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Law Blog

$72 Million Verdict Against Cerro Flow

We at Cueto Law believe in working hard for our clients, and we are pleased to say that this October our efforts paid off. Our own, Lloyd M. Cueto helped to get 12 plaintiffs a 72 million dollar verdict against Cerro Flow for emitting dangerous and toxic levels of pollution, causing cancer.

Cerro Flow runs a secondary copper smelting plant in Sauget, IL. The plaintiffs claimed that throughout its 50 years of operation the Cerro Flow plant released dioxins and furans through its furnace and practice of open-pit burning. 

Industrial burning creates dioxins and furans. Over long periods of time, they can cause cancer and more according to the Environmental Protection Agency. For more information click here.

What Happened in Court?

All twelve plaintiffs lived in East St. Louis. Through this long-term exposure, over the course of four decades, they developed cancers of the breast, kidney, bladder, and more. 

Over the course of three weeks, Cueto Law worked tirelessly with Greg Cade from the Environmental Law Group and Roe Frazer from The Frazer Law Firm.

Thanks to all our efforts and a very thoughtful jury, the verdict awarded $48 million in punitive damages and $24 million in compensatory funds to our clients. 

This $72 million dollar verdict against Cerro Flow is the largest in St. Clair County history. 

What’s Next?

Over one thousand cancer patients have filed additional lawsuits against Cerro Flow in the East St. Louis and Cahokia areas. 

Cueto Law is not currently accepting new clients against Cerro Flow. We would be thrilled to represent you in other legal matters. 

We are currently handling cases of fiberglass from mattresses contaminating people’s homes. Click here for more information. 

Call us at 618-277-1554.

In the News

Published in the Alton Telegraph on October 25, 2021

Pets and Fiberglass

Do you love your pets? Are your furry friends valuable members of your family? Of course, they are, because animals are wonderful. A pet owner’s job is to give their four-legged family members a safe place to live. However, sadly, many of our clients’ homes have been contaminated by fiberglass, which has affected their pets’ health.

Recently manufacturers have been using fiberglass as a component in mattresses because it makes a good fire retardant. This material can be hazardous to human and animal health, and sadly it has contaminated many consumers’ homes, due to what we believe to be design flaws in mattresses.

Fiberglass is small, almost invisible, pieces of glass. It might look like something sparkling is on all your possessions, including dog toys, cat scratchers, and all the soft places your furry family members sleep.

What are the health concerns?

Fiberglass can cause health problems for humans and animals. 

For humans, common consequences can include:

  • Rashes on skin
  • Eye irritation
  • Soreness of the nose and throat
  • Stomach irritation
  • Bronchitis and Asthma from long term exposure

For more information on fiberglass from Illinois state please click here.

If your home is contaminated with fiberglass, contact your doctor immediately.

What about my pets and fiberglass?

For pets, health problems can include:

  • Skin Irritation
  • Itching
  • Hair Loss (from scratching)
  • Scabbing (from scratching)
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing/Wheezing
  • Gastrointestinal problems (if consumed)

Your vet might diagnose them with fiberglass dermatitis. Contact your veterinarian if you suspect your pet has come into contact with fiberglass.

What do I do about the Fiberglass?

As if the medical bills were not enough, it will not be safe for you and your family to return to your home until it has been thoroughly and thoroughly cleaned. Many of our clients have had to hire professional cleaners, replace their HVAC system, and throw out all soft belongings. 

If your home becomes contaminated, keep records of all your expenses. Common expenses include things like,

  • Medical bills
  • Professional Cleaning
  • Replacing Soft Items 
    • Clothing
    • Bedding
    • Towels
    • Upholstered furniture 
    • Carpets and Rugs
    • Soft toys
    • And More
  • Replacing HVAC Systems
  • Temporary Housing
  • Vet Bills
  • And More

This can be an emotional and difficult process, and sadly many of our clients have had their lives completely upended when their homes become contaminated.

If your mattress has contaminated your home with fiberglass, we at Cueto Law would like to help. 

The most well-known mattress made with fiberglass is from Zinus, Inc.

However, at Cueto Law, we have received complaints from clients about mattresses from all different kinds of brands, not just Zinus. 

Regardless of your mattress brand, we want to hear from you. Visit our website for more information and call our office at 618-277-1554 for a free consultation.

School’s Responsibility around Bullying

Sending our kids to school is meant to be beneficial to them. On average our children spend just under 1,200 hours in school a year. They should be comfortable there if we expect them to learn.

However, many students face school bullying. To make matters worse, their teachers and school administrators might be indifferent to or even worsen their plight. 

Schools have certain legal responsibilities to their students and families, and if administrators and teachers fail to respond to school bullying in a prompt matter, that can be a form of discrimination.

What laws require schools to act?

There is no specific federal law in place that requires schools to respond to bullying. Nonetheless, as organizations that receive government funding, schools must comply with all federal civil rights laws. 

Under these federal civil law acts, your school has a responsibility to take action against bullying. These actions can include

  • Inquiries into individual incidents
  • Discussing how to deal with bullying with affected students
  • Checking in with students to make sure harassment has ended
  • Appropriate interventions to resolve hostile environments

If school administrators are neglecting to act or worsening hazing, bullying, or teasing in school, it is a form of discrimination. 

Especially, if the bullying is based on a student’s 

  • Race
  • Nation of Origin
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • Disability
  • Religion

For more information please click here.

If your child’s school is not taking the required action to resolve your child’s problems, and their inaction is a result of your child’s race, nation of origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or religion, that can be a form of discrimination, putting them in violation of civil rights laws.

What do I do if my child is being discriminated against?

Cueto Law is currently engaged in a lawsuit against a school district in Illinois for neglecting to act and worsening the conditions of bullying in school.

Your child has a right to a non-hostile learning environment, and if school administration and teachers are failing to fulfill their responsibility to your child, it can be a form of discrimination.

Please visit our website and call us at 618-277-1554 to discuss your individual circumstances.

What does “personal” injury mean?

The term “personal injury lawsuit” refers to a specific type of litigation where someone’s “person” was injured. This usually means a physical, bodily injury in addition to economic damages.

The law measures the damages you are entitled in different ways depending on the specifics of your case. Generally, you are entitled to things such as medical bills you incurred in the past and will incur in the future, pain you suffered in the past and will suffer in the future, and permanent changes to the way you live your life.

The most common type of personal injury case is a car accident, but this is far from the only one. People are hurt when buildings are unsafe, when products are designed poorly, when things aren’t properly maintained, when individuals don’t comply with the standard of care, etc. There are endless ways people can get hurt and therefore endless types of personal injury suits.

If you have been injured and think it might be someone else’s fault, let us know what happened. We might be able to help.

The Cueto Law Blog

Welcome to the Cueto Law Blog on cuetolaw.com. Follow us for information regarding your rights and the legal community. Take a look around our site and let us know what you think.

Thanks for reading,

Chris, Lloyd, and Mike

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