Keller, Fishback & Jackson LLP: Attorneys at Law
Los Angeles
Oakland
Newport Beach
New York

   English   Español
Home
The Firm
Areas of Practice
Locations
News and Press
Internet Resources
Trial Blogs
Free Legal Consultation

Construction

We represent clients in a full spectrum of major construction disputes with experienced, practical and effective advice that saves our clients time and money. Our clients range from medium-sized subcontractors to global general contractors who encounter disputes with general contractors, subcontractors, and premises owners. We provide both litigation support as wells as transactional and litigation avoidance counselling. Our attorneys teach about construction disputes and transactions at local universities and routinely offer instruction to our clients about how to address potential disputes before they result in costly and time-consuming litigation. When litigation ensues, we employ aggressive strategies to resolve disputes timely and cost-effectively.


TOXIC INJURIES

Asbestos Risks

Since the turn of the twentieth century, scientific and medical evidence has increasingly demonstrated that working with or around asbestos cause's irreparable lung damage and cancer in persons working with and around asbestos and asbestos-containing products, as well as those persons living near industrial facilities where asbestos was manufactured or used. Asbestos is recognized as a potent class-one carcinogen, meaning that all types of asbestos cause cancer in humans. There is no "safe level" of asbestos exposure in humans and asbestos-related diseases can occur even with minimal exposures to asbestos. However, people who are exposed more frequently over a long period of time are generally subject to a greater risk or disease.

Although unknown to asbestos workers and users of asbestos-containing products, manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos and asbestos-containing products well knew of the severe health risks to humans associated with working with or around asbestos. Despite their specific knowledge that asbestos caused irreparable lung damage and fatal cancers, asbestos companies continued to manufacture, sell and use asbestos in products and construction. Even though many materials were available as safer alternatives to replace asbestos, companies that used asbestos ignored the safer materials. Instead, asbestos companies turned their head from the recognized dangers of asbestos, many times fraudulently concealing the truth or outright lying about the hazards of working with or around asbestos, for the sake of profits. Asbestos companies sacrificed worker and consumer safety in reverence to their corporate pocketbooks. The conduct of the asbestos companies is especially egregious, however, because the victims were largely exploited workers who were unaware of the serious health risks they were exposed to on a daily basis only to learn decades later that they had subjected themselves to exposure to a carcinogenic substance.

Asbestos is the known cause of pleural plaques, asbestosis and mesothelioma, and causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, and colon. Asbestos divides into visible strands, fiber bundles, and individual fibers, but then those visible strands, bundles, and fibers will continue to split into microscopic fibers, bundles, and strands. The splitting can continue on to minute levels of microscopic levels of detection. This process is unique to asbestos and is one reason why airborne asbestos is such a problem. The fibers can become so small that they remain airborne longer and pass unhindered by the normal respiratory dust defenses. Diseases caused by asbestos have a long latency period, usually taking ten to forty years before showing any symptoms of the disease. This is especially apparent today, when people who worked with installing asbestos as insulation and other materials throughout the 1950s and beyond are just now coming to realize that they are developing cancer and other asbestos-caused diseases at alarming rates.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a serious, chronic, non-cancerous respiratory disease. Inhaled asbestos fibers aggravate lung tissues, which causes them to scar. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath and a dry crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling, as well as clubbing of the fingers and toes. In its advanced stages, the disease may cause cardiac failure.

There is no effective treatment for asbestosis; the disease is usually disabling or fatal. Those who renovate or demolish buildings that contain asbestos may be at significant risk, depending on the nature of the exposure and precautions taken.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer causes the largest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure. The incidence of lung cancer in people who are directly involved in the mining, milling, manufacturing and use of asbestos, and its products is much higher than in the general population. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are coughing and a change in breathing. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent chest pains, hoarseness, and anemia. People who have been exposed to asbestos and are also exposed to some other carcinogen, such as cigarette smoke, have a significantly greater risk of developing lung cancer than people who have only been exposed to asbestos. Some studies have found that workers exposed to asbestos and who also smoke are about 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than people who neither smoke nor have been exposed to asbestos.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that most often occurs in the thin membrane lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen, and (rarely) heart. Virtually all cases of mesothelioma are linked with asbestos exposure. Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma in humans. Smoking does not cause mesothelioma. An almost always fatal cancer, most mesothelioma victims diagnosed with the disease are given eight to twelve months to live. Even with early detection and the best treatment, the average five-year survival rate is only about 20 percent.

