BUFFALO, NEW YORK – The law firm of Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC is pleased to announce that after a two week trial presided over by New York Supreme Court Justice (retired) Hon. John P. Lane, J.H.O., an Erie County jury delivered a verdict in favor of James Ginter in the amount of $2.5 million dollars. Mr. Ginter was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2010. He is married to his wife Karen Ginter and has two children.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
James Ginter worked as a laboratory chemist at Durez Plastics in North Tonawanda, New York, beginning in 1979. Durez, located just outside Buffalo, New York, was a manufacturer of industrial resins and phenolic molding compounds. As a chemist, Mr. Ginter worked with a FAST (Friction Assessment Screening Test) Machine manufactured by Ford Motor Company. The use of this machine required Mr. Ginter to file and grind experimental asbestos-containing friction products ultimately used as brakes on automobiles. The FAST machine abraded the asbestos-containing friction materials during testing, which created visible dust in Mr. Ginter’s work area. Despite knowing about the harmful effects of asbestos, including the fact that Ford knew that its own employees were dying from mesothelioma in the early 1970s, Ford manufactured this machine without providing any warnings.
The jury in this case assigned 15% of the responsibility for damages to defendant Ford, the manufacturer of the FAST machine. The other remaining percentage of the responsibility for damages was assigned by the jury to other entities, including defendants, which settled before trial.
“Mike and I are very pleased with the outcome for our client. We had a very conscientious and diligent jury able to see through the doubt that Ford attempted to cast during the trial and stay focused on the true issues involved in this case,” said Keith R. Vona, an attorney at Lipsitz & Ponterio who, together with attorney Michael A. Ponterio, a partner at Lipsitz & Ponterio, represented Mr. Ginter during this trial. This verdict is a great victory for workers exposed to asbestos-containing dust from the manipulation of automobile friction products.
This case was filed in New York State Supreme Court for Erie County, Index No: 2010-4061.