- 2016 - Lifetime Achievement, America’s Top 100 Attorneys®.
- 2016 - Member, Lawyers of Distinction, Recognizes the Top 10% of Lawyers in the USA.
- 2016 & 2015 - Member, Nation's Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel - see press release
- 2017, 2016, 2015 & 2014 Legal Elite Honoree, Buffalo Business First, recognized by peers as one of Western New York's top attorneys
- 2019 - 2011 - Selected as a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters
- 2012 - AVVO Rating of Excellent based on experience, industry recognition and professional conduct.
- 2019 - Listed AV Distinguished Rating by Martindale-Hubbell. This is the highest peer review rating for both legal ability and ethical standards.
- 2019 - The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
Publications:Mr. Ponterio is a contributing author in the New York Handbook entitled "Products Liability in New York Strategy and Practice" published by the New York State Bar Association (1997).
Interviews:Civil Justice Magazine Interview with Michael Ponterio
- New York State Bar Association
- 2014 - Honing Your Deposition Skills
- Products Liability;
- Vital Aspects of Your Care;
- Civil Litigators Guide to Discovery Under New York Law;
- 2019 - Ethics & Referrals - Presentation to SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Gold Group
Michael A. Ponterio is a founding partner of Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC. Mr. Ponterio represents families who have suffered injuries as a result of exposure to asbestos, childhood lead poisoning, as well as representing families suffering injuries as a result of defective products.
Mr. Ponterio has been representing people suffering from mesothelioma caused by asbestos for over 30 years. He obtained the first personal injury jury verdict in the State of New York for an asbestos victim (Racich v. Celotex Corporation). Mr. Ponterio also obtained the first punitive damage award for an asbestos worker in the State of New York (Racich v. Celotex Corporation). Mr. Ponterio and his partner, John Ned Lipsitz, also received the first personal injury jury verdict in Buffalo, New York, on behalf of an asbestos victim (Wolf v. Celotex Corporation).
In July 2017, Mr. Ponterio together with John Richmond obtained a $1.2 million dollar jury verdict in a medical malpractice lawsuit against two doctors at the University of Rochester Medical Center for failing to timely diagnose a female client's bowel perforation.
In September 2011, Mr. Ponterio, together with Mr. Vona and Neil McKinnon obtained the first jury verdict in Western New York on behalf of a lead poisoned child. In November 2013, Mr. Ponterio, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio attorneys Keith R. Vona and Zachary J. Woods, obtained a verdict on behalf of a Rochester, New York, child for injuries resulting from exposure to lead based paint.
Since 1988, Mr. Ponterio has obtained over $250 million in settlements on behalf of the firm’s mesothelioma clients.
In the last four years, Mr. Ponterio has served as trial counsel in asbestos cases involving plaintiffs’ jury verdicts in excess of $25 million:
- October 2015 - Mr. Ponterio, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio attorney Keith R. Vona, obtained a bench trial decision awarding $5.6 million dollars to a 58 year old engineer who worked two summers as a college student at Durez Plastics in North Tonawanda.
- August 2014 - Mr. Ponterio, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio attorneys Keith Vona and Mathew Morton, obtained a Bench Trial Decision awarding $3 million dollars to a former Durez worker.
- April 2014 - Mr. Ponterio, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio attorney Keith Vona, obtained a Bench Trial Decision in Buffalo awarding $3 million dollars to a former Durez worker with mesothelioma and his spouse for her loss of services and companionship as a result of his terminal cancer.
- August 2013 - Mr. Ponterio, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio partner John Comerford, obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $3 million dollars on behalf of a former Ashland Oil employee.
- October 2012 - Mr. Ponterio, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio attorney Joseph Kremer, obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $3 million dollars on behalf of a former GM worker.
- March 2012 – Mr. Ponterio together with Lipsitz & Ponterio attorneys Keith Vona, and Matt Morton, obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $325,000 on behalf of a Former Durez Plant Worker in Lung Cancer Case.
- December 2011 - Mr. Ponterio together with Keith Vona, obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $2 million dollars on behalf of a former Durez factory worker. The jury in this case assigned 100% of the responsibility for damages to defendant Hedman, and the jury also found that Hedman’s actions were taken with reckless disregard for the safety of others.
- July 2011 - Mr. Ponterio and Keith Vona obtained a jury verdict in the sum of $2.5 million dollars against Ford Motor Company on behalf of a former chemist.
- November 2009 - Mr. Ponterio and Keith Vona served as counsel for a trial in Buffalo, New York, and obtained a $3 million dollar settlement award on behalf of our client, a local union boilermaker for injuries resulting from exposure to asbestos on the job.
Mr. Ponterio was selected as a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters from 2011 to 2019, recognizing his excellence in the practice of law. Only 5% of the attorneys in Upstate New York are named Super Lawyers.
Mr. Ponterio resides in Clarence, New York, with his wife Mary and their four daughters.
News & Insights
Mentions in the Mesothelioma Community
- WKBW - AM Buffalo, October 13, 2017
- Buffalo Law Journal, October 12, 2017
- Buffalo Business First, September 22, 2017
- The Buffalo Law Journal, June 5, 2017
- Opinion Editorial: Survivors of asbestos victims lose out as deal allows insurance companies to evade responsibilityThe Buffalo News, March 7, 2016
- Exposure at N. Tonawanda plant from decades ago mired in courtThe Buffalo News, March 4, 2016
- Buffalo Law Journal, November 2, 2015
- October 6, 2015
- March 26, 2015
- July 31, 2013
- Civil Justice Magazine, December 17, 2012
- October 24, 2012
- Former Durez Worker Represented by Lipsitz & Ponterio Receives Cash Settlement Over $2.5 Million in Asbestos Mesothelioma CaseSeptember 18, 2012
- Buffalo Jury Awards $ 2 Million Dollars to Gerald Failing in Mesothelioma Case Represented by Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLCDecember 8, 2011
- July 13, 2011
- November 17, 2009
- American Association for Justice
- New York State Trial Lawyers' Association
- Western New York Trial Lawyers Association
- American Bar Association
- Bar Association of Erie County
- Distinguished Justice Advocates - Top 1% Attorneys in America
- Million Dollar Advocates Forum - The Top Trial Lawyers in America ® - see press release
- Accredited Attorney of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
- National Business Institute
- J.D., 1983, New England School of Law
- B.A., 1978, St. Bonaventure
- 1984 - New York State