People who have worked with or around asbestos and asbestos-containing products, have an increased risk of mesothelioma. Even people who live with asbestos workers, near asbestos mining areas, near asbestos product factories or near shipyards where use of asbestos has produced large quantities of airborne asbestos fibers are susceptible to contracting the disease. Although mesothelioma is more common in men, increasing with age, it can appear in both men and women at any age.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for mesothelioma. There are, however, a variety of experimental treatment options with new clinical trials being introduced on a regular basis by doctors and researchers trying to find a cure for mesothelioma. The treatment used is dependant upon a variety of factors, including the extent of the disease, the age and medical history of the patient, and the location and type of the mesothelioma., but some common treatments include:

  • Surgery: where the tissue in the affected area is cut out. This may involve removing part of the organ depending on the size of the affected area;
  • Radiation treatment: involving the use of radiation treatment to kill off the cancerous cells in the affected area; and
  • Chemotherapy: using potent drugs in the body to kill off the cancerous cells.

Other Cancers

Cancers in the esophagus, larynx, oral cavity, stomach, colon and kidney may be caused by ingesting asbestos.

Asbestos Exposures

Millions of workers in the United States and abroad have suffered severe exposure to the environmental toxin, asbestos. Asbestos has been mined and used commercially since the late 1800s. Its use greatly increased during World War II. Shipyard workers, people who worked in asbestos mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, workers in the a/c or heating industries, construction workers, electricians, plumbers/pipefitters, automotive mechanics, laborers, and other tradespeople have likely suffered occupational exposures to asbestos. Asbestos is found in a wide variety of products with an array of differing industries and applications.

Examples of products that might contain asbestos are:

  • Sprayed-on fire proofing and insulation in buildings
  • Insulation for pipes and boilers
  • Gaskets and packing for pumps, valves, and compressor
  • Wall and ceiling insulation
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Floor tiles
  • Putties, caulks, stucco, and cements
  • Roofing shingles
  • Siding shingles buildings and homes
  • Wall and ceiling texture in buildings and homes
  • Joint compound in buildings and homes
  • Water or sewer pipe
  • Electrical wiring and electrical components
  • Brake linings, clutch pads, automotive gaskets, mufflers
  • Welding and fire blankets

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is the generic name for any variety of silicate materials that are fibrous in structure and are more resistant to acid and heat than many other materials. Asbestos has two forms, serpentine and amphibole, and is made of impure magnesium silicate. The six types of asbestos are chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite asbestos, tremolite asbestos, and actinolite asbestos. Chrysotile asbestos is serpentine and amosite and crocidolite are amphibole. Chrysotile has historically been the chief commercial asbestos fiber type. Amosite is often used in insulating materials and crocidolite is normally used in the manufacture of asbestos-cement products. Asbestos is mined from the ground where it is typically found in veins and large deposits. Canada, Russia, and South Africa are the world’s largest producers of asbestos, although there were asbestos mines in the United States, including California and Montana. Once asbestos ore has been removed from the ground, it is milled and processed into a usable product demonstrating high tensile strength, chemical and thermal stability, high flexibility, low electrical conductivity, and large surface area.

Free Case Evaluation

If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos or have been diagnosed with any asbestos disease, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, contact us. We can help you understand your rights and options, and see that you have the opportunity to seek compensation for your injuries.

Contact us for a free evaluation of your case and to discuss your rights under the law.



MEDICAL DEVICES

DEFECTIVE HIP IMPLANTS

Many thousands of people throughout the world have suffered substantial injuries, exposure to toxic metals, and unnecessary surgery as a result of defective and dangerous hip replacement devices. Despite the fact that the risks of hip implants have been known for decades, the manufacturers have kept patients in the dark about the real dangers, and high failure rate, of the devices.

In fact, some manufacturers have recalled their devices because of safety concerns caused by the defects. These include the Smith and Nephew R3 Metal Liners of the R3 Acetabular System, the DePuy ASR TM XL Acetabular System, and the Zimmer Durom Acetabular Component.

