Friday, December 20, 2013

Worthington Supports Innovative Stem Cell Therapy Initiative for Mesothelioma. Donates $100,000 to Pacific Meso Center

[San Pedro, CA.]  Roger Worthington of Worthington & Caron, PC announced today he is donating $100,000 to the Pacific Meso Center (PMC) in Los Angeles, California to help continue their research on the use of modified stem cells to treat patients stricken with malignant mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos.

“I continue to be amazed by the cutting edge and brilliant research being done by the PMC,” said Mr. Worthington, who has been representing asbestos cancer patients for 25 years.

“With the encouragement of Scientific Advisor, Dr. Robert Cameron, the PMC has been working on an exciting project that is exploring the potential for treating meso patients with modified stem cells from discarded placentas.  It’s tougher than ever these days for scientists to fund research on rare diseases and I’m pleased to help.”

In a nutshell, PMC’s “mesenchymal stem cell program” works like this. Stems cells are harvested from discarded placentas, modified with immunological agents, and put into a “spheroid” model to test how changes to the tumor environment in the chest can ally with the body’s natural defenses to destroy tumor cells after surgery.

“The goal is to inject the modified stem cells, which the body doesn't readily reject, into the chest cavity after surgery, “explained Dr. Cameron, a world renown thoracic surgeon at UCLA Medical School.  “If the therapy ‘takes,’ then the body can destroy the mesothelioma cells that remain in the chest after a successful surgery, and the patient can avoid chemotherapy and radiation. “  

Currently, even with the best surgical technique, after surgery the chest cavity is blanketed with microscopic tumor cells. As a result, the question is not so much whether the tumor will recur, but when. To prolong the date of recurrence, patients are forced to endure often-debilitating radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Over the past 12 years, Worthington has supported a number of treatment- related projects, including immunotherapy, interferon alpha maintenance therapy, cryoablation and Interleukin (IL-4) immunotoxin therapy. 

“The goal has always been to give mesothelioma patients more treatment options,” said Worthington. “But the reality is to truly take a whack at mesothelioma, it’s going to take a lot more public and private funding. I hope my donation can encourage other lawyers, as well as everyone involved with this disease, to give back as well.”

For more information about the Pacific Mesothelioma Center, please click on www.phlbi.org/divisions/lung-disease/pacific-meso-center.  

Roger Worthington, Esq. can be reached via www.mesothel.com or by phone at 800.831.9399.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Justice Delayed, But Not Denied--$8.6 Million Verdict In Favor Of Family of 68 Year-Old Refinery Worker

The Law Office of Worthington & Caron PC is pleased to report that a Los Angeles jury has recently returned an $8.6 million verdict in favor of our clients, the surviving wife and daughters of a 68 year-old refinery worker, in a case titled Saller v. Crown Cork & Seal.

The verdict is the culmination of a long and emotional ordeal for the family which began in June of 2005 when Mr. Saller was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. A proud man with much to live for, Mr. Saller fought valiantly against his disease, undergoing a ten-hour surgery followed by over a month of radiation treatments.

A former Marine Corporal, refinery worker and heavy equipment operator, Mr. Saller worked hard for everything he accomplished in his life. He certainly never thought of himself as a person who would file a personal injury lawsuit. But after learning how long companies continued selling asbestos after knowing it caused lung disease and cancer, he concluded that filing a lawsuit was the right and just thing to do. His asbestos disease was threatening the financial security he worked so hard to attain. He knew that his life and the lives of his wife and daughters would never be the same. So he decided to fight back.

Through his legal team, the Worthington & Caron and Waters, Kraus & Paul law firms, a lawsuit was filed against over 20 defendants on November 1, 2005. On January 19, 2006, Mr. Saller began what proved to be a lengthy deposition in which he was questioned for days by asbestos company lawyers. Unfortunately, Mr. Saller’s condition began to decline and it became more and more difficult for him to concentrate and endure the questioning.

“Mr. Saller’s body was slowly shutting down,” recalls attorney John Caron, who represented Mr. Saller through the entirety of the deposition. “He knew that if he didn’t complete his deposition, any hope of achieving justice for his family would be lost. He knew he was losing the battle against his disease, but he would not give in to it until he finished the job he had started.”

Mr. Saller completed the job on February 2, 2006. He passed away a week later on February 9, 2006.

Having witnessed Mr. Saller fight so courageously for them, his wife and daughters resolved to finish the job he had started. Their case dragged through the system until finally being called for trial almost two years later in December 2007. Mrs. Saller and her daughters endured hours of Mr. Saller’s videotaped testimony, reliving the steady demise that ultimately led to his passing. The family was hopeful that the jury would grant them the justice that Mr. Saller fought so hard to achieve. But the jury felt compelled to find against the family, and in favor of the two companies remaining in the case, because of what were believed to be improper jury instructions given by the judge.

