The Firm You Go to When the 
Stakes Are High

History of Asbestos Lawsuits

The asbestos lawsuit that is considered to be the first victory for a person with mesothelioma is the case of Borel v. Fibreboard Paper Products Corporation et al., 493 F.2d 1076 (5th Cir. 1973). Clarence Borel was an insulator who developed mesothelioma and asbestosis from his exposure to asbestos, which occurred for approximately 33 years. Mr. Borel won his asbestos lawsuit, which was filed in October 1969 against numerous manufacturers of asbestos insulation. The case was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. After the Borel decision, asbestos lawsuits began to be filed in many courts throughout the country.

Stanley Levy, founding partner of Levy Konigsberg LLP, was one of the first lawyers on the East Coast of the United States to litigate asbestos lawsuits. Mr. Levy represented shipyard workers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York in the early days of the asbestos litigation: in the 1970s and early to mid-1980s. In 1986, the State of New York enacted C.P.L.R. 214-c, which allowed victims of asbestos-related diseases to file an asbestos lawsuit within three years of the date in which the asbestos-related disease reasonably should have been discovered. After this change in the law in 1986, a greater number of people were able to file asbestos lawsuits in New York and the volume of cases filed increased dramatically.

Levy Konigsberg LLP attorneys, including Stanley Levy, Robert Komitor, and Moshe Maimon, played leading roles in large consolidated asbestos trials that took place in New York in the 1980s and early 1990s. These consolidated trials, which included the Brooklyn Navy Yard trials and the Con Edison Powerhouse trials, combined hundreds of asbestos lawsuits into a single trial so that the claims could be efficiently resolved instead of being tried one at a time.

Beginning in the 1980s and continuing through the present, a number of companies who were defendants in the asbestos litigation have declared bankruptcy, a process which allows a company to re-organize in a bankruptcy proceeding, put money aside for present and future asbestos liabilities, and then exit bankruptcy and continue to do business. For example, Johns-Manville declared bankruptcy in 1986 and set up a bankruptcy trust to pay victims of asbestos-related disease. Unfortunately, the amount of money paid by companies in bankruptcy proceedings is very small compared to the value the claim would have in an asbestos lawsuit. Meanwhile, Johns-Manville, like many other companies, exited bankruptcy and continues to operate as a business with products that can be seen in building supply stores across the country.

Still, hundreds of companies manufactured, sold and used asbestos-containing materials and continue to be properly sued in asbestos lawsuits around the country. In the 2000s, defendants in asbestos lawsuits have attempted to obtain legal rulings from courts that limit the scope of the legal claims that can be filed in asbestos cases. For example, defendants who manufactured equipment, such as boilers, pumps and valves, are attempting to limit their liability to the asbestos materials that these companies originally supplied with their products; these companies are trying to avoid responsibility for the asbestos materials that they knew would continue to be used with their product and that were required for their products to continue to be used.

Another disturbing trend in asbestos lawsuits in recent years is that many defendants are attacking the world-wide scientific consensus that asbestos in any form, and at low levels, is capable of causing mesothelioma. Asbestos defendants, particularly automotive companies, have paid more than $30 million to “experts” who have used this money to conduct research and published papers designed to assist the industry in making its arguments in asbestos lawsuits. The papers funded by the asbestos companies are often published in scientific journals that are also funded and controlled by industry.

As the companies that manufactured and sold asbestos-containing products run out of defenses in asbestos lawsuits, they have begun to attack the lawyers filing the lawsuits. These companies attempt to cast the asbestos trial lawyers – the lawyers representing the victims of mesothelioma – as the villains, rather than accepting the fact that they are responsible for causing exposures to asbestos and the diseases suffered by hard-working people.

Levy Konigsberg LLP is an award-winning law firm that has represented deserving families in asbestos lawsuits for more than 30 years. Many of the firm’s lawyers have been named in the list of Best Lawyers in America. The firm was named the 2013 Plaintiff’s Product Liability Law Firm of the Year for its history of successful outcomes in asbestos lawsuits. For more information, please call (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.

ATTENTION: Mesothelioma has no known cure and often causes severe pain, suffering, and other types of damage, such as loss of consortium, and loss of income. Additionally, due to the exceedingly high cost of mesothelioma treatments, many families exhaust savings and accumulate financial debt in order to pay for the medical expenses of their family member.

Under the law of most states, pain and suffering from mesothelioma may be compensated through the award of money damages, usually obtained with the help of experienced mesothelioma attorneys. In some states other types of damages may also be recovered.

Asbestos litigation affords mesothelioma victims the opportunity to receive financial compensation and hold accountable the companies that caused their asbestos exposure.

