Donald P. Blydenburgh is a trial attorney with the firm’s national department and specializes in representing individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer in state and federal courts across the country.
Don has enjoyed success on both the trial and appellate levels, yielding significant verdicts and appellate court decisions, including:
2015 – As lead trial counsel, Don obtained a historic $10.55 Million verdict on behalf of the family of a 52-year-old engineer who suffered and died from mesothelioma. This was the largest compensatory verdict in the history of Upstate New York asbestos litigation and the Schenectady jury found the talc mining company 100% at fault. The plaintiff was exposed to asbestos-containing talc as a high school student while working at a ceramic store.
2014 – Served as lead trial counsel on behalf of a 76-year-old Nevada resident who died from mesothelioma arising from exposures to Bendix automotive brakes while working as a salesman and store manager at an after-market automobile parts distributor. The Cleveland jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff finding the brake manufacturer 40% at fault, and considered punitive damages against the company.
2014 – Served as lead trial and appellate counsel in a case of first impression in Illinois on behalf of a 66-year-old mesothelioma victim who worked as a laborer at the Ferro facility in Calumet City, IL in the 1960s. Understanding the nuances of Illinois worker’s compensation law, Don successfully argued that the Act’s 25-year statute of repose, which ran well before his client ever learned of his asbestos disease and barred plaintiff from even making an application for compensation under the Act, caused his client’s claim to fall under the “non-compensable” exclusion to the Act’s exclusivity provision. This groundbreaking precedent now offers all Illinois mesothelioma victims the opportunity to hold their negligent employer accountable. See, Folta v. Ferro Eng’g, 2014 IL App (1st) 123219 (2014).
2013 – Served as lead trial counsel on behalf of a 62-year-old husband diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma who was exposed to joint compound as a bank loan officer. Don successfully argued that the application of Ready-Mix joint compound did not fall under Virginia’s statute of repose for building improvements. The court ruled contrary to prior Virginia precedent which will aid every Virginia mesothelioma victim who was exposed to asbestos-containing Ready-Mix joint compound.
2013 – Served as lead trial counsel on behalf of a 69-year-old who suffered and died from mesothelioma as a result of his work building and repairing high temperature kilns. Don successfully achieved a multi-million dollar settlement for the family against the kiln manufacturer and a Cook County-based company that supplied asbestos products to the plaintiff’s jobsite.
2013 – Served as lead counsel in a respiratory protection defective product lawsuit on behalf of a 74-year-old Virginia resident who worked for decades as an insulator at the DuPont facility in Martinsville, Virginia. Don successfully litigated the action against two respiratory mask manufacturers claiming that such companies knowingly misrepresented their masks’ ability to protect users against asbestos dust.
Don has lectured on trial techniques at Brooklyn Law and Seton Hall Law, and recently judged the 2015 Dean Jerome Prince Moot Court Competition held at Brooklyn Law. Don has also guest lectured on civil trial law topics at John Jay College, City University of New York since 2013. Don has been invited to national conferences where he has presented on trial strategy in asbestos cases. In 2006, he published a legal analysis of inconsistent jury verdicts in products liability cases.
Prior to joining LK, Don litigated labor law cases in New York’s trial and appellate courts. Don also served as a law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, working closely with the current Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and clerked for Hon. Joan M. Azrack of the Eastern District of New York.
Don received his Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School in 2005, where he was honored as a Carswell Merit Scholar. While at Brooklyn Law, Don was a Dean’s List recipient, a member of the Moot Court Honor Society’s trial division, the Speaker of the Student Bar Association, and Chapter President of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now AAJ). Don graduated from Columbia University in 2001 with a dual Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science, and was named the Schwartz Family Merit Scholar for high achievement in academics and athletics (baseball).