The family’s fight for justice didn’t end there. An appeal was filed in which the court of appeal was asked to reverse the trial court’s judgment based on the improper jury instructions. The asbestos company lawyers opposed the appeal and the matter languished in the system for over three years. But on August 27, 2010, the court of appeal found that the trial judge’s instructions were indeed improper and had denied justice to the Saller family. Accordingly, the court of appeal returned the case to the trial court for a new trial before a new judge.

Again, the wheels of justice turned excruciatingly slow. Over the course of more than three years, the case was set for trial on six separate occasions, only to be continued for some reason outside of the family’s control. Ultimately, the case began trial on November 21, 2013.

In the six years that had passed, one of the defendants in the first trial had gone bankrupt, so the only defendant at trial was Crown, Cork & Seal Company. Mr. Saller testified that he was exposed to dust from asbestos pipe covering insulation made by the company’s predecessor, Mundet, while working at the Standard Oil refinery in El Segundo from 1959 to 1966.

The Saller family was represented at trial by attorney Scott Frost who deftly presented evidence establishing the asbestos content of the products, the manner in which the toxic dust from the products was inhaled by Mr. Saller and other workers at the refinery, the company’s knowledge of the hazards of their asbestos products and their failure to provide warnings to Mr. Saller and others so that they could have avoided the deadly effects of their products.

At the trial, the videotapes of Mr. Saller’s deposition were shown, again revealing his relentless fight to present the evidence of his case as his disease unmercifully progressed. For the family, the trial took them back seven years, re-opening the emotional wounds that they had tried so hard to heal. But for each one of them, all of this was secondary.

“There’s no way we’re giving up,” said Mrs. Saller. “He kept going because of us. Now it’s our turn to keep going for him.”

On December 13, 2013, over eight and-a-half years after Mr. Saller’s diagnosis, the family finally got their first taste of justice. The jury in the case returned a verdict of $5,016,000 for which Crown, Cork & Seal was determined to be 30% responsible. The jury also determined that the company had acted with malice or conscious disregard justifying an award of punitive damages. On December 16, 2013, the jury awarded $3,600,000 in punitive damages against the company.

“I’m shocked, thrilled and relieved,” said Mrs. Saller. “I’m so pleased that he finally got his justice. It’s such a great feeling, like a weight has finally been lifted from our shoulders. My family, our attorneys, we all finished the job. Just like he did. My husband can finally rest in peace.”  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Online Petition Now Available to Establish the “Elmo Zumwalt Mesothelioma Treatment & Research Center” - Please Sign Now!

In our Veteran’s Day "Call to Arms" post, we addressed the Federal Government’s failure to adequately care for veterans diagnosed with service-related mesothelioma, who account for one-third of Americans who get this deadly disease.

In the weeks that have followed, we have sent letters to our friends, clients and clients’ families enlisting their support in the effort to get the VA to fund the “Elmo Zumwalt Mesothelioma Treatment and Research Center” which will provide world-class treatment to veterans around the country and conduct much-needed research into cures and treatment advances that will benefit all persons suffering from this disease, not just vets.

Our thanks go out to everyone who has forwarded the letters to their senators and congresspersons. Additional packets are being sent out as we speak. If you haven’t sent the letters, please do so as soon as possible. If you want additional copies of the letters to have friends of family send, let us know and we’ll send more!

We’re pleased to report that the Pacific Meso Center has now joined the effort to garner much-needed public support for this worthy cause by establishing an online petition to “Help Veterans Stricken with Service-Connected Mesothelioma.”

Even if you have already sent the letters that were issued by our office, we urge you to sign the Pacific Meso Center’s online petition. The Federal government has ignored this problem for decades. We need to do everything we can to let them know what an insult their continued inaction is to the vets who have and will continue to suffer from service-related mesothelioma.

"We encourage everyone to sign this petition and to send it out to their friends and family via email, Twitter and Facebook", said Clare Cameron, Executive Director of The Pacific Meso Center.  "With enough signatures we can make a change and get the Admiral Zumwalt Center for Mesothelioma Excellence funded, and give our veterans suffering with mesothelioma a fighting chance".

So please sign the petition now! It will take you less than a minute. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Consequences of Hiring Unqualified Workers to Remove Asbestos

According to a November 19 press release issued by The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia man was recently sentenced to three and a half years in prison for knowingly exposing day laborers to asbestos.

Gene Cornell Smith knew that the warehouse building he had purchased was full of asbestos. He had received quotes to have the cancer-causing materials removed by a certified asbestos abatement company. But, instead of paying the cost of having the materials removed in a way that would be safe to workers, neighbors and others in the vicinity, he directed his associate, Clarence Cole, to hire unqualified day laborers who ripped out the asbestos illegally. The laborers were not informed of the asbestos hazard, nor were they given protective equipment to prevent inhalation of the toxic mineral.

