Mesothelioma Victim’s Daughter Has Spent Years Fighting For Justice

Amy DeMaio’s father Peter Bergrud died of malignant mesothelioma in 2018, and she has been fighting for justice on his behalf ever since. She is among thousands of people suing CertainTeed over asbestos in their cement pipes, but the company’s owner is pursuing a controversial bankruptcy strategy that has kept their legal claims in limbo for years.

cement pipes

Bankruptcy Strategy Holds Up Thousands of Mesothelioma Claims

Mr. Bergrud’s mesothelioma came after decades of working cutting and laying cement water and sewage pipes, breathing in the dust created by his labor. That dust was heavily contaminated with asbestos, and in 2018 he was diagnosed with two forms of the rare, asbestos-related disease. His doctors advised him that his cancer was too far advanced for treatment to help, and he died shortly after getting the news.

Before his death, the mesothelioma victim joined 32,000 others who were similarly harmed in filing a lawsuit against CertainTeed’s owner, Saint-Gobain. Facing billions in asbestos claims, the company responded by forming a subsidiary called DBMP LLC to hold those liabilities, then filed for bankruptcy three months later.  This legal maneuver automatically placed all of the asbestos litigants into the category of creditors awaiting the outcome of the bankruptcy filing.

CertainTeed Joins Other Asbestos Companies in Legal Move to Stay Mesothelioma Claims

The legal move is the same one being pursued by Johnson & Johnson and other asbestos companies to evade liability for mesothelioma deaths and related illnesses. It has caused outrage among victims, who point to Saint-Gobain having paid over $1 billion in dividends to its shareholders after having reported over $55 billion in revenue and $5.7 billion in profits in 2022.

Attorneys for mesothelioma victims have argued against solvent companies being able to evade justice by pursuing this course of action, with Ms. DeMaio’s family representative saying that “billionaires are using bankruptcy as a menu choice.” As the courts try to address the question, Congress is considering action.

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Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger

Reviewer and Editor

Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.

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