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New York Mesothelioma Lawyers File Lawsuit in NY for Rare Asbestos Cancer

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Mesothelioma cancer in New York

Independent studies confirm at least 15 asbestos-related cancer deaths among New York State talc workers, according to attorney who filed the mesothelioma lawsuit.

New York mesothelioma attorneys Levy, Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP filed a lawsuit today on behalf of the third family member from a Jefferson County, New York, hamlet to die from mesothelioma. "It's a statistical improbability for the rare asbestos-related cancer to occur in a town of less than 400 persons," according to attorney Robert I. Komitor, Esq., a partner in Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP.

Donald Lozo, who died in August 2005, at 67, was exposed to asbestos from talc, as was his
late sister, Catherine, and late mother, Mary, who also died of asbestos-related cancer. Donald Lozo worked for more than a decade at the Carbola Talc Mine, Natural Bridge, according to Court documents filed by his New York mesothelioma attorneys.

The Lozo mesothelioma lawsuit was filed today in New York State Supreme Court, Fifth Judicial District, Onondaga County, Syracuse, the Court in which the region's asbestos litigation is consolidated, according to Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP, New Jersey and New York mesothelioma attorneys with extensive experience handling asbestos exposure cases.

Mesothelioma is an extremely rare disease without hereditary basis, occurring in approximately only 1 out of 100,000 persons, even less frequently in women. Natural Bridge had a population of approximately 392 persons according to the 2000 Census and zero mesothelioma deaths would be expected. Yet, In the Lozo family there now have been three deaths from asbestos-related cancer. Additionally, published studies have independently confirmed a total of at least 15 mesothelioma deaths among talc workers in New York State, Lozo's mesothelioma attorney said.

The Lozo family's mesothelioma tragedy allegedly began in the 1930s when Alfred Lozo, husband of Mary and father of Donald and Catherine, began working at the Carbola Mine. For decades Albert Lozo would return from work at the mine with talc dust on his clothing and in the family car. Mary, Donald and Catherine were constantly exposed to this asbestos-laden talc dust, which also made its way into the Lozo residence when it was released from the talc operation into the air, according to Patrick J. Timmins, Esq., another one of the New York mesothelioma attorneys working on the Lozo's case.

"Talc mine workers had no reason to think that the mineral was dangerous. Catherine Lozo Gerber, who filed her own lawsuit after she developed mesothelioma, testified before her death in a deposition that her father sometimes took her to work - not knowing that he was exposing his daughter to cancer-causing dust," Timmins said. Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP also represents Catherine Lozo Gerber's estate in a separate mesothelioma lawsuit filed in Syracuse in 2005.

Donald Lozo, whose estate filed its case today, also was allegedly exposed to contaminated talc when he worked in the mill at Carbola Mine in the 1950s and early 1960s. He also was allegedly exposed to asbestos used in industrial products while working as a member of Iron Workers Union, Local 60 beginning in the mid 1960s. The Carbola Chemical Company is one of the entities believed to be responsible for mining and milling operations during the years in which Alfred and Donald Lozo worked at the Natural Bridge facility, Timmins said.

Lisa Gerber, Catherine Lozo Gerber's daughter, is executrix for Donald Lozo's and Catherine Lozo Gerber's estates, according to court documents filed by the New York mesothelioma attorneys.

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For years scientists have noted the high rates of asbestos-related cancer in New York State talc mining counties. One 2002 study published by the British Occupational Hygiene Society found Jefferson County, in which Natural Bridge is located, with the second highest mesothelioma death rate for females in the U.S. and the sixth highest for males, according to Komitor.

Independent scientists and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health ("NIOSH") analyzed New York State talc in the 1970s and concluded that it was contaminated with asbestos. More recently, the New York State Department of Health again confirmed the presence of asbestos in the talc ore, Komitor said.

"This is a tragedy for the Lozo and Gerber families and for the Natural Bridge community. We know there are others who've lost loved ones because of asbestos from talc and from other sources and we are doing everything we can to obtain justice for Don, Catherine and their families," Timmins said.

Named defendants in Complaint seeking compensatory and punitive damages to the full extent permitted under the law include publicly and privately held entities in the talc and asbestos industries. Under Court rules, after the defendants are served the Hon. James W. McCarthy will establish a schedule for the mesothelioma lawsuit, to include dates for exchanging evidence, motions, and, the trial, Timmins said.

Filed Case Captions:

Catherine Gerber, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Onondaga, Index No.: 5395-05

The Estate of Donald Lozo, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Onondaga, Index No.: 2515/07

For copies of the Lozo and Gerber Complaints, comment, or to arrange an interview, Patrick J. Timmins, Esq. will be in Watertown from 3 to 5 p.m. today and can be reached at 917-567-2522. Robert I. Komitor, Esq. is in Manhattan at 212-605-6240.

Levy, Phillips and Konigsberg, LLP is nationally recognized for handling all phases of state and federal complex legal matters, from initial investigation through litigation, trial and appeals. The firm represents individuals and employees with mesothelioma, mass-tort, toxic tort, product liability, personal injury, whistleblower, qui tam, and fraud claims. To learn more about the mesothelioma trial attorneys from Levy, Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP , visit lpklaw.com

To learn more about mesothelioma and the asbestos hazards to health, visit www.NYNJMesothelioma.com the Source for Asbestos and Mesothelioma Information in New York and New Jersey.