G.P. was born in 1934 in Taormina, in the province of Messina, a city he left to move to Torre del Greco in the province of Naples, the place where he then created a family, with his wife with whom he will have three children. It is here that his maritime career begins, just because this land has little to offer, except for the “sea” as a resource, the only way he could make a living. G.P. is taken away from home and embarked for long periods. He spends twenty-five years, dedicating himself to naval machines, first as a Deck Cadet, then as an Officer and finally as Chief. G.P. works for 23 years on Italian ships and for little more than 2 for American oil companies, the Gulf Oil Corporation and the Afran Transport Corporation.
Just those two years, in contact with asbestos on American ships, are decisive for his health. G.P. falls ill with mesothelioma and, as with many other seafarers like him, the diagnosis comes after many years, when the sea and the ships, have become only a distant memory for him. After discovering the disease, G.P. and his family do not give in: they meet A.P.I.N. and are determined to get some justice, although aware that nothing can return G.P. to the health he used to have.
The lawsuit was filed in June 2020 at the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles. Due to of his condition, G.P. participated in all the trial stages by video conference from home, in his Torre del Greco. Eight months later, thanks to the legal assistance received, G.P. obtained a sum of $1,400,000, as partial compensation for the illness that affected him precisely in the place that should have represented security and fulfilment, his job, which turned out to be fatal instead.
A.P.: a first part of compensation, $1,500,000, other yet to be determined.
A.P. spent 17 years on the ships, two of which aboard the American fleet of the California Transport Corporation, today Chevron. A.P. was born in Trapani, started in 1959 as Deckhand and ended in 1977 as Chief Mate. Coming ashore, the career of A.P. continues from 1977 to 2006 with more and more important assignments, engaging in decisive roles for safety of the working environment, in the naval and port areas.
He, whose workers’ health is so dear to him, was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in 2018. The cause? Needless to say: the asbestos he came into contact with, which coated the ships on which he worked. Unfortunately, as we know, this is a disease that leaves no escape and of which A.P. knows all the details: he is aware that the outcome will be inevitable, but despite this, he will begin his fight to obtain justice, motivated also by the fact that he had lived until that moment a life full of satisfaction and that allowed him to reach such an advanced age.
In 2019 he begins with the legal process that will see him lead the battle against the companies that dramatically changed his life. The lawsuit is filed in Texas Superior Court in Dallas. On the other side of the bar are Chevron, the shipowning company, and all those firms such as Kaylo, Westinghouse, Elliot, Exxon, FMC Corporation, Foster Wheeler, Babcock & Wilcox, Chesterton, Garlock, Buffalo, General Electric and Ingersoll-Rand, Bell & Gosset, each of which are being sued, as they are responsible for the fittings made of asbestos on board the ships.
After the procedure disputes, video depositions are held between February and March 2019, in approximately 10 days. The compensation from the ship owner is still being finalized, while that recognized by a portion of the firms involved amounts to a total of $1,500,000. The compensation of the remaining part of the companies involved has yet to be finalized.
D.S.: two battles won, one of $2,900,000, the other of an additional $750,000
D.S. was born in Trapani in 1957. At the age of 17, after working for some time in the countryside, he abandoned the land in favour of the sea, starting his career as a seafarer on the American ships of oil companies. From 1983 onwards, he served as a sailor on ships belonging to Italian companies. After 41 years of sailing, of which 9 spent on American vessels, he finds out he has pleural mesothelioma, at the age of 58, with a teenage son of 14: his destiny is marked by an incurable disease.
Although he doesn’t know how devastating this type of cancer is, he will realize that he will no longer be able to make all his dreams come true, he understands that he will not be able to return to his beloved countryside, from which he left for a better future and that he will no longer be able to see his son grow up. His future is now denied to him.
Because he cares about his son and his wife whom he is condemned to leave, in June 2018 D.S. decides to take over what little life he had left, with extreme courage and determination. We filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of California against the American companies responsible for fittings, mechanical components and insulation made of asbestos present on board the ships. The names of the companies: FMC Corporation, Crane, Buffalo Pumps, Air&Liquid System Corporation, Foster Wheeler, General Electric, Chesterton, Garlock e Ingersoll-Rand.
The disease is advancing, but D.S. doesn’t give up, he’s determined to fight. He wants to carry on the battle against those who made him sick, using the only weapons available to him: truth and knowledge.