The Dangers of Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

A hip implant is a medical device implanted to restore mobility and relieve pain typically associated with arthritis, other hip diseases or injuries. One type of hip implant is commonly referred to as “metal-on-metal.” This device has a ball and cup that are both made of a cobalt-chromium metal alloy. The implant has considerable risks, and significantly high failure rates. These devices release metal ions which seep into local tissue and cause reactions that destroy muscle and bone, leaving patients with long-term disability and pain.

A recent medical journal article in The Lancet reviewed the world’s largest database on hip implants, and reviewed over 400,000 surgical procedures up to 7 years after surgery. The study found that metal-on-metal hip implants have a 5-year revision rate of about 6.2%, more than 3 times higher than other types of hip implants. After 8 years, the revision rate was over 10%, compared to about 2% for other types of hip implants. The study found that metal-on-metal implants “have poor survival compared with other options and should not be implanted.” The study concluded that all types of metal-on-metal hip implants are susceptible to “early failure.” Here is another medical journal article discussing the dangers of metal-on-metal hip implants.

Hip Implant Manufacturers

There are different manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip implants. They include:

  • DePuy/Johnson & Johnson
  • Wright Medical Technology
  • Smith and Nephew Orthopaedics
  • Biomet
  • Zimmer
  • Sulzer Orthopedics

In March 2013, the first lawsuit was tried against Johnson & Johnson for a defective DePuy hip implant, in Los Angeles, California. A jury returned a verdict in the amount of $8.3 million against Johnson & Johnson. In May 2013, Johnson & Johnson announced it would no longer sell metal-on-metal hip implants.

Injuries Resulting From Hip Implants

Defective metal-on-metal hip implants can cause many problems including:

  • Implant failure requiring revision (additional) surgery
  • Muscle and bone destruction
  • Dislocation or loosening of the device
  • Difficult walking
  • Metal poisoning
  • Bone fractures
  • Hip dislocation
  • Pain

Entertainment Law

Our attorneys offer real-world, practical experience that allow us to understand and address the individual needs of our clients in the music and entertainment industries. From concept to corporate entity formation, to production and sales exploitation, Keller, Fishback & Jackson offers a broad range of services in all areas of entertainment and interactive media. We provide services for actors, directors, producers, publishers, screenwriters, composers, songwriters, recording artists, authors, independent production companies, financiers, and distributors. We draft, negotiate and renegotiate entertainment-related agreements, and consult and advise on entertainment business matters and legal rights. Our attorneys explore creative ways to acquire, preserve and maximize exploitation of intellectual property and related rights, and then vigorously defend and protect these rights on behalf of our clients. In a dynamic age of emerging technologies, our firm is committed to understanding and protecting your business and litigation interests.


Class Action Litigation

The attorneys of Keller, Fishback & Jackson LLP have participated in numerous multi-million dollar class action cases nationwide concerning consumer fraud, product liability, and ERISA litigation. The firm currently represents plaintiffs in several such cases including:

In Re Jamster Marketing Litigation, MDL No. 1751, Master File No. 05-CV-0819 (S.D. Cal.)

American Financial International Group, Asia, LLC v. Phillip Bennett, et al., 05-CV-8988 (GEL) (SDNY) (representing a putative class of defrauded RefcoFX retail customers)

Labajo v. Best Buy Stores, L.P., et al., 06-CV-0783 (DC) (SDNY) (representing a class of defrauded Best Buy and Time customers)

Donnelly, et al. v. Circuit City Stores, Inc., et al., 5:06-CV-00387 (WTH) (M.D.FL) (representing a class of defrauded Circuit City customers)

Bagley, et al. v. KB Home, et al. 07CV-01754JSL(SSX) (C.D. Cal.) (representing a putative class of KB Home employees for improper management of employee retirement benefits in violation of ERISA)

In Re Northrop Grumman Corporation ERISA Litigation 06-CV-6213R(JCX), (C.D. Cal.) (representing a putative class of Northrop Grumman Corporation employees for improper management of employee retirement benefits in violation of ERISA)


Free Case Evaluation or
General Questions

Call Us Toll Free

1-866-LAW-4-YOU

or Submit Online