The job was ultimately shut down when a concerned citizen brought the matter to the attention of city officials. However, rather than hiring a qualified abatement contractor to remediate the building as he was ordered to do, Smith continued to have day laborers illegally remove and dispose of asbestos materials, allowing asbestos dust to be released to the outside air.  

Following a jury trial in Federal Court, Smith was convicted of conspiracy and five counts of violating the United States Clean Air Act. His associate Clarence Cole was sentenced to two years in prison. In addition, both were ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution of $451,936.80.

A November 6 article posted on the Salon website, addresses another incident in which undocumented workers in New Jersey were directed by Benjamin H. Realty Company to remove asbestos with their bare hands. Workers who protested these and other dangerous working conditions were fired. “The worst thing was the asbestos,” said Isaac Hernandez, who said he was “100% breathing this stuff in” in a tight crawl space without warning or proper equipment, and “we went with our clothes home, so not only were we exposed – our families were exposed.”

“Clearly, what happens is that when someone is undocumented they can be exploited and they frequently are,” said New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, who is trying to change labor immigration laws in his state.

While we are seeing an increasing number of criminal and civil charges stemming from the hiring of unqualified workers to remove asbestos “on the cheap”, one can’t help but wonder how many thousands of times this occurs on any given day. With all the homes and buildings constructed in the “peak asbestos years”, from the 1930s through the 1970s, the opportunity for desperate workers to be exposed to asbestos at the hands of unscrupulous and exploitative employers will continue for decades. Not only are unknowing workers exposed to this dangerous pollutant, their families, the local area and the community at large are also exposed when asbestos is improperly removed.

Asbestos waste is toxic waste and needs to be treated as such. When asbestos is removed and handled improperly, chances are that is also being disposed of improperly.

Federal and State laws prohibit the improper removal and disposal of asbestos. These laws were enacted to protect workers and the public at large from exposure to deadly asbestos dust.

If you suspect asbestos is being improperly removed or disposed you should contact the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Asbestos Hotline: (800) 368-5888 to file a confidential complaint, or visit the EPA’s website.


For information on safe handling practices for asbestos, click here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Asbestos Industry-Backed FACT Act Passed by House GOP’s—But Not Likely to Go Any Further

US News reports that on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 the House approved House Resolution 982, the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act (FACT Act) in a vote 221-199. The FACT Act is part of a national campaign being led by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and National Chamber of Commerce to limit compensation paid to asbestos victims and delay justice.

There is good news though. According to the article, the Democratic-controlled Senate has no plans to take up the bill, and the White House on Tuesday said President Barack Obama would veto it. “The bill’s mandatory reporting and disclosure requirements would threaten asbestos victims’ privacy when they seek payment for injuries from an asbestos bankruptcy trust,” the White House said in a statement of administration policy opposing the bill.

On Tuesday, Linda Reinstein, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) President/CEO and Co-Founder along with members of the Alliance for Justice, the American Association for Justice and the Asbestos Cancer Victims’ Rights Campaign, attended a House Staff briefing to oppose the bill and urge representatives to vote against the FACT Act.

This legislation is an invasion of privacy which seeks to require patients and their families to post personal financial information, information about their dependents and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers on a public website. The bill will not only limit justice received by victims, but will ultimately open them and their families up to potential identity theft.

It would also have claimants seek compensation through the asbestos trust system before going through their state court to seek damages against companies, some states already have this law in practice.

Supporters of the legislation claim that rampant fraud is occurring in the system, fraud for which they have no definitive proof. They say this fraud occurs when people file claims against one trust blaming it for their asbestos disease, then make the same claims to other trusts as well as to companies in court.

Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are not typically caused by a single exposure to asbestos. In almost all cases, the disease is caused by the cumulative effect of many, sometimes countless, exposures throughout a person’s lifetime. Accordingly, asbestos disease is almost always the result of exposures to a wide variety of asbestos products from a multitude of different manufacturers and suppliers. It has long since been established that these companies knew about the dangers of asbestos and kept it mum.

The asbestos company owners, such as the Koch brothers, who are behind the so-called FACT legislation, have distorted the facts in an effort to convince the public that persons claiming that their asbestos disease was caused by more than one manufacturer’s product are committing a fraud. In reality, it is the supporters of this legislation who are committing a fraud—a fraud which, not surprisingly, inures to the financial interests of asbestos companies at the expense of the financial and privacy interests of asbestos illness sufferers.

Here's what you can do to help right now:

Go to www.cancervictimsrights.org to connect with a community of people fighting this legislation and standing up for cancer victims.

Related links:
  • Huffington Post Debunks Claims of Fraud by Supporters of the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act
  • Susan Vento, Wife of Deceased Congressman and Mesothelioma Victim Bruce Vento, Expresses Her Strong Opposition to the So-Called “FACT Act”
  • Wall Street Journal Continues to Side with Asbestos Companies on Allegations of Asbestos Trust Fraud




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Veterans Day Surprise Coming From Congress?