IMPORTANT: If you or your family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should get in touch with a mesothelioma lawyer as early as possible to determine if you have a mesothelioma case and to:

  • Preserve your rights to bring a legal action against the responsible parties within the limited time frame allowed by law, known as statute of limitations;
  • Obtain maximum compensation in your case by being able to:
    • Preserve evidence and establish facts of the asbestos exposure while the claimant is still alive and able to provide information;
    • File and resolve a lawsuit against the responsible parties before they file for bankruptcy or, if they already have, to obtain compensation before their bankruptcy trust funds run out of money;
  • Expedite your case, as courts tend to give higher priority to mesothelioma lawsuits where the claimant is still alive.

Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced mesothelioma lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline at (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.

NOTE: While our offices are located in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Georgia, many of our mesothelioma lawyers are licensed to practice law in a number of U.S. states and have the capability and extensive experience of representing mesothelioma clients throughout the United States. You are encouraged to contact us with any questions.


An Experienced Team
You Can Trust

With a long history of working on mesothelioma and asbestos cases, Levy Konigsberg is considered one of the nation’s preeminent law firms for these types of complex lawsuits. Our firm can work with clients who have been exposed to asbestos through a variety of sources, including people who do not even know how the exposure happened. Using our massive database of mesothelioma research, studies, and casework, we can give virtually any case a fair shot at success.

Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced mesothelioma lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.

Know the Difference

Committed to Doing What's Right
  • Over $3 Billion Won

    We have represented numerous individuals and groups of workers, winning for them multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts.

  • There's No Case Too Big

    Our team has achieved groundbreaking victories in highly complex cases and has gone up against some of the toughest defendants in the country.

  • Trial Attorneys

    Our attorneys excel in the courtroom and are not afraid to bring a case in front of a jury if a fair settlement for the client has not been reached.

  • A Thought Leader in the Industry

    Our firm's knowledge and experience are in high demand, and many news outlets have asked us to share our legal expertise.

  • Access to World Class Resources

    Our experienced attorneys use cutting-edge technology and highly regarded experts to help us achieve the best possible result for our clients.

  • Changing the World for Good

    We not only want to achieve the best possible results for our clients, but we also strive to prevent future harm by changing public health policies.

Thousands of Clients Helped

Hear What They Have to Say
  • They truly made a difference in our lives!

    “Levy Konigsberg went above and beyond in representing my father in his mesothelioma case against multiple parties. From providing a risk free introduction (even flying out at their expense to speak to my father in person) to fighting diligently for us.”

    - Jonathan McNulty
  • Outstanding law firm!

    “Jerry and Bob are not only experts in their field, but genuinely care about their clients. They explain the entire process in a step like manner and are keenly aware that the health and medical treatment of the defendant should not be compromised.”

    - R.M.
  • No need to look any further.

    “The attorneys were attentive to my fathers needs during all proceedings while at the same time aggressive with the defendants making sure my father got everything he deserved.”

    - Todd Allen
  • They were the clear choice!

    “Jerry Block was compassionate and assembled a team of attorneys that knew exactly what to do. Although no amount of money can replace my father, we are grateful to them for giving him the gift of knowing that his family would be taken care of.”

    - Bruce Totterdale
  • Forever grateful!

    “They were not only knowledgeable but also compassionate. It was comforting to know they were diligently working on his case so we could focus on his medical care. Levy Konigsberg became part of our journey and we are forever grateful.”

    - Diane Hoefer
  • The best and brightest!

    “They never failed to keep us informed of all important developments in the case, and they always gave a realistic idea of when the matter would be resolved. I always felt that my dad was excellently represented, and that his case was in the best hands.”

    - Paulette
  • Simply incredible!

    “Corey Stern was simply incredible! Not only did he keep me well informed as to what was transpiring with my case, but was direct and honest all the way through. His hard work and compassion resulted in an amazing settlement.”

    - IBS LMM
  • Knowledgeable guidance and representation.

    “Your firm explained all of the steps involved in filing my case, took the time to update me as it progressed, prepared me for my meeting with NYS officials… Without your knowledgeable guidance and representation, I may not have been successful.”

    - Steven Simon
  • They are good people who want to help you.

    “I am now in a more comfortable financial situation. I can now go out and buy myself the things I need, without worrying how I am going to do that. Because I am well aware that I am not capable of getting or keeping a job.”

    - Edwin Jimenez
  • They won us a lot of money.

    “Levy Konigsberg, in my opinion, is a great law firm. They took very well care of us and I believe that they cared very much about our case. They were great attorneys.”

    - Karen


Start with a FREE Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.