Thursday, January 06, 2000

Attorney gets time to probe abestos claims




BY SUSAN VELA
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — An attorney working to guarantee free medical exams for hundreds of people exposed to asbestos last year has been granted more time to build his case.

        At a hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court here, Covington attorney Charles Schaffner said he needed more time to investigate claims made by a man who alleged Covington Independent Schools and the company responsible for wiring work at Latonia Elementary School in 1998 knew that asbestos was being released into the air but didn't stop the job.

Delay until Feb. 1
        U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman gave Mr. Schaffner and co-counsel Jennifer Westermeyer and Tom Beiting until Feb. 1 to submit all pertinent documents.

        It could take another month before the judge then decides on motions for summary judgment, to dismiss the case or to grant it class-action certification.

        Defendants include Covington Independent Schools, Nor-Com Inc. of Hebron, Rainbow Home Environmental Services Inc. of Anderson Township, Gryphon Technologies of Crescent Springs and Steven Titmas of Akron, Ohio-based Rims.

        Mr. Schaffner has said Mr. Titmas' claims are the ones that need to be investigated. There has been some contention as to which company he was working for when he told contractors that work to provide Internet access at Latonia would release asbestos.

        Court documents indicate he was working for Rims. But Mr. Titmas has told plaintiffs' attorneys that he was working for Nor-Com when asbestos, a cancer-causing retardant, was loosened at Latonia. Contractors were installing wiring.

School closed 3 weeks
        Latonia Elementary School was closed for three weeks, while students attended class at Northern Kentucky University's Covington campus.

        Mr. Schaffner, Mr. Beiting and Ms. Westermeyer have said the students' civil rights were violated because they had no choice but to attend a school where asbestos was in the air.

        School district attorneys have countered that Covington Independent Schools should have immunity from the asbestos litigation and that the Kentucky Board of Claims, which is part of the Kentucky Public Protection and Regulation Cabinet, is the proper venue to settle the case.

        The board of claims has told plaintiffs' attorneys that it would not handle such a matter.

       



Closing in on Patty's killer
Luken: Convention Center expansion too costly
Judicial elections may be no contest
'Big Pig Gig' porkers on the way
Folks having pun with pigs they buy
Judge won't yank Justin away
30 years on the run ends with prison term
Bomb threat empties Anderson High
West Hi gets bomb threats
Cheating alleged at E-Check site
Children Services board asked to resign
City retirement board considers sweetened pension plan
City says no to more funds for football game
Ex-Chiquita lawyer says being informant was costly
Hebrew Union's leader leaving
Ky. companies called tech laggards
Warren jail again short of cell space
GET TO IT
Online fashion shopping virtually limitless
Ho, ho, ho: Who would know the answer?
Children shown way to escape abuse
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
Party time for new majority GOP
Access channel adds weather info
- Attorney gets time to probe abestos claims
Couple travels Ohio for railroad safety program
CPS, union OK fact-finder
Deerfield board votes Morand as president
Earmarking of lottery asked
Enterprise zones may be folded
False arrest claimed in suit
Family loses all in fire started by boy
Local radio veteran dies
Mayor to visit Avondale, leaders
Monroe debates trash contract
Officials to decide on new search for recreation chief
Patton seeks aid for Owensboro
Pedestrian fatality snarls I-75 traffic
Police seek new leads in Christmas tree vandalism
Treasurer: Job cut will hurt Norwood
TRISTATE DIGEST
Wheelchair bus rider sues Metro