the "Trust". Just three "Trust" officials are paid huge salaries which are greater than the benefits of over 1,000 widows.

Many White Lung members involved with the current investigation of the "Trust" feel that something is wrong when our lawyers get millions of dollars, Manville escapes and keeps its profits, "Trust" officials spend millions on themselves and their offices and yet the victims of these horrible diseases are offered a few thousand dollars. Some people also believe that the reason the "Trust" officials have to insure themselves against claims of negligence is because no one else will do it. Do the insurance companies know something we don't?

If you feel you have been cheated by the Manville Trust write

Judge Jack B. Weinstein
US District Court
225 Cadman Plaza East
Brooklyn, New York 11201

If you want to contact the Manville Trust write them at:

8260 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive
Sixth Floor
Fairfax, Virginia 22031
(1) (703) 204-9300

France Joins World Wide Movement to Ban Asbestos
by Patrick Herman

Progress toward the World Wide Ban of Asbestos was recently made when France announced plans to ban the "cancer mineral" in 1997. This follows the ban of asbestos by Italy and several other European countries, including Germany and Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands.

The United Kingdom Continues a Campaign to Highlight "The Mesothelioma Epidemic"
by Truxon Sykes
Board Member (Maryland)

This epidemic is currently raging through England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is estimated that as many as 1% of the men born in these countries between 1940 and 1950 will die from mesothelioma. Many of the current victims are construction and related trades, with numbers being particularly high amongst carpenters, electricians and plumbers.

Dr. Julian Peto, who has underestimated asbestos deaths in past publications, recently noted over 5 times raise in mesothelioma deaths in U.K.. between 1968 and 1991. He goes on to estimate that over 50,000 more workers will die in Britain over the next 25 years.

The twenty five occupations most likely to produce mesothelioma amongst the workers in United Kingdom accounted for one half of the total meso deaths. The occupations are listed below with the percentage of those who contracted mesothelioma beside. The occupations are not listed in order of likelihood of getting disease.

Occupation % of those who get mesothelioma:

Metal Plate Workers (2.5)
Professional Engineers (2.3)
Production fitters (6.8)
Vehicle body builders (0.8)
Plumbers and gasfitters (4.5)
Plasterers (0.6)
Carpenters (5.7)

Welders (1.6)
Managers in construction (0.9)
Dockers and goods porters (1.5)
Electrical engineers (0.9)
Electricians (3.6)
Upholsterers (0.4)
Construction Workers (4.2)
Boiler operators (0.9)
Electrical plant operators (0.4)
Chemical engineers (0.4)
Sheet metal workers (1.1)
Scaffolders (0.2)
Technicians (0.5)
Builders and handymen (2.2)
Laboratory technicians (0.6)
Draughtsmen (0.6)
Machine tool operators (4.0)
Painters/decorators (2.0)

Book Review:

Asbestos: Medical and Legal Aspects
by Barry I. Castleman
Reviewed by Mike Saviak
Vice-President (Alabama)

It is rare that a scientific or historical book is reprinted, especially in a new edition. Asbestos, Medical and Legal Aspects by Barry Castleman, has just been released in the 4th edition. This is the best book ever written concerning the history of knowledge about the hazards of asbestos. If you or your attorney wants the bottom line on what company knew about the dangers of asbestos and when, read this book. All asbestos victims should ask their libraries to have several copies it.

Dr. Castleman holds degrees in environmental and chemical engineering from Johns Hopkins University as well as Doctor of Science degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. Barry Castleman often helps asbestos victims with his testimony in their trials. Many times the asbestos companies settle the case before a jury can hear what he has to say. Many juries award "punishment damages" against the asbestos companies (in addition to compensation for the victims) after Dr. Castleman has exposed their evil ways. If you need information on the involvement of W.R. Grace & Co, Westinghouse Electric Co., Fibreboard Corporation, Owens-corning Fiberglas, Union Carbide, Georgia Pacific, Turner and Newal, Metropolitan Life Insurance, the railroads, the asbestos companies and others involved with the asbestos cover-up, get a copy of this book.

For further information contact:

Aspen Law and Business
7201 McKinney Circle
P0 Box 990
Frederick, Md. 21705-9727

1-800 638 8437.

Tim Frederickson--In Memoria
by Willie Jackson
Board Member, Los Angeles

Tim Frederickson founded the Asbestos Diseases Association of New Zealand. He did this after a good friend died of mesothelioma. Tim was New Zealand's central figure in exposing the governments failures in controlling asbestos exposure. Tim's work was critical in assisting several hundred asbestos victims in filing suits in New Zealand courts. Tim also assisted victims in filing cases against major building products firm, James Hardie Industries. After the New Zealand government deadlines halted victims from filing in those courts, Tim assisted them in filing in Australian courts. Now the victims are beginning to get compensation. Tim died in 1995, a hero in the struggle against asbestos. He will be missed.

Did You Get Your Fibreboard Money Yet?
by Jim Fite, Editor

On August 29,1995, U.S. Circuit Judge Robert M. Parker signed an order which approved paying the following attorneys money for their work on the Fibreboard case:

Joseph Rice and Joseph Cox, Jr. of Ron Motley's firm (South Carolina)
Attorney's fees
Expenses $456,806.57

Steve Kazan from Kazan and McClaln (California)
Fees $9,236,515.20
Expenses $217,729.84

Harry Wartnlck (California)
Attorney's Fees $6,855,302.40
Expenses $296,658.07

Elihu Inselbuch of Caplin and Drysdale (New York)
Attorney's Fees $11,179,504.80
Expenses $251,547.62

In addition these attorneys are allowed to take part of the settlement of each victim they represent who gets money from Fibreboard. Also, the asbestos company lawyers were paid from the till before any victims. Bruce Shaw counsel for Owens-Illinois was awarded over one hundred thousand dollars from the victim's money as his reward for fighting them. Richard Josephson and George Shipley, who represented Owens-Illinois were awarded $186,022.00.

