July 9, 2019
Hello everyone, I hope you are enjoying the heart of summer. I’m spending the week up at the lake with my family for some much needed rest and relaxation. We have had a busy month with a lot of attorneys going a lot of different places as always. Now we look forward to a trial against an asbestos friction paper manufacturer in a couple of weeks. Our client unfortunately sanded the paper for many years without knowledge of its dangerous ingredient. As we prepare for trial, blinders begin to go on as a case of this magnitude can be all consuming. Although all of our focus gets trained on one case, we learn together as a trial team what went on in the case over the last year and what we can do better next time. This is also an opportunity for the family to have their day in court and speak up about what they have lost.
We recently lost a number of clients, Jim Gray, Darrell Smith, Mary Miller and Jason DeJongh. Mr. Smith, of Las Vegas, NV, was a tax attorney for a number of employers. Ms. Miller, of Villa Park, IL, previously worked as a factory worker for an automotive supply company. Mr. DeJongh, of Holland, MI, previously worked mainly as an audio/video technician for a college. Mr. Smith, Ms. Miller and Mr. DeJongh’s families are in our thoughts this month.
I’ve spoken about Jim before in this column as I was privileged to have gotten to know him. I spent several hours with him and his wife Cathie at their kitchen table retracing his work history and hanging out with their dog Bella. Jim was a combat veteran from Vietnam. When I started doing this 20 years ago I was representing World War II veterans like Michael Strilko who had a great picture of himself next to his B-17 Bomber. I then started seeing a lot of Korean veterans and now more and more its Vietnam veterans. Serving veterans of this country is a true honor, so many of them were willing to fight for America and now they end up stricken with a disease as a result of helping to build America. I would like to dedicate this issue to the men and women who served this country and especially those who gave their life for our freedom. Thanks from all of us at VL.