In our last newsletter, we wrote about chronic disease caused by exposure to beryllium – a metal used in the defense industry, the automotive and aerospace industries, in electronics and in the manufacture of dental and medical equipment and supplies. Exposure occurs through the inhalation of beryllium dust at a work site or even at home, from dust-contaminated work clothes.
Our client, Dan, was exposed to beryllium while working as a machinist at Williams Gold Refining, Inc. on Main Street in Buffalo. Dan did not know that exposure to the dust, fumes and mist resulting from machining beryllium can cause chronic beryllium disease, a permanent disability and potentially fatal disease. By the time he found out he already had the disease.
Dan is only 46 years old and is already on supplementary oxygen. He is often out of breath, has a chronic sore throat and is always tired. Dan knows there is no cure for his disease. He takes prednisone, a steroid prescribed by his doctor to alleviate his symptoms, but long-term use of the medicine has side effects such as weight gain, early cataract formation, diabetes, osteoporosis and compression fractures.
Dan’s wife, Janet, also worked at Williams. Fortunately, she is healthy. But Dan and Janet are concerned because their teenage son may have been exposed to beryllium they brought home on their dusty work clothes. They worry that someday their son will develop chronic beryllium disease.
We are pursuing a claim on Dan’s behalf against two corporations that supplied beryllium to Williams Gold Refining. We believe these corporations have known for decades that exposure to their products could make people sick but that they chose not to tell workers like Dan about the risk.
We are aware that some of our clients and their families and friends may have been exposed to beryllium. Please call our office if you believe you were exposed to beryllium.