In July of 2002, Dallas Ellis, an avid Red Wings fan and loving husband and father was diagnosed with mesothelioma at the age of 54. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The news was devastating to his wife, Mindy, of 21 years. Dallas and Mindy lived together in Berkley, Michigan, along with his son, Christopher, a college student attending classes at Central Michigan University.
Dallas grew up in Queens, New York, and began working with his father’s carpentry business as a young boy in Phoenix, Arizona. He left Phoenix after graduating high school in 1965, returned to New York and began working with his uncle, who had a flooring business. The work was somewhat seasonal and involved working out of state from time to time, including one job he remembers working in Florida. He did carpet work, floor tile work, and sheet flooring on and off until he moved to Dallas, Texas in 1979. He did the same flooring work in Dallas, as well as working in a paper warehouse and with some printing companies until about 1985 or 1986, after which he went into the used record business. He and his family moved to Michigan in 1991 where Dallas continued to work in the used record business.
Dallas had a very close relationship with his wife, Mindy, and his son, Christopher. He and Mindy loved going to Red Wing hockey games when they could find tickets, but also enjoyed dining out together and gardening. Life as they knew it changed on July 23, 2002 when doctors diagnosed Dallas with mesothelioma. The Ellis family never expected to receive such disheartening news. Dallas was extremely concerned about the future financial security of his wife, knowing that he would not be around much longer to provide for her.
With the help and support of Waters Kraus & Paul, in 2002 Dallas and his wife brought suit in Dallas, Texas against the product manufacturers and asbestos suppliers of the brakes and joint compounds to which Dallas was exposed during his career. Four days after Dallas’ deposition he had a parietal pleurectomy. After this, Dallas’ condition quickly deteriorated and he lost a significant amount of weight. The tumors increased in size and number in the matter of months. He began chemotherapy treatments soon after, although it was not expected to change his prognosis in any meaningful way.
Life for the Ellis family was getting dimmer. Mindy lost her job in the same week that their insurance coverage expired, and they were extremely concerned about medical expenses. They applied for state assistance but were not guaranteed approval. Christopher moved back home with them so that he could attend college classes locally.
In August 2003, Waters Kraus & Paul accompanied the Ellis family to trial. The family received a favorable verdict, and finally Dallas was at peace knowing that his family would be taken care of. Sadly, Dallas Ellis lost his battle with mesothelioma in January of 2004.