A jury in Syracuse recently delivered a verdict in the amount of $1 million dollars in favor of the estate of Richard Schuderer, a former tugboat engineer, who was represented by Lipsitz & Ponterio. In the spring of 2008, at the age of seventy-seven, Mr. Schuderer was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Our client brought suit against several companies responsible for the sale and distribution of a variety of asbestos-containing products. Richard battled mesothelioma and died on June 27, 2009. He was survived by his wife, two children and one grandchild.
In 1954, Richard Schuderer began working as a deckhand on tugboats for the New York State Department of Transportation. In 1956, he was working as an oiler on the tugboat Erie, repacking valves and fabricating gaskets, which contained asbestos. In 1959, he became an engineer. As an engineer, he repaired and maintained the engine, and in 1991, he retired with the rank of Captain.
Mr. Schuderer’s mesothelioma was caused by exposure to the asbestos-containing equipment he repaired and maintained while working on the tugboat Erie. He was present during and participated in the application and removal of these materials. Dismantling and reapplying asbestos-containing materials gives rise to a great deal of airborne asbestos contamination.
The Syracuse jury assigned 60% of the responsibility for damages to defendant, John Crane. John Crane manufactured the gaskets that the plaintiff scraped off of the flanges on the pipes. The remaining 40% of the responsibility for damages in this case was assigned, by the jury, to other defendants who settled before trial. Lipsitz & Ponterio attorneys, John P. Comerford and Joseph T. Kremer, represented Mr. Schuderer at this trial. This verdict is a great victory for workers exposed to asbestos-containing dust from the manipulation and removal of gaskets.