New York Mesothelioma Lawyer Criticizes Canadian Town’s Bid to Open Asbestos Mine
Joseph W. Belluck, a New York attorney who represents mesothelioma victims, urges Canadian officials to deny a loan guarantee that would restart an inactive asbestos mine and lead to more production of the known carcinogen.
New York, New York (PRWEB) February 11, 2011
New York personal injury attorney Joseph W. Belluck expressed shock this week at a small Canadian town’s bid to reinvigorate a dormant asbestos mine.
Despite acknowledging “the mineral’s dangers and the harm it has done,” the president of the Asbestos, Quebec-based mine, G. Bernard Coulombe, told the New York Times that his local economy would receive a much-needed boost if it restarted the mine’s asbestos production. Coulombe estimated the mine could create about 400 jobs in the town of Asbestos.
The asbestos mineral has been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma, an aggressive and deadly form of cancer which results from breathing in asbestos fibers that become lodged in the thin membrane that lines and encases the lungs. Each year, more than 90,000 people die from asbestos exposure.
“This idea of creating jobs at the expense of human lives is outrageous,” said Belluck, a founding attorney of Belluck & Fox, a New York law firm that represents mesothelioma victims across the U.S.
“You’re going to solve your town’s economic woes by causing human suffering? That defies common sense,” Belluck said. “As I’ve continually said, it’s time to put an end to asbestos production and use and put public safety first.”
According to the New York Times, Coulombe is seeking approval of a $58 million loan guarantee from the Quebec government that would support expansion of the now inactive mine and allow shipment of asbestos to developing countries such as India, Pakistan and Vietnam, which typically have weaker work safety laws and historically fail to track mesothelioma cases.
A recent article in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives estimates that approximately 38,900 mesothelioma deaths occurring worldwide have not been reported in those countries and others.
“Mesothelioma is a tragic disease, and all countries must recognize that they can no longer ignore the harm caused by asbestos,” Belluck said. “Simply put, asbestos kills, and its use should be banned around the globe.”
Coulombe says the mine would turn out chrysotile asbestos, which he claims is not a deadly mineral.
However, Philip Landrigan, Dean of Global Health at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, wrote in a letter to Quebec Premier Jean Charest that “[c]hrysotile asbestos causes serious harm to health,” and added that “there is no safe exposure level. It goes on killing for generations.”
Additionally, 36 prominent doctors and public health researchers from 21 countries have written a letter to Charest that condemns the asbestos mine’s expansion and urges Quebec to deny the loan.
“I hope the Quebec government gives appropriate weight to the very serious health concerns raised by opponents of this mine,” Belluck said. “As an attorney who has represented numerous mesothelioma victims and witnessed the devastating impact of asbestos exposure on their lives and the lives of their families, I can’t imagine how anyone could support restarting this deadly operation.”
About Belluck & Fox, LLP
Belluck & Fox, LLP, is a nationally recognized law firm that represents individuals with asbestos and mesothelioma claims, as well as victims of crime, medical malpractice, motorcycle crashes, lead paint and other serious injuries. The firm provides personalized and professional representation and has won nearly $350 million in compensation for clients and their families.
Partner Joseph W. Belluck is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in New York Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in the New York Area” and in Super Lawyers. Mr. Belluck has won numerous cases involving injuries from asbestos, defective medical products, tobacco and lead paint, including a recent asbestos case that settled for more than $12 million.
Partner Jordan Fox is a well-known asbestos and mesothelioma attorney who has been named to the Best Lawyers in America, New York Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in the New York Area” and to Super Lawyers. On two separate occasions his verdicts were featured as the National Law Journal’s Largest Verdict of the Year.
In September, Belluck & Fox, LLP, won a coveted spot on a list of America’s best law firms, which was published jointly by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers magazine. The listing showcased 8,782 different law firms ranked in one or more of 81 major practice areas.
For more information, contact the firm at (877) 695-2909 or through the online contact form.
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