In July 2015, on the eve of a jury trial, Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford obtained a $2.5 million settlement for the family of a retired millwright/pipefitter.
In March 2014, at the age of 71, our client was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. Until this time, he traveled the world with various church missions helping the poor and the homeless. He also volunteered at his local food pantry and built homes for Habitat for Humanity. He enjoyed camping and hiking trips with his wife and grandchildren. He was a woodworker and gardening enthusiast.
Following the confirmation of his diagnosis, our client brought a lawsuit against the companies that manufactured and sold asbestos-containing products and equipment, which were used at various plants in Western New York. Due to confidentiality agreements, the names of the settling parties and amounts contributed to the final settlement cannot be disclosed.
In 1967, our client went to work at West Valley Nuclear Plant. As a millwright, he repaired and maintained pipelines, pumps, valves and other equipment, which resulted in his exposure to asbestos. In 1969, he changed employers and became a pipefitter at the Allied Chemical/Buffalo Color plant. He continued to be exposed to asbestos-containing products and equipment until 1980.
The Allied Chemical/Buffalo Color plant, located at the corner of Lee and Elk Streets in Buffalo, covered 145 acres and consisted of many buildings and tens of thousands of miles of pipelines. Prior to 1980, these pipelines and associated equipment were covered in friable asbestos-containing materials, including pipe covering, gaskets and packing. Our client manipulated asbestos-containing materials in order to maintain and repair plant equipment. Removing, cutting, grinding and applying asbestos materials created concentrations of asbestos fibers and dust in the air he breathed.
In March 2014, our client was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. “We are particularly proud of the fact that this family’s asbestos case was settled within approximately one year from the filing of their lawsuit to its conclusion,” said John P. Comerford, trial counsel. Michael Ponterio and John Comerford prepared the case for trial and were in the process of selecting a jury when the case settled.
After battling mesothelioma for almost a year, our client died, leaving behind his wife of over 50 years, two sons and three grandchildren.