Anthony was a young man - just 35 years old- when he was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. At the time, he was working as a supervisor for developmentally disabled adults in New Mexico. He was married with three children. He and his wife, Irene, were working hard just to pay the bills and to care for their kids.
Anthony had been born into a poor family, and grew up moving from small apartment to apartment in the Los Angeles area. He had worked as a busboy and cook. He had never worked with asbestos. We decided that Anthony must have been exposed to asbestos somewhere. We looked at the Los Angeles School District, where Anthony had been shuffled from school to school growing up.
We found that asbestos was used in many of Anthony's schools. Some of it became airborne and led to his being exposed as a student. We sued the companies that made and installed the asbestos products in Anthony's schools.
Doctors that were hired by the asbestos companies claimed that Anthony's mesothelioma was not caused by asbestos. They claimed that most of the mesotheliomas that occur in young people like Anthony are not caused by asbestos at all, but that they occur "spontaneously." We fought against the companies and their doctors and were able to recover over two million dollars in settlement for Anthony. Much of the settlement money was put into a trust for his children's future.