Malignant mesothelioma diagnoses rarely command headlines in local newspapers, and especially not in the paper for the sixth-most populous city in the country. But that is exactly what is happening in the city of Philadelphia, where the Philadelphia Inquirer is closely following the case of Lea DiRusso.
Philadelphia School Teacher Dying from Malignant Mesothelioma
Lea DiRusso is a 51-year-old who spent nearly three decades teaching in the Philadelphia school district before being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. Her condition has been blamed on exposure to asbestos that contaminated the two South Philadelphia schools where she spent her career. The district recently agreed to an $850,000 settlement with DiRusso, an amount that exceeds Pennsylvania’s $500,000 cap on personal injury cases against government agencies.
Though DiRusso says that she is grateful for the district exceeding the cap, she’s also indicated that it will fall far short of what she needs to pay for what mesothelioma has done to her. In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, she said, “It’s barely going to sustain me for medical coverage and things that I need for the remainder of my life, which is being cut short. There’s no windfall here.”
Philadelphia Moves to Prevent Future Mesothelioma Cases With Aggressive Asbestos Remediation
In light of DiRusso’s diagnosis with mesothelioma and the detection of asbestos in many Philadelphia school buildings, the city of Philadelphia has moved aggressively to remediate the presence of asbestos in its building. But the process is proving more challenging than anticipated. In some cases the asbestos detection process has lead to elevated levels of the carcinogenic material in the schools’ hallways.
According to Jim Creedon, the district’s interim chief of facilities and capital projects, “I think the challenge here is the high level of asbestos may not have been there for the last 20 years, like every single day — a lot of it may have occurred as a result of the work going on inside the building. That’s why they went through the building to try to find various locations that may have been somehow disrupted, perhaps even during the testing process itself.”
Anybody who has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma knows just how deadly asbestos is, and how devastating the disease is. If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help you with resources, information and more. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.