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July 31, 2013

BUFFALO, NEW YORK – The law firm of Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC is pleased to announce that, after a two week-long trial presided over by New York State Supreme Court Justice Hon. Jeremiah J. Moriarty, III, an Erie County jury delivered a verdict in favor of the family of Lee Bernard Holdsworth in the amount of three million dollars.  Mr. Holdsworth was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February 2012 and died on January 17, 2013, in the care of Hospice of Buffalo.  He is survived by his wife of over fifty years, three children and ten grandchildren.

Mesothelioma is a rare and generally incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Lee Holdsworth began his career at the Ashland Oil facility in Tonawanda, New York, in 1956, and he was promoted to the position of Lab Tester in 1959, which he held for nearly 20 years. Beginning in 1963, Mr. Holdsworth was required to participate in “shutdown work,” which took him out of the lab area and into the refinery where he removed asbestos gaskets from valves manufactured by Crane Co. This work required him to grind asbestos gaskets from valves, creating visible dust in the process. Despite its knowledge of the harmful effects of asbestos since the early 1930s, Crane continued to incorporate asbestos into its products without warning the user.

The jury assigned 35% of the responsibility for damages to defendant Crane Co. for causing Mr. Holdsworth’s injuries and the remaining percentages of responsibility to other entities, including those defendants which settled before trial. The jury also found that Crane Co’s actions were taken with reckless disregard for the safety of others.

“The jury sent a strong message to Crane Co. that it cannot market hazardous products without providing any warnings,” said Michael A. Ponterio, a partner at Lipsitz & Ponterio who, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio partner John P. Comerford represented Mr. Holdsworth during this trial. 

This case was filed in New York State Supreme Court for Erie County, Index No: I2012-1161.

About Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC:

Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC, established in 1995, concentrates its practice in the areas of asbestos disease and lead poisoning litigation, medical malpractice, insurance liability, personal injury and worker’s compensation matters. The Firm has achieved thousands of settlements and numerous verdicts on behalf of its clients harmed by toxic substances. For more information, visit Lipsitz & Ponterio’s website at www.lipsitzponterio.com.

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