08/11/2010 // Chicago, IL, USA // Cooney & Conway // Mesothelioma lawyers: Cooney & Conway

(Mesothelioma News) – A fourth member of the Mancuso family in upstate New York now faces incarceration for up to five years in an asbestos violations case in which three Mancuso family members have already been sentenced to prison.

The case, say mesothelioma lawyers who have seen firsthand the destructive potential of asbestos exposure, demonstrates not only that those who evade asbestos regulations can place everyone around in peril. It also shows the consequences offenders themselves face when prosecutors press the full weight of statutory penalties in order to send a message.

Asbestos—once widely used as a building material because of its heat- and fire-resistance characteristics—has been medically linked to a long list of deadly diseases, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, a nearly always fatal cancer of the protective lining covering many of the body’s internal organs.

Even today, countless buildings, homes, and schools contain asbestos in insulation, ceilings, or flooring. When the asbestos is disturbed during renovation or demolition work, it can be particularly hazardous, because asbestos fibers can be easily inhaled, triggering mesothelioma and other cancers years, even decades, down the road.

Not surprisingly, many asbestos regulations are aimed at preventing harm during such work. They also set tight controls on asbestos disposal. The idea, say asbestos experts, is to make sure that any asbestos that may be present in a structure is handled safely, reducing the risk of harm to workers, residents, and those nearby.

These are exactly the regulations, prosecutors contend, that the Mancuso family willfully evaded.

Ironically, 47-year-old Ronald Mancuso, the man now facing prison time helped prosecutors bring their case against the other three defendants—his father and two younger brothers.

They were charged with illegally removing and dumping asbestos across New York’s Mohawk Valley. In a particularly egregious violation, one brother Paul Mancuso, allowed asbestos to be washed down a drain at a Utica, N.Y., school. He drew a prison term of six and a half years—with prosecutors noting that it was the fourth time he had been charged with violating asbestos regulations, and significant jail time was warranted. The other men, Ronald Mancuso’s father, Lester, and other brother, Steven, will serve roughly three years each.

Prosecutors have asked that Ronald Mancuso, who entered his own guilty plea in the case, receive leniency when sentenced.

Leniency, of course, is a rare occurrence in the asbestos arena, where victims of lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases almost always have grim diagnoses—with the only recovery being the compensation skilled mesothelioma lawyers can, and often do, obtain at trial or at the settlement table.

This news story was brought to you by the mesothelioma lawyers at Cooney & Conway. For more than half a century, we have been advocates for those injured because of the wrongful actions of others. We have litigated and resolved some of the nation’s most significant asbestos lawsuits, bringing justice—and compensation—to victims of asbestos exposure and the lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other deadly diseases it can cause.

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