A Suffolk Co. politician and hero of the labor community in Long Island became the recipient of a substantial legal settlement in September when Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. resolved his case against the makers of asbestos-contaminated equipment and products, the firm said.
William Lindsay, of Glen Cove, Long Island, served in the Suffolk Co. Legislature for 12 years after retiring from his career as an electrician and union representative. In his public career, Lindsay was known as a champion of workplace safety who implemented wellness and reporting programs to protect workers.
He died on Sept. 11th from complications related to mesothelioma, a form of cancer attributed to asbestos toxicity.
Weitz & Luxenberg’s Patti Burshtyn, who obtained the settlement from several defendant companies, said Lindsay’s call to public service stemmed partly from his own workplace exposure to asbestos.
Lindsay worked throughout the 1960s and 1970s taking contract jobs as an electrician in Long Island and New York City. In the process, he handled products tainted with asbestos, a naturally-occurring mineral that acts as an insulator but is a known human carcinogen. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma two years ago, and he called on Weitz & Luxenberg to hold accountable the companies who exposed him to the toxic substance.
Burshtyn settled his case only weeks after he died. The settlement amount, which Burshtyn said was “substantial,” will pass to Lindsay’s family.
Burshtyn said she was proud of Weitz & Luxenberg’s work in obtaining the settlement, but that Lindsay’s lifetime of work as an advocate of workplace safety was the truly admirable accomplishment.
“I was able to attend Mr. Lindsay’s wake,” said Burshtyn, “and I saw that friends and family and coworkers had come from far and wide. So many people had come to say farewell that the line stretched out the door and around the block.”
“Mr. Lindsay spent years fighting to protect his community and his coworkers, and touched thousands of lives in the process,” Burshtyn said. “I’d like to think that this settlement represents a victory over the very same corporate irresponsibility that Mr. Lindsay spent his career opposing.”
The lawsuit (Index No. 190074/12) was filed in New York State Supreme Court court and heard by Justice Joan Madden.
Lindsay’s case was one of five suits brought jointly by several Weitz & Luxenberg asbestos clients. The other four cases also settled.