Coming Soon: Radiation Exposure-Related Lawsuits (UPDATE)

Radiation exposure-related lawsuits are likely to be filed soon, according to Marc J. Bern, senior partner at the New York City-based law firm, Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik LLP., who spoke before a crowd of potential clients in St. Louis Thursday.

KMOV-TV Reporter Marc Cox interviews Edwardsville, Ill., attorney Christopher W. Byron following a meeting about radiation exposure-related lawsuits expected to be filed soon in the St. Louis area.

The venue was a 12th-floor meeting room at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel.  The time was 1 p.m. Central.  The event was billed as a “Town Hall Meeting” in the flyer circulated in advance on Facebook.  Everyone who attended received a folder containing information about nuclear contamination as well as a legal form via which they could become clients of Bern’s firm and/or Edwardsville, Ill.-based Byron Carlson Petri & Kalb, LLC, who co-hosted the meeting.

Based upon how Bern performed in front of a crowd of about six-dozen people (not including lawyers), the 60-ish attorney who said he’s been practicing law for more than three decades knows what buttons to push.

After being introduced by BCPK attorney Christopher W. Byron, Bern told the crowd he had brought with him a team of attorneys and noted that many of them had graduated from New York’s Pace Law School, an institution at which well-known environmental activist Bobby Kennedy Jr. serves as a professor of environmental law.  He wanted everyone in the room to know he thinks highly of their skills.

Next, Bern adeptly employed a full complement of persuasive words as he spoke about his firm’s broad-ranging knowledge and experience – much of it gained while representing 9-11 families and numerous others in high-profile lawsuits — and how his firm’s legal talents might be brought to bear against whomever was responsible for the human suffering in the Coldwater Creek area north of St. Louis’ Lambert International Airport.

A question-and-answer session of similar duration followed and, not surprisingly, Bern smoothly and easily answered a dozen or so questions that had been submitted during a short break by the potential clients in the room.

By the time the session ended, I knew lawsuits are on their way to St. Louis and will likely be focused on alleged victims of radiation exposure who live — or lived — in places like Florissant, Hazelwood and a half-dozen other communities.  Now, the St. Louis region needs to brace itself for what could turn into a protracted legal battle during which the words “radiation exposure” and “cancer” will likely be used often.

Also worth sharing is the report (above) filed by Marc Cox of KMOV-TV and broadcast this evening.

UPDATE 2/29/12 at 6:23 a.m. Central:  According to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report, the first lawsuit was filed Tuesday.


Seventeen days ago, I shared my first report about how Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services officials refused to answer questions about a new Weldon Spring cancer report;

Fifteen days ago, radio talk show host Dana Loesch read that report and had me on The Dana Show to talk about it; and

Six days ago, I was contacted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s medical reporter, Blythe Bernhard, who said she had read my report and would be writing stories about the subject soon.

Click here to see all related stories.

This entry was posted in Cancer, Environment, Lawsuits, Missouri News, St. Louis News, Weldon Spring Site and tagged , , , , by BobMcCarty. Bookmark the permalink.

About BobMcCarty

A native of Enid, Oklahoma, Bob McCarty graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in journalism in 1984. During the next two decades, he served stints as an Air Force public affairs officer, a political campaign manager, a technology sales consultant and a public relations professional. Today, Bob spends most of his time researching topics, writing about them and publishing those writings. When he’s not writing online, he’s working as an author. Bob’s first published book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice (October 2011), chronicles the life story and wrongful conviction of Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran. In his second book, THE CLAPPER MEMO (May 2013), Bob connects the dots between a memo signed by James R. Clapper Jr. — the man now serving as our nation’s top intelligence official — and the deaths of dozens of Americans in Afghanistan at the hands of our so-called Afghan “allies” wearing the uniforms of their nation’s military, police and security forces. Bob is married, has three sons and lives in the St. Louis area. Bob is available for media and blogger interviews. Simply drop a comment here, leaving your name, organization, phone number, e-mail address and area of interest. He’ll try to respond as soon as possible.

5 thoughts on “Coming Soon: Radiation Exposure-Related Lawsuits (UPDATE)

  1. Well written. Bob. I know many of the folks who turned out legitimately want answers as to how this could have happened. After listening to the presentation, I’m not sure this class action suit will accomplish that. It will, however, likely result in a payout of some sort, and many people who contacted me after the story aired seemed mainly interested in that. And, if it’s the DOE. then all taxpayers get to chip in on the settlement. This needs some serious study by the NIH or CDC. Just my two cents.