Written by Susan Vento and Judy Van Ness

This article was originally posted November 10, 2013, on chillicothegazette.com

On Monday, Americans will observe Veterans Day. Some people will observe it with a day off from work or checking out the special Veterans Day sales at department stores. But the real meaning of the day should be to think about the great sacrifices of the men and women who deserve to be honored. Instead, these same honorable men and women might be dishonored by a Congressional vote next week on the Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency Act.

Asbestos, a known human carcinogen that has killed millions of people during the past several decades, has not been banned in the U.S. It remains a threat to Americans in our homes, schools and workplaces, and about one-third of all victims are veterans. Disasters such as 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy exposed many more people to asbestos dangers. Meanwhile, experts estimate that about 10,000 people die in the U.S. every year as a result of exposure to asbestos.

We watched our husbands die from mesothelioma, caused by asbestos. Former Rep. Bruce Vento died from mesothelioma 13 years ago, after being exposed to asbestos in three different worksites while working his way through college to become a junior high science teacher on the east side of St. Paul, Minn. Richard Van Ness died Aug. 30, 2012. His exposure began while serving in the forward engine room on the USS Charles R. Ware destroyer (1968-1971). Both men served their country with distinction and died needlessly. This makes us do everything we can to fight for other victims and families.

The FACT Act is a cruel twist on a cruel disease, one that blames the victims for whatever meager compensation they might receive for lives cut dramatically short. It blames families that have to watch loved ones struggle to take their final breaths and smears them by saying they get too much. It is no more than blatant catering to the highly-financed interests of the asbestos industry, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the National Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Pacific, owned by the Koch brothers. It is not about transparency at all.

Instead, the FACT Act would require the unbelievable disclosure on a public website of asbestos victims’ personal information, including the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, financial information, information about their children and other sensitive data that could subject victims and their families to identity theft and possible criminal victimization. The bill is completely lopsided — asbestos companies have no such “transparency” requirements. It passed the U.S. House Judiciary Committee 17-14 in the spring with the committee refusing to hear from victims and families who will be affected by the bill's exposure of their personal information.

The bill’s supporters mistakenly claim it is needed to prevent fraud by asbestos victims when filing claims to company trusts and accuse the asbestos victims of ripping off the system. The asbestos company trusts were structured to enable the companies responsible for the lethal poisoning of workers to use bankruptcy reorganization to continue operating.

The Government Accountability Office analyzed many company trusts and found no evidence of fraud. Instead, a recent newspaper investigation of claims found only 0.35 percent of “anomalies” and those included clerical errors by the claims administrators of the company trusts.

If anyone is getting ripped off, it’s the asbestos victims and their families. The Rand Institute found the median payment is 25 cents on the dollar to asbestos victims, with some payments as low as 1.1 percent of the claim filed. H.R. 982 victimizes all asbestos victims, including veterans, exposing them to identity theft and further harm.


Susan Vento, widow of former Rep. Bruce F. Vento, D-Minn., and Judy Van Ness, widow of Richard Van Ness, are with the Asbestos Cancer Victims’ Rights Campaign.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Veterans’ Day 2013---A “Call to Arms” to Help Veterans Stricken with Service-Connected Mesothelioma

In prior years, Worthington & Caron, P.C., has used Veterans’ Day as an opportunity to acknowledge and pay tribute to military veterans who have contracted mesothelioma from service-related exposures to asbestos. Indeed, as many of you know, approximately one-third of Americans diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed in the military.

This year, in addition to offering kind words of acknowledgment and gratitude, we would like to offer asbestos-exposed vets something much more important. Something they really need. Something that’s long over-due. This year we want to take action to get the US Government to effectively treat vets stricken with service-related mesothelioma. And we want you to join us.

Here’s the deal: The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center has taken an important first step to improve the treatment of asbestos-exposed vets by establishing a first-of-its-kind “Mesothelioma Center of Excellence.” The Center offers patients access to some of the most innovative and effective treatments from one of the nation’s leading mesothelioma specialists. The problem is that the Mesothelioma Center of Excellence remains a virtual secret even to this day.

Officials at the West LA VA have been asked to do a better job of educating VA doctors and vets about the Mesothelioma Center of Excellence. They have also been asked to expand the Center so it can provide its unsurpassed level of treatment to greater numbers of vets and conduct research and clinical trials that will benefit ALL patients, vets and non-vets, who are diagnosed in the future.

The West LA VA officials we have spoken with have enthusiastically agreed that these requests have merit. They have agreed to work with pathologists nationwide to refer patients to the West LA VA. But, for reasons that are unclear, the VA has not even updated its website to include information about the existing program, nor have they agreed to fund an expanded program.

How many news stories have we seen about our vets being subjected to deplorable conditions and inferior treatment at VA medical centers across the country? The Mesothelioma Center at the West LA VA is a shining example of vets receiving a level of treatment that is unsurpassed by the nation’s most prestigious private hospitals. But when vets are deprived of this treatment simply because doctors in the VA system don’t know about the Mesothelioma Center of Excellence, the results are no less upsetting. This cannot be allowed to continue.

