Posted on January 26, 2016
We have been touched by asbestos in individual ways, yet we are joined together by a bond of community. As a testament to the strength of our global family, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is highlighting the courageous stories of our members with the “Share Your Story” feature on our website.
This week, we would like to honor the story of Joseph, as shared by his son Vernon, who is a part of our ADAO family.
We encourage you to submit your personal stories by clicking here and following the simple instructions on the page. In sharing, comes healing. Remember, you are not alone.
“Bottled Up Inside” – Joseph’s Story
Date of Birth: APR-1930
Date of Diagnosis: 16-JUN-2009
Treatment: Thorocentisis, Pleurodisis, Chemotherapy, and Radiation
Date of Death: 04-JAN-2010
How has asbestos changed your life? (unedited)
I would like to share my Mesothelioma story. My story has been bottled up inside of me and making me suffer. I hope that me telling my story will help me and maybe someone will read it that would be willing to help.
Hello I am the son of the late Joseph F. Giuttari. Joseph was in the United States Army from 1948 to 1954, where he was trained as an auto/truck/heavy equipment mechanic and was stationed in Germany, When he was honorable discharged in 1954, he continued his work as an auto mechanic until he retired. While working as a mechanic he was exposed asbestos brake dust, from changing brake pads, clutch linings and engine gaskets.
When my father first became sick, he developed fluid on his lungs which had to be drained off. We had to take my father to John Hopkins, where he was diagnosed with Mesothelioma. He suffered for the next eight months and died a horrible painful death.
My father hired a lawyer from Wilmington De, upon his death I took over the case as his sole beneficiary. The defendants in the lawsuit were the automotive manufacturers, foreign and domestic, and construction equipment manufacturers and brake manufacturers because my father worked on a large variety of cars, trucks and construction equipment.
The case started in May of 2009. My father did depositions before he passed. Some of the defendants settled for small amounts. The case never made it to trial. I felt this was due to the Delaware Mesothelioma judges. Our case was handled by three different judges because Delaware kept appointing new Asbestosis judges. I felt that my fathers case fell through the cracks and was mishandled. On top of that the lawyers have kept all the monies from the settlements. I am not sure on the exact amount but I believe it to be around $ 200,000 or more. We had a contract with the lawyer where they would get one-third of any monies received. We were signing releases throughout the four years that our case was active, and did not receive any of the monies collected. We stopped signing the releases due to not receiving any compensation and the lawyers said our case would not go to trial and dropped our case. We have been told by the lawyer that there is not any money and have not received any monies to this date. The lawyer has never sent us a statement of monies received. As far as we are concerned the lawyer stole the monies from my fathers Mesothelioma case.
My wife and I took care of my father until his death. My wife left her job for one year, and we spent every last dime paying for medications, motel rooms, travel cost, and treatments. This has put us in financial difficulties and we have lost our credit, we are in arrears for property taxes, and have an equity loan on our house.
I lost my best friend when I lost my father there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. My mom died eleven years prior from cancer, and we now believe that it was from washing my fathers work clothes, which exposed her to the Asbestos
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