Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Stories of Downwinders: Roberta Larsen

Meet 63-year-old Roberta Larsen**—retired waitress, grandmother of five, and lifelong resident of Northern Arizona.  She is known throughout her community for her generosity, her love of animals, and her blackberry pies.  You may have seen her on a summer day, brewing sun tea on her patio or tending to her trophy tomato plants.

In 2009, Roberta and her family received some of the worst news of their lives: Roberta was diagnosed with breast cancer after noticing pronounced pain and swelling in her left breast.  The Larsens were devastated…What if Roberta didn’t live to see her youngest daughter’s wedding or the birth of her next grandchild?  How would she cope with the stress and difficulty of the treatment process?  How could the family ever pay off the mountain of medical bills? 

Fortunately, after receiving a mastectomy and completing a chemotherapy regimen, Roberta went into remission.  She was fatigued, underweight, and thousands of dollars in debt, but overjoyed to be alive. 

As her life slowly began to return to normal, Roberta realized she might qualify for compensation under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.  Growing up, she had only been vaguely aware of the aboveground atmospheric nuclear tests being conducted in the Southwest, but over the years, she had met many local people who had become seriously ill from the fallout.  She knew that a number of these people had successfully filed claims with the Department of Justice and decided to try filing her own claim.

Optimistic about the prospect of compensation but overwhelmed by the claims process, Roberta contacted our office.  Touched by her story, we happily took her on as a client. 

I am pleased to write that after seven long months of filling out paperwork, collecting documentation, and dealing with the Department of Justice, we have landed Roberta a $50,000 settlement.  Roberta’s settlement will help significantly with her medical bills, allowing her to continue enjoying her retirement free from the anxiety of massive debt. 

Congratulations, Roberta, from everyone at the Law Offices of Laura J. Taylor.  Here’s to your health and happiness!

(**name has been changed for confidentiality purposes)

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