Families of veterans who are casualties of mesothelioma are strongly behind this effort. The family of Navy Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, who died of mesothelioma in 2000, has agreed to lend their name to the expanded program. The new center would be called the “Elmo Zumwalt Mesothelioma Treatment & Research Center.” Other families have pledged financial support to kick-start the program, including a pledge of $500,000 from the family of John Johnson, a Marine infantryman who lost his battle with mesothelioma in 2012.

Now we need your help.

Our firm is reaching out to clients and their families urging them to send letters to their senators and congressman or congresswoman demanding that they get the VA to do two simple things: 1) Get the word out to VA doctors and vets about the Mesothelioma Center of Excellence at the West LA VA—at a minimum, update the VA website to include information about the Center, and 2) Provide the modest funding needed to expand the program into the “Elmo Zumwalt Mesothelioma Treatment & Research Center” with the capacity to treat greater numbers of vets and conduct research and clinical trials that will benefit ALL patients, vets and non-vets.

Next week our firm will be sending out suggested letters to your US Senators and Representative. Please sign and send them. Also, please follow up with emails and phone calls. If you don’t receive our mailing, or are eager to take action today, please contact us at 800-831-9399 or info@worthingtoncaron.com so we can help get you started.

Whether for a loved one, or for any of the thousands of veterans who have suffered because of the asbestos they were exposed to while defending our freedom—let’s do this!  Not only will a clinical trial and research program directly benefit all vets no matter where they live, the lessons learned stand to benefit ALL patients diagnosed with asbestos-related mesothelioma

Our veterans have done their duty. We’re asking the VA to do theirs.

In honor of Veterans’ Day 2013, please join us in this effort.

--Roger Worthington & John Caron



Friday, November 1, 2013

Over $75,000 raised in the Fight against Meso--Pacific Meso Center’s 2nd Annual Walk/Hike for Meso a Huge Success!

Pacific Meso Center’s 2nd Annual Walk/Hike for Meso took place on Sunday, October 27th at the scenic Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills. It was a "walk on the wildside", with spottings of deer, foxes and rabbits. The sun was shining, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the energy was high.

The event was attended by several mesothelioma patients, as well as over 200 participants, many of whom are friends and family of persons whose lives have been rocked by mesothelioma. Each kilometer was marked with signs sponsored by families in memory of the loved ones affected by the disease. There were also mesothelioma and asbestos facts scattered throughout the course, and a quiz at the completion of the walk with prizes for the 15 top scores.

As walkers approached the finish line they were cajoled by the enchanting celtic/country music of the Chris Murphy Violin Trio. Their efforts were then rewarded with a delicious lunch from Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant, donated by owner Noella Belvedere who lost her husband Ottavio to mesothelioma in 2007. Noella and her family are no strangers to the cause--Over the past few years, the Belvedere family has raised more than $117,000 for mesothelioma research in honor of Ottavio!

When the dust cleared, over $75,000 had been raised to fund much-needed research into new treatments for mesothelioma. This amount exceeded PMC’s goal for the event for the second year in a row, and donations are still coming in! Family and friends of Gerald McCarthy once again accepted the title of the top fundraising team with their team, Irish Stampede, bringing in $13,460. They were followed by Team Gigi in second place who raised $6,380, and Team Chuck Jarvis came in at third with $5,188.

“The weather was perfect, the people were fantastic, and the money raised was crucial in the fight against this horrible disease” said Dr. Robert Cameron, PMC’s Scientific Advisor and a leading expert in treating mesothelioma. Dr. Cameron is also Director of the Mesothelioma Program at  UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, and the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center.

“This annual walk/hike gives people in the mesothelioma community an uplifting experience in a beautiful outdoor setting. We are grateful for the continued financial support of our cutting edge research to find better treatments for mesothelioma,” commented Clare Cameron, Executive Director of PMC. “This event is going to get bigger every year as word spreads in the mesothelioma community.” 

PMC’s Annual Walk/Hike for Meso is held in loving memory of Ottavio Belvedere, Mark Ganoe, Charles Jarvis, Sr., John Johnson, Gerry McCarthy, Kevin McCarthy, Rosa Gonzalez, Robert Vitale and to all those who have lost their lives to mesothelioma.

Team Worthington Caron was represented by 
Julianna Farrell, Cindy Adams and John Caron



Thursday, October 24, 2013

“Walking the Walk” For Others—A Jarvis Family Tradition


“Little” Sonia and 
“Mama” Sonia Jarvis
We are just five days away from the 2nd Annual 5k Walk/Hike for Meso at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, and Sonia Jarvis, who lost her father last year to malignant pleural mesothelioma, has been busy rallying the troops.