How much did you get from the Fibreboard settlement?

Labor Party Formation Good for Asbestos Victims
by Bob Brown,
President UE District One
WLA Board Member, Philadelphia, PA

Workers in the United States made a historic decision in June 1996, to establish an organizing and educational center for political independence. One thousand, four hundred delegates from nine international unions, hundreds of regional and local labor bodies and worker organizations founded the Labor Party.

This founding convention established a program, constitution and an organizing approach td politics as the guiding documents of the Labor Party. Delegates recognized that a ruling class dominates and controls the Democratic and Republican parties and the workers interests can only be represented by a party that acts in the self interest of the workers.

Tony Mazzocchi, who is the Assistant to the President of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic workers International Union (OCAW) spent the past six years organizing and working full time for the founding of the Labor Party.

In 1980, Mazzocchi, as OCAW Secretary-Treasurer, sent financial support and asbestos hazard educational material to our White Lung Association as we were being born. The OCAW was one of the first unions to support the White Lung Association.

The White Lung Association is a worker organization that provides education necessary for the general public and asbestos victims. The Labor Party is our party. I urge every member to become a member of the Labor Party. Simply print out the application below, fill out and mail to the Labor Party address.


Street Address____________________

City_____________________ State_____ Zip______

Phone (Day or Night)______________

Union affiliation (if applicable)___________

Reg Mem $20.00_____
Unemployed-retired-low income $10.00______
Sustaining Member $50.00____
Five Score Club $100_____

Labor Party
P0 Box 53177
Washington, D.C. 20009

Asbestos Watch is published by the White Lung Association, a nonprofit educational charity organized by asbestos victims, to educate the public about the hazards of asbestos exposure. Subscriptions are:

$25.00 individual
$100.00 institution
free with $20.00 membership.

Address all comments and articles to:

Jim Fite, Editor
Asbestos Watch
WLA, POB 1483,
Balt. MD 21203.1483

We wish to thank all those whose contributions made the first step in opening the Asbestos Disease Research Center.

Next Issue:

-Why chrysotile asbestos is the most deadly form of asbestos.

-New OSHA laws hold building owners responsible for inspection, notification and clean up.
-Attorneys accused of cheating victims face final showdown.
-WLA saves rights of the dead.


Front Page, Week Of:

4/16/05: Spectre to Introduce U.S. Asbestos Bill This Week

5/22/05: Individuals Injured by Asbestos Exposure Oppose Specter's Trust Fund Legislation

10/16/05: Victim's Organizations Form Asbestos Victims Coalition in Opposition to Asbestos Trust Fund Legislation

11/17/05: White Lung Mourns Jose Jesus Pessora

12/18/05: Frist Introducing Asbestos Bill in January

12/04/06: Asbestos Watch Newsletter: Help Celebrate the 27th Anniversary of the WHITE LUNG ASSOCIATION

Jim Fite's Alerts:

Asbestos Victim's Superfund Compensation Program

Asbestos Watch March 14, 2005 (Maryland chapter of the White Lung Association meetings)

Directorate of Safety, Health, and Environment (open letter)


Joe Oliver's Alerts:

Joe Oliver, National Board Member and former President of the White Lung Association, has issued a call to all persons to help gather evidence on the conspiracy by asbestos trade organizations to suppress the knowledge about the hazards of asbestos exposure.

If you know anything about this horrific history or have documents which can be used to further prove their heinous crimes, please contact Joe Oliver, WLA, POB 1483, Balt. MD 21203.

Leonard Makowski's Alerts:

The White Lung Association stands in opposition to The Specter Bill (S.852)

WLA Alerts & News

S.1115: Bill to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to reduce the health risks posed by asbestos-containing products - This bill is supported by the WLA.

Meet Mr. Asbestos

Proceedings of the Asbestos Symposium for the Asian Countries - now available for purchase.

Australia Bans Asbestos!



Senator Specter Breaks Promise to Mesothelioma Patient and Research Community

Senate Judiciary Committee returns to Mark-Up on May 11th: Proposed asbestos trust fund legislation will further penalize victims of asbestos-caused diseases


World Trade Center Health:

In May 2003, the Global Environment & Technology Foundation developed the "Asbestos Strategies" report.

British Asbestos Newsletter:

The latest issue is Spring 2005


News from India:

The latest issue is January 4, 2007



December 17, 2000 is Asbestos Hazard Awareness Day


Current Projects:

Asbestos Museum


Articles & Publications:

Occupational Respiratory Diseases: Asbestos Associated Disease -- Reprinted from: Maxcy-Rosenau Public Health and Preventative Medicine 11th ed. (John M. Last, Ed.) 1980, Appleton-Century-Crofts

Asbestos Victims Deserve Compensation Not Betrayal: position release by the Board of Directors, White Lung Association



In Memoria:

Paul Safchuck May 21, 2003

Dr. William Nicholson Dies at 70

Ray Sentes Brave Fighter For Asbestos Victims

For more information please contact info whitelung org.