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2012 Winter

A jury in Buffalo, New York, recently delivered a verdict in the amount of two million dollars in favor of Gerald Failing, a former factory worker, who was represented by Lipsitz & Ponterio. Mr. Failing, 66, was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in December 2010. He resides in Niagara Falls, New York.

Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen, and it is a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Beginning in 1966, Gerald Failing worked in the compound department at Durez Plastics in North Tonawanda, New York, where he used raw asbestos fibers to make granulated plastic molding compounds, a base material for plastic products. Some of the raw asbestos that Mr. Failing poured and mixed at Durez was supplied by Hedman Resources Ltd., a Canadian asbestos mining company. Dumping and mixing raw asbestos fibers gives rise to airborne asbestos contamination. This created visible dust in Mr. Failing’s work area. Durez Plastics was a manufacturer of industrial resins and phenolic molding compounds.

The jury assigned one hundred percent of the responsibility for Mr. Failing’s injuries to defendant Hedman and also found that Hedman’s actions were taken with reckless disregard for the safety of Mr. Failing and others.

Attorney Michael A. Ponterio, a partner at Lipsitz & Ponterio, represented Mr. Failing during his trial.