This past weekend Sonia and her family hosted a pasta dinner at their home to kick-off their fundraising efforts for the upcoming event. This is the first time Sonia has organized anything like this, “I wasn’t sure how many people would actually show up, not very many RSVP’d, but the turnout was amazing! There wasn’t a dull moment, we had people coming in the door as others were leaving, so it was perfect.” The fare included homemade lasagna, mostaccioli, sausage and peppers, and an assortment of salads and desserts. The event raised over $2000!

While there are many who “talk the talk” when it comes to taking the time and effort to help others, Sonia’s father Charles “Chuck” Jarvis was always one to “walk the walk”. “Dad always wanted to give, this man would give you the shirt off of his back. People say that about people, but he really was that guy,” Sonia says of her father.

When Chuck was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma in the fall of 2011, he was scared, and he had no idea what to expect. It was when he spoke with Clare Cameron of the Pacific Meso Center and UCLA thoracic surgeon, Dr. Robert Cameron, that his heart and mind were put at ease. “They walked him through everything and let him know what to expect and even though he was still scared, he made up his mind to help if he could.” Sonia says.

“He decided to embrace what was going on and to reach out and give others help and comfort. His motto to the end was, “I want to help.” Sonia continues, “he instilled that in us, raised us that way. He would contribute everything he could. That is why my brother and I decided to do this, to help others, because that is what dad would done.”
Chuck Jarvis, Jr (r) with Sheriff Lee Baca
Just last month Chuck’s son, and Sonia’s brother, Chuck Jr. was one of the rallying forces behind the successful fundraising event The Greatest Escape Motorcycle Ride which raised over $100,000 for mesothelioma research!

“It is hard without him here, but I know my dad is smiling down on me. This is what he did before he died, and this is what he would want us to be doing. I am so proud of what he taught us and instilled in us. It is hard to have lost him, but we are all so very blessed to have had him for as long as we did.”

Sonia is already planning for next year when she will be hosting more dinners and begin fundraising even earlier, we can’t wait!

Please join us this Sunday, October 27 at Paramount Ranch for a scenic morning hike in the Agoura Hills, followed by food, beer and live music! Head over here to register today!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Register Today for The 2nd Annual 5k Walk/Hike for Meso, Only 10 Days Away!

The 2nd  Annual5k Walk/Hike for Meso at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills is just 10 days away! If you haven’t registered yet, head on over here to sign up as an individual or as part of a team.

So far over $32,000 has been raised and we are still ten days away from the event - well on our way to reaching this year’s goal of $70,000!

Up for live auction at the event is the unique and special experience of a tour of Fire Station 92, and dinner for four prepared by Station 92’s very own firefighters!

Items up for raffle include gift certificates for dance lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studios, a Sterling Wine Tour for four at Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga, gift certificates for Cheesecake Factory, Lobster House, and The Malibu Café, a doggy gift basket and gift certificates for dog training, champagne & wine baskets, Suzanne Somers Gift Basket, Murano Glass Collectibles and more!

Lunch will be provided by Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant which you can wash down with craft beer from Fireman’s brew, all while enjoying the musical stylings of the Chris Murphy violin trio.

Join us for a beautiful morning hike through the Agoura Hills and a fun filled afternoon in the historic old west town!

Register today, and don’t forget to fundraise!

64 Year-Old Biphasic Mesothelioma Patient Coping With A New Reality. Simi Valley, CA

Sometimes Arlene Delman still sees glimmers of her previous life when she least expects it. Like when a stranger pays her a compliment on her hairstyle at the grocery store which she adds, isn’t the first time, she can’t help but feel good. “I never got this much attention with my real hair,” she giggles. These moments of normalcy most resemble her old life before she was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in October 2012. Now she admits to shedding more than a few tears when she removes her wig at the end of the day. She has always been an attractive woman with big twinkling blue eyes, but her vanity has been rendered insignificant in the way she has tackled her treatment both aggressively and optimistically.
Prior to her diagnosis, Arlene had retired to lovely and quaint Grants Pass, Oregon. She and her late husband Ivan had settled there to be close to her son Roger and his family. Arlene had recently purchased a fixer-upper home in Grants Pass and had invested a lot in upgrades. When her respiratory symptoms from the summer before were not subsiding, she followed-up with her doctor who recommended a CT scan. The scan revealed a mass and Arlene was scheduled for a pleural biopsy in early October. She was shocked when the results came back positive for mesothelioma. Click here to read more...

