My grandfather was the kind of guy who made New York what it is today. From the time he, a penniless migrant from Sicily, walked through those gates at Ellis Island, to the day he died, Grandpa Picetti worked, first as a construction worker in the subway and then as a painter on some of the most recognizable landmarks of this city. To me personally, he gave me my identity; a proud New Yorker of Italian heritage. By the time old man Picetti was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1993, he was the proud owner of an exclusive Italian eatery which also served the choicest Grappa at lunch.
Mesothelioma finally ended a very colorful chapter in our family history in 1996.
Mesothelioma is a rare but very dangerous cancer that affects the mesothelium layer protecting some of our most vital organs. The primary cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. My grandfather must have been exposed to asbestos from his days as a construction worker which ended little after the war. It may take 50 years for mesothelioma symptoms to show themselves and when they do it is usually too late to do anything about it. Grandpa Picetti died peacefully in his sleep but not before successfully negotiating a mesothelioma legal settlement with those responsible for his pain and suffering. He left the $2 million he received in settlement to a trust fund that now works with mesothelioma patients in the greater tri-state area.
Picetti was lucky to have gotten the right kind of street fighting litigator. A few years out of Ohio Northern University’s Petit Law School, his lawyer specialized in personal injury due to mesothelioma. The young man became more than just a lawyer for us. He guided us through the process, conducted research and played hard ball on the negotiating table. He was also in the room when my grandfather passed away. Finding the right kind of lawyer is essential when securing a just and a fair settlement. As I look back, my idea of a perfect litigator is my grandfather’s lawyer. He would drive up from his office in Manhattan to Bronx in his Volvo station wagon every Tuesday to apprise the family on the progress of the mesothelioma lawsuit settlement. He would spend hours explaining to us the minutest details and answering our questions, which now that I think about it, were quite nave. Mesothelioma legal help is more than just going to court; it is about active engagement with the client. Ten years to the day Grandpa Picetti passed, I graduated from Rutgers Law School and chose personal injury mass torts as my area of practice. The lessons learnt in those formative years especially seeing my grandfather’s lawyer in action have been with me through out.