  2. Dear Bob, I am currently seeking a VA lump sum compensation due to 20 years in the military via Active duty at Ft Ord, Ca., and then Army Reserve units I served at and/or went to my two week annual training sites. I then became a department of defense employee and was required to maintain a “dual status” meaning I had to maintain an army reserve obligation of one weekend a month and two weeks minimum per year. I did this in total for 20 years! I was honorably discharged in April 2001. I filed a VA claim which I received NO answer beyond a generic letter generated 4 times. I then went to my Congressmen Costello in Granite City, IL where I live. So in total I spent 15 years of civil service at 4th army central storage site for go to war stock facility, they close and sent me to Area maint support center (AMSA 159) until I quit in 1999. During this period I also served Desert shield/storm but at Arpercen in St Louis, MO. I worked hard all my life only to wake up one night, 12/29/08 to feel what felt like a butcher knife in my stomach area (never been stabbed before but that’s what it felt like). It was the middle of the night, I was due for work the next day, rolled over and by morning I had what felt like two butcher knives in my gut! I went to the ER in Granite City to learn after a CT scan with Dye and later a biopsy that I had stage 4 gastrointestinal stromal sarcoma which I was told was terminal, given 3 months to live! I was given pain meds, told there was nothing they could do and to get my affairs in order! Also the number to hospice! I’m still here! I have been blessed with many decent days but I don’t have near the “stamina” I once had in a raising my daughter alone, working 3 jobs etc… The medicine alone is $8000 a month! It’s expensive to have cancer! I filed my VA claim and only when I went to my Congressman’s office did they take notice! I’ve sent a typed 5 page letter via certified mail of which they recently recieved. I’d had a conference call the day after my congressmen’s appt. They request the “how” “what” “when” “where”. I believe I’ve proven my case! Now they want presidence, I’m told at least one other case! I blame it mainly on Weldon Springs! I was their on countless drill weekends, locked in a chain linked, barbed wire fence and an electric gate! I remember seeing people on the other side just two feet away in full hazmat geer, respirator and all! ??? I’m on the other side in a bdu’s! ??? My cancer is caused after months of research by depleted uranium which is inhailed and can take a decade or two in gestation to turn into cancer! I had no idea, I was always a very driven person as I needed to be to raise my daughter as a single parent etc.. Though my letter seemed to be very well written and I have documents to back it all up they are requesting that I must have at least one gastric Intestinal cancer that has been either won or lost as far as a case in the court of law. I’ve searched in vein via internet but as you’ve found they wont release the information. Can you help me in this area? It will be 4 years come this December 29th 2012, I am blessed to be on “borrowed time”. I am PO’d that since 1980 when I joined the Army that even Ft Jackson, SC where I spent boot camp and AIT I was subjected to (DU) Depleted Uranium. Everywhere in my 20 year career which includes during which time I was also a civil servant in dual status also was full of toxins! I’ve done my research trust me! I’m like an Erin Brokovich so to speak and will not give up! I’ve been to Ft McCoy at least 10 times for two week intervals, Ft Lee, Va,. Indiantowngap, PA,. Initally was stationed (lived at) Ft Ord, CA., St Louis area alone on Goodfellow Blvd is a hazmat site which is where I spent 8 years at the Area maint support group and served in 3 reserve units! Washington, MO., Joliet, IL., Ft Leonardwood, MO., and many more sites! These are all SUPERFUND SITES! I am so angry because the government, DOD, Army all knew and put me and so many others in harms way. My cancer is very rare, most that ever had gastrointestinal stromal sarcoma are/were in late years of there 80′s or so. This only tells me more information being that they may have been exposed during world war II or the end of it. It’s even more rare that a person of age 46 will get gastrointestinal stromal sarcoma (GIST). I have no cancer on either side of my immediate family and then beyond. I take Gleevec chemo pills nightly and am told that I’ll be on this chemo for the rest of my life. I’m told in taking Gleevec via my Oncologist at Siteman Cancer Center (saints) that the best they can do for me is give me a better quality of life verses quanity. I want a lump sum compensation from the Va but we all know how they would rather spend more time to close a case than actually answer a case much less pay out for a case. I’m told I need presedence. The only thing my 5 page letter after months of research, 250 printed pages etc.. excludes is just one person that filed a claim for gastric intestinal cancer and it has to be a place I served. To me I got this as DU is inhailed and takes up to 10 or 20 years to gestate from Weldon Springs, MO. I found 7 cases but the most profound was from the UK which was a soldier that cleaned the tanks during Desert Shield/Storm. He died at age 38 and it took 10 years after his service to be diagnosed with GIST. The VA wont accept this case being from the UK though this soldier cleaned tanks, serviced them and thus it was concluded in their court via UK that it was more likely than not that this soldier inhailed dust in his job that contained DU thus causing his cancer. I need just a little bit of help if you can in finding something that I cannot seem to find which is another case or more in depleted uranium at weldon springs and what cancers it caused in people living, working etc.. near or at weldon springs area training site (DOD). The VA just wants me to go away and I will not! I gave up the best years of my life for my Country, my career in the military, civil service etc… Now I am paying for it with my life and they don’t consider me to be service connected disability! I always paid for health insurance etc.., worked hard and my back up plan was that if I could not afford health insurance after my daughter joined the Air Forice that I’d at the least be afforded by right to the Va health care which was never up to par until maybe in recent years. I found that Congress passed a law in 2006 that changed all that and now I have to prove service connection disability! ??? Also, if I’d of just served a few years in the military I may have never attributed my cancer of GISt to the military or DOD but since I spent 20 years and received SSI disability within 11 days upon filing back in January of 09 by myself. I would never have thought the military was the cause but after all my research and filing/fighting with the VA I have come to a 100% conclusion that the military and the DU from Weldon Springs as I spent many MUTA 4′s and 5′s (weekends) in lockdown on this site over at least a 15 year period this is the only conclusion! The only thing I can find on the internet or via the words of all Oncologist is that they don’t know what causes GIST? Yet the military sites I have printed out, documented on official DA forms is that it does cause my cancer! I’m sure that because they receive governement grants for studies they don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them in there test studies but it’s very clear to me where I came down with cancer! Also it takes up to 10 years or more to actualy get the cancer due to the inhailed DU and gestation period. Please email me and help me with an attorney or better yet an actual case that was filed whether it was dismissed, denied or won. That’s all I need to go forward. Thank you in advance for any information you can provide. I’ve done months of research and have over 250 documents printed out about mostly Weldon Springs which is a Superfund and the worst of it’s kind. I will help you in anyway I can or others to provide the information/knowledge I know have documented whether you can help my cause or not. Thank’s Bob! Jeanne H.