77 Year-Old Retired Ironworker, One Year Meso Free. Santa Barbara, CA

Jerry Buck is a handsome and charming man who looks at least 10 years younger than his age of 77. Jerry and his wife Joyce of 56 years moved with their two children from Winnipeg in 1964 and have called Santa Barbara home ever since.
Before Jerry was diagnosed with mesothelioma, he was enjoying his retirement with Joyce, often taking road trips in their RV and exploring the beach and mountains surrounding their home.
When he was just 15, Jerry began working for his father who was a blacksmith, welder and ironworker. He grew up to learn his father’s trade, and worked as an ironworker for 41 years until he retired at the age of 56.
When Jerry first began experiencing respiratory issues in the fall of 2010 he paid a visit to his doctor. After taking some x-rays of Jerry’s chest, his doctor referred him to pulmonologist Dr. David Zisman at the Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara. Dr. Zisman ran additional radiology scans and found that Jerry had fluid building up in his chest. In October of 2010, Jerry underwent the first of many thoracentesis, removing one liter of fluid from his chest. Cytological analysis of the fluid came back negative for malignancy. Click here to read more...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lowering Copper Levels in Mesothelioma May Make Standard Treatments More Effective

Researchers at Western Australia’s Curtin University have found promising data to suggest that lowering the amount of copper in the body will improve a patient’s response to treatment for mesothelioma. In previous studies, decreasing the bioavailable, or absorbable, copper has shown promising results in reducing the rapid growth of tumors in different cancers and in animal models.

Copper is an essential trace mineral found in a wide range of vegetables, nuts and shellfish, and is needed by the body to utilize iron, maintain the health of bones and connective tissue and keep the thyroid gland functioning normally. Copper is also essential for the growth of new blood vessels, which is vital for the growth and spread of tumors.

Researchers monitored copper levels in tumor growth in mice implanted with human derived mesothelioma tumors and found that they rapidly accumulate copper as they progress. Using chelation drugs that attract the mineral, researchers experimented with lowering the level of copper in the mice and found that tumor growth was slowed. Also noted was a reduction in blood vessel diameter within the tumors and an increase of cancer-fighting T-cells.

Copper lowering alone does not produce the same results as other treatment options, such as chemotherapy, but researchers suggest that lowering copper levels when used in conjunction with other mesothelioma treatments, may make other treatments more effective.

The researchers state that further investigation is needed, but that the data suggests copper lowering in combination with immunotherapy looks promising.

Read the full study here.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Just 21 Days to the 2nd Annual 5k Walk/Hike for Mesothelioma


In just 21 days the Pacific Meso Center (PMC) will host the 2nd Annual 5K Walk/Hikefor Meso at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills. Worthington & Caron, PC is proud to once again be the title sponsor of the event which seeks to raise money for mesothelioma research and increase awareness about mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos.

Last year’s inaugural event was attended by over 200 walkers, hikers and runners. Many of the teams were organized by families and friends of mesothelioma sufferers. The event proved to be a source of inspiration and hope for those fighting the disease. For those who have lost loved ones to the disease, the event was an opportunity to heal through remembrance, camaraderie and working together to support research that will benefit current and future mesothelioma patients. Last year’s event raised over $66,900. This year’s event promises to be bigger and even more successful!   

The McCarthy Clan was the top
fundraising team at last year’s event
raising over $18,000!
The walk/hike takes teams along the scenic and wooded paths around historic Paramount Ranch, where many famous western movies and television series have been filmed since the 1930s. Following the walk, participants can satisfy the appetite they worked up with a delicious lunch from Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant. The lunch has been generously donated by Noella Belvedere, owner of Ottavio's, whose husband Ottavio, the restaurant’s namesake, lost his battle with mesothelioma in 2007. Craft beer will be provided by Fireman’s Brew and wonderful prizes will be up raffle. Music will be performed by the Chris Murphy violin trio.

Please join us for what promises to be another great event! You can put together a team or walk as an individual. Registration is $35 and includes lunch and a commemorative t-shirt. All proceeds will support research into improved treatments and prevention strategies for mesothelioma being conducted by the Pacific Meso Center at its two research laboratories in Los Angeles.

Some teams are getting a head start on this year’s event. As of today, 25 days before the starting gun goes off, over $17,000 has been raised!

Let’s help PMC beat this year’s goal of $100,000!

Join us Sunday, October 27th 2013 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities and to register visit here, or contact Clare Cameron, Executive Director at 310-478-4678, or via email: ccameron@phlbi.org.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Greatest Escape Shows Anything's Possible

Roger Worthington with John Caron (r)
Los Angeles, CA. Riding a motorcycle with a throng of true believers from Marina Del Ray on a sunny Sunday afternoon through Venice Beach, Santa Monica, and Malibu without stopping at a single intersection -- impossible. Right?

Wrong! It is possible if you have a police escort, and the backing of the Pacific Meso Center, the nonprofit dedicated to discovering new and better ways to treat patients with malignant mesothelioma, the same asbestos related cancer that took the life of famed Hollywood icon Steve McQueen more than 30 years ago.

Thanks to the Pacific Meso Center, John Caron and I were able to join similarly enthused and awestruck motorcyclists last Sunday in "The Greatest Escape," an organized ramble up the coast to commemorate the anniversary of the release of one of McQueen's greatest movies. Thanks to the leadership of PMC, and the work of a small army of volunteers, sponsors, celebrities, vendors and CHP "Evel Knievel" officers, the ride went off without a hitch.

