We are 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 Karen Ginter, with whom he 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 1970’s, Ford manufactured this machine without providing any warnings.
The jury in this case assigned 15% of the responsibility for damages to defendant Ford. The other remaining percentage of the responsibility for damages was assigned by the jury to other entities, including defendants, which settled before trial.
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.