BUFFALO, NEW YORK – The law firm of Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC is pleased to announce that after a two week trial presided over by State Supreme Court Justice James W. McCarthy, a Syracuse, New York jury delivered a verdict in favor of the Estate of Richard Schuderer in the amount of $1 million dollars. Mr. Richard Schuderer was diagnosed with mesothelioma in May 2008 and died as a result on June 27, 2009. He is survived by his wife Jane Schuderer, his two children and one grandchild.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
In 1954, Richard Schuderer began working on tugboats for the New York State Department of Transportation. He started as a deckhand, and, in 1956, he worked as an oiler on the tugboat Erie. As an oiler, Mr. Schuderer repacked valves and fabricated gaskets, which contained asbestos. In 1959, he became an engineer until his retirement in 1991. As an engineer, he repaired and maintained the engine. In 1980, he became a Captain. Mr. Schuderer claimed that his mesothelioma was caused by exposure to the asbestos-containing equipment he repaired and maintained while working on the tugboat Erie.
The jury in this case assigned 60% of the responsibility for damages to defendant John Crane, which manufactured gaskets that Mr. Schuderer scraped off the flanges on pipes aboard the tugboat where he worked. The other 40% of the responsibility for damages in this case was assigned by the jury to other defendants, which settled before trial.
“We are gratified that the jury recognized the great injury that was needlessly inflicted on this fine family and are especially pleased that this recognition came the day after the Nation celebrated Veterans’ Day. Richard Schuderer proudly served his country as a U.S. Marine before returning to civilian life,” said John P. Comerford, an attorney at Lipsitz & Ponterio who represented Mr. Schuderer. Lipsitz & Ponterio attorney Joseph T. Kremer also represented Mr. Schuderer during this trial. This verdict is a great victory for workers exposed to asbestos-containing dust from the manipulation and removal of gaskets.
This case was filed in New York State Supreme Court for Onondaga County, Index No: 2008-8545.