With Greg Paulus (c) whose father was
diagnosed with mesothelioma
"What a momentous day," beamed Caron. "We were pleased to honor those who have passed on, give hope to those still persevering, and just have a day of fun on the beach with many of our clients, their friends and families."

"Before today, I never dreamed it would be possible to motor unabated through some of the worse traffic in the world," he continued. "It goes to show you -- anything's possible, if you're smart, motivated, and organized. The same goes for helping mesothelioma patients. To tame this terrible cancer, which has taken down so many for so many years, it's going to take a smart and motivated team of doctors, scientists and researchers, along with politicians, organized labor, patient advocates, drug companies and the government."

The Greatest Escape raised over $100,000, which will be used to fund ongoing research initiatives at PMC's laboratory in Los Angeles. Worthington & Caron, which helped sponsor the event, donated $50,000 to the PMC on behalf of all our clients who have struggled with mesothelioma.  It was gratifying to rumble up the coast with our clients Chuck Jarvis, Jr., Michael Johnson and William Paulus, three young men who each lost their Dads to mesothelioma.

With Michael Johnson, son of John Johnson
Plans are already underway for next year's Greatest Escape. Not only does the event support a worthy cause, it also offers the chance of a lifetime to throttle without stopping through Los Angeles and up the coast to enjoy the sunshine on the beach with friends, dance to live rock ‘n’ roll music, sip a craft beer or two and chow down on great food.

For more about the event, please read the press release posted by the Pacific Meso Center here.  We wish again to thank the PMC, all the volunteers, and the California Highway Patrol for their hard work.  And a special shout out to our friends Clare Cameron, Victoria Adams, Dr. Robert Cameron, Michael Johnson, William Paulus, and Chuck Jarvis, Jr., along with a big kudos to our new friends the Walking Phoenixes, Bartels’ Harley-Davidson, Larry Wilcox, Sheriff Lee Baca, Disc Jockeys Tom & Sandy and Lorenzo Lamas.

Roger Worthington


California Highway Patrol
Thank you!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lorenzo Lamas on “Good Day LA” to Promote the “The Greatest Escape Motorcycle Ride” for Mesothelioma Research

Actor and lifelong motorcycle enthusiast Lorenzo Lamas appeared this morning on the Fox morning news show, “Good Day LA”, to promote The Greatest Escape Motorcycle Ride which will take place this Sunday, September 22 to raise money for mesothelioma research conducted by the Pacific Meso Center.

Lorenzo Lamas will be riding alongside other celebrities and dignitaries including Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and stars from the 1980s hit series CHIPS, Larry Wilcox, Robert Pine and Paul Linke. Joining them will be riders from many Southern California motorcycle clubs including Eaglerider Motorcycles, Los Angeles Young Riders, The Society of Riders and Free Riders.

The Worthington & Caron law firm is pleased to serve as the title sponsor for the inaugural event. Partners Roger Worthington and John Caron will be riding along with many of their clients and clients’ families and friends whose lives have been affected by asbestos cancer.

Whether or not you are a rider, all are invited to come out and enjoy the beautiful scenic views of the Pacific Coast Highway, starting in Marina Del Rey and ending at Malibu’s Sycamore Cove State Beach where the fun will continue with a barbeque lunch, craft beer, live music, raffle prizes and a live auction.

Bidders will have a chance to win a ride in the soon to be retired Goodyear Blimp, a two-night stay and dinner at the haunted Glen Tavern hotel, a gourmet dinner package on the Napa Valley Wine Train, dinner for four at the exclusive chef’s table at Firenze Osteria, high-end motorcycle gear and much more!

Come out for the ride or join us for a fun day of music, food, and prizes at the beach!

  • Registration begins at: 8:30 a.m.
  • Ride begins at: 10:00 a.m.
  • Lunch & Concert begins at: 12:00 p.m.
RIDE BEGINS AT:
Bartels’ Harley-Davidson
4141 Lincoln Blvd.
Marina Del Rey, California
RIDE ENDS AT:
Sycamore Cove State Beach
9000 West Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, California

Registration for single riders is $45 and $35 for passengers, which includes lunch, concert and a commemorative T-shirt, pin and bandana. Tickets for those who aren’t riding but attending the post-ride party and barbeque are $20. Children under 12 are free.

Proceeds from the event will fund the Pacific Meso Center’s ongoing research into cures for mesothelioma conducted at the Punch Worthington lab on the UCLA campus and the Pacific Meso Center’s own lab in West Los Angeles.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities and to register please visit http://thegreatestescape.org/Home.html or contact Clare Cameron, Executive Director at 310-478-4678, or via email: ccameron@phlbi.org, or Cherry Hepburn, Project Leader at 818-505-1104, or via email: cherry@putnam-smith.com

>>> Inspiration behind The Greatest Escape :  Riding Dad’s Road King from Marina Del Rey to Malibu—Memories of Dad Along for the Ride