Lipsitz & Ponterio recently represented a gentleman from Holland, Michigan, who died at the age of 63 as a result of malignant mesothelioma. Our client worked at the General Motors/Chevrolet Foundry on River Road in Tonawanda, New York, from 1966 to 1984. The asbestos to which he was exposed to while employed there caused his mesothelioma.
The foundry where our client worked manufactured cast iron parts for the automotive industry, including brake drums, fly wheels, water pumps, manifolds and engine blocks. The iron was melted in large cupola furnaces by igniting coke at extremely high temperatures. Our client’s exposure to asbestos occurred in the cupola area.
This area contained an enormous amount of asbestos-laden insulation, which was used on the cupola furnaces, associated duct work, and pipes. Because of constant wear and tear due to high temperatures, local contractors frequently had to repair and replace the insulation. When worn asbestos insulation is torn out and replaced with new insulation, it is usually cut with a saw. This practice released millions of asbestos fibers into our client’s work environment and breathing area. These fibers caused the disease that killed him.
Our client’s lawsuit was filed in Erie County in January 2009. Prior to his death on March 25, 2009, attorneys from Lipsitz & Ponterio preserved his testimony at his home in Michigan. Our client’s case came to trial in front of the Honorable John P. Lane on December 7, 2009. Michael A. Ponterio, Esq. represented our client’s family at trial. After several days of testimony, the case was successfully resolved with a substantial settlement for our client’s family.
The attorneys at Lipsitz & Ponterio recognize the serious nature of mesothelioma, and the importance of aggressively prosecuting this type of case as quickly as possible from the outset and preserving our clients’ testimony in a timely fashion. Thanks to our attorneys’ swift action, our client’s case was resolved efficiently and without unduly burdening his family.