Asbestos Litigation

Colleran, O’Hara & Mills L.L.P. works closely with Weitz & Luxenburg, P.C. to counsel and represent union members who have been exposed to asbestos.


Asbestos Litigation Update

Colleran, O’Hara & Mills is Counsel to the New York State AFL-CIO, the New York City Building & Construction Trades Council, the New York City Central Labor Council, the Long Island Federation of Labor, the Nassau and Suffolk Building & Construction Trades Council, and many other individual unions in the Building & Construction Trades. For decades, our firm has worked with its Trial Counsel, Weitz & Luxenberg P.C., to represent thousands of union members throughout New York to protect the rights of those members who have been exposed to and injured by asbestos.

We were active in fighting to amend the New York statutory code in 1986 to allow union members to sue to protect their rights. We also successfully negotiated a standard reduced fee in asbestos injury cases for union members that work with our joint program with Weitz & Luxenberg from the typical 33 1/3% to 25%. Efforts in recent years by the asbestos and insurance industries to prevent members from being able to sue were beaten back due to the efforts of Colleran, O’Hara & Mills, the New York State AFLI-CIO, and the labor movement generally.

Since the year 2000, numerous companies that manufactured and distributed asbestos-containing products filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to avoid liability from asbestos claims. After years of litigation and negotiation in the Bankruptcy Courts, many of these companies have emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and set up trusts with very significant amounts of money to pay past, present, and future claimants who are sick and have been exposed to asbestos containing products.

Unfortunately, it now appears that in the 30 years since this litigation has started, many members are being stricken with lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related illnesses and are still not fully aware of the connection between their exposure to asbestos in the workplace and their illness or injury. Union members need to know of that connection, to educate their spouses and families to the connection and to have effective legal advice at low cost.

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