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.
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;
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.
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