Norton Labs, located on Mill Street in Lockport, New York, closed its doors in 1981, after being in business for nearly 65 years. The facility was a well-known plastic mold shop and manufacturer of hard plastic products. Norton Labs utilized asbestos-containing plastic molding compounds to manufacture various industrial plastic component parts for the automotive and electrical industries.
On June 22, 2016, Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC, held an open meeting for former workers and retirees of Norton Labs at Elks Lodge #41 on North Canal Road in Lockport. Approximately twenty-five people gathered to discuss their health concerns and to learn more about their potential asbestos exposure while employed at the plastic molding facility. The purpose of the meeting, in part, was to identify and locate witnesses who worked with one of our mesothelioma clients during the late 1960s.
Volunteers from the Elks Lodge made everyone feel welcome. Attorneys and staff from Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford were present, and a light lunch was provided for the attendees. Attorneys Michael A. Ponterio and John P. Comerford met with numerous retirees to discuss the legal remedies available for claims of asbestos-related diseases. Norton Labs used large quantities of asbestos-containing plastic molding compounds to make plastic parts. Exposure to asbestos occurred in all departments, including the preforming, molding and finishing departments.
The firm represents a man whose only known exposure to asbestos occurred at Norton Labs where he was employed briefly as a union janitor during the summers of 1966, 1967 and 1969. His duties included sweeping and cleaning up dust, debris and flashing from the floors and mold shop machinery. Since asbestos was used as filler in the molding compounds supplied to Norton Labs, the sweeping of the floors and cleaning of the mold shop machinery caused asbestos fibers to become airborne and to be inhaled by our client. His exposure to asbestos was relatively brief; he was employed for only eight to ten weeks during each of three summers he worked at Norton.
The meeting was a success: at least two individuals recalled working with our client and agreed to be witnesses in his case. This was not the first such forum arranged by Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC, and it will most certainly not be the last. We have conducted such meetings in the past for retired workers from the Durez plant in North Tonawanda and for the residents of the surrounding neighborhood, as well as for former and retired workers of Carbide Graphite in Niagara Falls. These meetings present an invaluable opportunity for old friends and co-workers to reconnect and to help each another in important ways.