  3. Jeanne – I will send you the name of someone I think might be able to help you. Look for an email from me in a few minutes. – Bob

  4. Aloha,

    I am a victim/advocate for radiation victims exposed to the hazards of atmospheric nuclear testing, I was one. The government has admitted to their responsibility and even apologized and provided vehicles of
    compensation. Sadly the government chose to cut short most victims and enacted exclusive compensation acts that pertain to a select group of participants, namely DOE/AEC workers, all others are denied.

    I have applied under EEOICPA and RECA. I and other are cut short in that there is no medical coverage and again if you did not work for a select agency, forget filing. I have filed under the DEFENSE BASE ACT
    for which employers were required to provide compensation insurance. The problem! The insurance agencies will always controvert your claim which ultimately requires litigation.

    For your interest there can be no question as to our governments responsibility but the difficulty is the litigation process. There are many delegates that have recognized the shortfall of the ACTS and for many years have submitted amendment legislation but they always fail in committee. Even President Obama who knows sat on committee and hearings regarding the enactment of the ACTS. President Clinton used his EXECUTIVE AUTHORIZY to pass his EO 13179 compensation ACT. President Obama has chosen to ignore passage for those victims that are denied. Sadly both vehicles are funded and all that is required is to amend to include all victims, it has not happened.

    Victims must advocate their claim with their delegates. You can write or email those responsible. Make your voice heard. The intent of our government seems to be that “all victims will die waiting” reducing their responsibility.

    I could very well be one, for your interest I was a participant in the 1962 Johnston Island, Ground Zero nuclear test and got cancer.

    Aloha and I wish you well, I will keep pushing.

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