Deadly exposure to "take home" asbestos fibers on work clothes his father and brother wore while employed at General Motors parts warehouses in Bloomfield and Englewood, New Jersey, and exposure to the carcinogenic material during his own GM summer employment caused the death of a 50-year-old rising star advertising executive, a Bergen County jury ruled today.
Bloomfield born and raised Mark Buttitta's advertising clients had included, Continental and Northwest Airlines before he died a few days after his 50th birthday. His father, Frank Buttitta, Sr., and brother, Frank Jr., unknowingly brought home asbestos fibers on their work clothes contributed to the development of the deadly cancer, the experts testified at trial. The elder Buttitta was a lifelong GM employee, working as a parts picker at the GM warehouses, handling brakes and clutches made with asbestos , according to mesothelioma lawyer Moshe Maimon of Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP, who was the lead trial counsel in the 15-day trial.
In addition to the senior Buttitta's lifelong full-time employment at the GM warehouse, the victim and his brother, Frank Jr., had worked summers during college at the facility also as parts pickers. â€œAll three Buttittas would wear the same work clothes for days at a time,â€ Maimon said, "bringing home cancer-causing asbestos fibers every day from work, unknowingly letting the microscopic fibers' fragments waft throughout their home and settle. Worse yet, as a young boy, Mark would sit on his dad's lap or next to him on the sofa every night to watch TV, and was innocently exposed to asbestos in the process."
After high school, Mark Buttitta attended Colgate University, eventually residing with his wife and three daughters in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. He was a vice president of MediaVest when first diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2001 and died a year later, according to Moshe Maimon.
In 2003, Buttitta's family established the Mark Buttitta Memorial Foundation for Research for the "prevention, treatment and cure of mesothelioma," according to the foundation's web site. "While most mesothelioma victims are employed in the construction or automotive manufacturing industries, Mark did not fit this typical profile," the foundation's web site noted. On Saturday, March 8th the foundation is holding a wine tasting and silent auction at the Time-Life Building in Manhattan.
"Mark Buttitta's sad case shows convincingly how blue-collar workers from the automotive, construction and other asbestos -using industries are not the only potential victims of mesothelioma," Maimon said. "In Bloomfield, Englewood, and all across New Jersey, men and women who wouldn't know a brake shoe from a horseshoe can be struck down by this horrible disease decades later from simply living with someone who dealt with asbestos in his daily occupation. In Mark Buttitta's case we were able to get justice for him and his young family."
Maimon's co-counsels in the mesothelioma lawsuit were Richard Cattenacci of Connell Foley of Roseland, NJ, and Donald MacLaughlin of Ridgewood, NJ.
For over a quarter of a century, mesothelioma lawyers at Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP, have been among the pioneers of asbestos litigation in America. The firm's attorneys have been recognized as nationwide leaders in representing the rights of mesothelioma victims and their families. Their clients have received some of the largest mesothelioma compensation verdicts in the country.
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