D.S. with extreme pride and dignity takes to the field for his personal “war”. If not the greatest gift, that of life, at least he wins two economic battles: from one he got $2.900.000, from the other additional $750.000. Although he was only 61 years old, in November 2018, D.S. left this earthly life, he brought with him the joy in his heart of having been able to give a better future to his wife and son.
A.P.: in only 35 months he became fatally ill; compensation of $800,000.
A.P. was born in 1953 in Procida: in the small island the maritime activity is so widespread that every inhabitant has at least a grandfather, an uncle or a close relative who has done or still does this job.
The history of A.P. is really unusual: as seaman he carried out his service for only 35 months, hardly three years, therefore not a whole life like in the other cases. Less than three years, however, were enough for asbestos to carry out its sad “task”. A.P. in 1973 was hired as Giovanotto di Macchine; later he was appointed as a Motorman, Engine Cadet and then ended his career as First Officer.
A career, as mentioned, very short, but fatal: 26 months and 15 days on ships flying the national flag, 8 months and 7 days on American ships, Getty and Texaco, the oil companies that would later merge to the current Chevron.
A.P. in 2018, after 45 years from his first assignment, leaves family, relatives and friends. The cause? Lung cancer, namely mesothelioma, caused, as scientifically established, by exposure to asbestos fibres of which American ships were coated.
The lawsuit for compensation lasts only a few months, before his death. The complaint is filed in Delaware, in the Superior District Court of the United States, but he participates to the hearings by video conference, from Italy, from his home in the small Procida. The proceedings ended with a settlement of $800,000
S.A.: compensation of $1.000.000.
S.A. was born in 1948 in Pozzallo, in the province of Ragusa, a town with a very high maritime vocation. S.A. responds to what is the tradition of his hometown and begins his adventure at sea in 1964, ending it in 2002. Appointed as Giovanotto di coperta, he then became a Deckhand, ending his career as a Sailor. S.A. sailed for 23 years, 13 of which on ships flying the national flag and almost 9 years with foreign flags; precisely with the American oil companies Phillips Petroleum Company, Cosmopolitan Shipping Company and Ultramar.
The complaint was filed in the Superior Court of California, in Los Angeles, but the 6-month-long proceeding was conducted by video conference from Italy, in S.A.’s village of residence. The compensation obtained amounted to $1,000,000.
E.C.: two compensations, one of $3,000, the other $1,000,000.
E.C. has worked for 27 years as a seafarer, 18 of which have been spent aboard American “Chevron” ships. It’s a rare case because very few have served so many years the same ship owner. Originally from Gaeta, E.C. first went aboard a ship in 1966 as a Giovanotto di macchina; after having held the positions of 3rd, 2nd and 1st Engineer Officer, in his last assignment in 2002 he was Chief Engineer.
E.C. leaves his wife and two children in October 2017 at the age of 68, affected by pleural mesothelioma diagnosed only a year earlier in 2016. For him, a man of great experience and culture, the disease was certainly not a mystery. He knew very well that the pathology diagnosed would leave him with no escape, but he fought with what little strength he had left until the last, both against his disease and in the lawsuit against the American companies that owned the ships that for almost 20 years were his second home.
E.C.’s judicial story began in early 2017, with a lawsuit filed in California Superior Court in Los Angeles. After the procedure disputes, but all promptly exceeded, in June 2017 video depositions began, in blocks of 5/7 consecutive days of work, until the last one in August 2017.
During the video depositions, E.C. was subjected to interrogations by several attorneys for the counterpart, namely Chevron, the ship owning company, and by the other companies, such as Exxon, FMC Corporation, Foster Wheeler, General Electric, Chesterton, Garlock and Ingersoll-Rand, all of which have been sued, as being responsible for the fittings, mechanical elements and insulation made of asbestos on board the ships. In all this, E.C. wanted to obtain justice: in fact, despite his precarious physical condition, he never failed to get a prompt and immediate response.
At the end of the proceedings, the compensation paid by the ship owner amounted to $3,000,000, while the compensation paid by the other companies involved amounted to $1,000,000.
These are some of the stories of my clients, all sharing the same fate. Sad fate.
Men who have dedicated their lives to the sea.
Men unfairly flown to Heaven, affected by a malicious disease.
Men of great honour, who despite everything, wanted to do justice.
Men with a big heart, who wanted to give their family a better future.
Men that from up there, together with my Father, Michele, will be happy to know that their stories, although sad, are useful to posterity.