We talked with Michael Ponterio, partner at Lipsitz, Ponterio and Comerford about future trends in asbestos litigation. Michael says people ask how asbestos litigation is still going on if they last used asbestos decades ago and major companies like Bethlehem Steel, Durez stopped working in the 80’s, how can their employees still be getting sick 30, 40 years later? He says that asbestos is what’s known as a latent disease. It lays dormant in your lungs up to 50 years after exposure. For example, a person who worked at Bethlehem Steel and left in 1980, they can still get mesothelioma anytime between when from 1980 up until 2030.
Another factor is that a lot of the products still contained asbestos until the 2000’s. Common products like brake linings in automobiles and trucks. Michael says they contained asbestos until the years 2000. Talcum powder like Johnson & Johnson baby powder contained asbestos until just a few years ago, so children and adults who were exposed have up to fifty years where they can mesothelioma.
Michael says there are three legal remedies now. The first is a lawsuit against companies that are not bankrupt, second is the bankruptcy trusts from companies who took their insurance money and formed these trusts and that total over a billion dollars that is available to people injured by asbestos and the third is worker’s comp claims.
For more information you can call them at (716) 849-0701 or visit their website Lipsitzponterio.com
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