Brake manufacturers routinely attempt to evade responsibility for injuries caused by their products by claiming that the asbestos in brakes is uniquely safe and incapable of causing cancer.

Every year, brake manufacturers spend millions of dollars attempting to propagate junk science in an effort to evade their responsibility to plaintiffs who have been injured by their products. Their attorneys then use this bought-and-paid-for “science” to attempt to prevent injured brake workers from having their day in court. If the brake manufacturers were to succeed in this litigation strategy, plaintiffs injured by brakes would not be allowed to present their cases.

Lipsitz & Ponterio takes this threat seriously and is very successful in defeating brake manufacturers’ efforts to avoid responsibility for injuries their products have caused.

In the 2005 case, Breidenstein v. Allied Signal et al., Erie County Index No. I 2004-11581, brake manufacturers Pneumo Abex Corporation and Allied Signal, Inc. attempted to prevent one of Lipsitz & Ponterio’s clients from introducing evidence that his terminal cancer was caused by exposure to their brake products. Lipsitz & Ponterio was able to overcome the defendants’ motion by obtaining affidavits from three of the world’s leading experts on asbestos exposure, including a former acting director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The Honorable James B. Kane, writing for the Supreme Court of Erie County, issued a decision denying the brake defendants’ motion, and permitting our client’s case to proceed toward trial.

In a 2007 case, Rindfleisch v. Allied Signal et al., Erie County Index No. 2003/5955, Lipsitz & Ponterio represented a woman who was exposed to asbestos-containing brake dust as a result of laundering her husband’s dusty clothing. Brake seller Molin Auto Parts, Inc. tried to prevent her from receiving her day in court by arguing that she was not exposed to enough asbestos from their product to cause cancer. With the help of reputable, well known experts, Lipsitz & Ponterio shows that even low levels of exposure to asbestos are capable of contributing to mesothelioma.

The Honorable John P. Lane, writing for the Supreme Court of Erie County, denied the defendant’s motion on the grounds that “[Molin’s expert’s] opinion concerning causation is unpersuasive because he relies in part on scientific theories that are not generally accepted in this State.”

So far, no court in the state of New York has accepted the brake defendants’ efforts to hide from liability for their cancer-causing products. Lipsitz & Ponterio believes that it is important that attorneys with access to credible, world-renowned experts, respond to all future attempts the brake companies make to evade their responsibilities.


Additional Information

Personal Exposures to Asbestos Fibers During Brake Maintenance of Passenger Vehicles - Ann Occup Hyg (2012)

48-Year-Old Former Brake Mechanic Receives $5.6 Million Dollar Settlement

48 Year Old Automotive & Truck Mechanic Receives $3.5 Million Award

Former Automobile Brake Mechanic Receives $1.5 Million Dollar Settlement