It can take decades for a person exposed to asbestos to show signs of disease. Because of this, lawyers sometimes have to do some detective work to find out who is responsible for the products that injured their client.
Lipsitz & Ponterio represents a gentleman who worked as a laborer in the finishing room of a Buffalo-area metal foundry. From 1963 until 1980, our client was regularly exposed to dust from acoustical insulation on the foundry’s walls. The insulation in this particular foundry was extremely brittle and prone to crumbling. The day to day operation of the machinery often caused objects to strike the walls and release deadly asbestos dust.
Our client could testify about how he was exposed to the asbestos, but the insulation had been put on years earlier, when the foundry was built. Naturally, our client had no idea what brand of insulation it was or who sold it to his employer. Lipsitz & Ponterio was able to obtain documentation from the foundry which showed that National Gypsum’s Thermacoustic brand insulation was used in the construction of the foundry in 1956. The foundry also provided correspondence which identified a company called Buffalo Acoustical as a subcontractor that worked on the construction.
Armed with this information, a Lipsitz & Ponterio attorney traveled to North Carolina, where National Gypsum has a document repository. There, he found evidence that Buffalo Acoustical was the only company authorized to apply Thermacoustic in Buffalo during the time period that the foundry was constructed and even found a photograph of the inside of the foundry in an old advertisement for Thermacoustic.
At his deposition, Buffalo Acoustical’s former president denied that the company had provided the insulation in question. Because of the advance research, we were able to prove that he was wrong. Despite the unusual fact pattern, Lipsitz & Ponterio was able to provide evidence as to who was responsible for the insulation that injured our client and negotiate a just settlement.