A number of years ago the famous actor Steve McQueen died from mesothelioma a form of cancer only caused by exposure to asbestos. At the time there was much speculation about the source of his exposure. Was it the snow that was used as a prop that was really asbestos? Was it the theater curtains he moved around? Several years later I was visiting London with my family and attended a play in the London Theater district. I was fortunate to sit close to the stage. As the band was warming up I noticed what appeared to be asbestos curtains. I knew this from my experience representing mesothelioma victims. So I went for a closer look. Sure enough the tag was still on the curtains indicating they were in fact made from asbestos and manufactured by a company known as Amatex. I thought to myself how primitive. These Brits obviously don’t worry about these things the way we do. The show was great and the people in London could not have been nicer.
This week I learned that there is a case pending in NY City of a person who claims to have developed mesothelioma from theater curtains. My first response was that this must have been a result of exposure to curtains removed long ago. Asbestos curtains must have been removed from Broadway long ago? Well apparently that is not the case. Apparently asbestos curtains will be removed from Broadway in 2011 in accordance with the following schedule:
Schoenfeld Theater – 236 West 45th Street New York, NY – January 7 at 10 am.
Music Box Theater – 239 West 45th Street New York, NY – January 21 at lO am.
Here is a portion of the letter from the asbestos defense lawyer:
Now everyone is on notice.
Hmm. Those Americans-how primitive!