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Workers’ Compensation – Occupational Disease (2003)

An occupational disease is any disease or condition that arises out of employment, and can range from hearing and vision loss to cardiac events, respiratory disorders and cancer. Our client worked as an assembler in an electronics factory, where she was exposed to a chemical called trichloroethylene and another called trichloroethane every day for over four years. She developed Hodgkin’s disease, and we filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

Based on the testimony of our client and a specialist in occupational medicine, we were successful before the Workers’ Compensation Board, which found that her Hodgkin’s disease was caused by her occupational exposure. The insurance company appealed, but the Appellate Division, Third Department also agreed with our position that the case had been proven.

This was the first case in which a New York court found that Hodgkin’s disease had been caused by occupational exposure. We also won the first legal decision connecting lung cancer with diesel exposure, and have successfully represented workers in claims for leukemia (due to benzene exposure), Parkinson’s disease (due to argon gas), formaldehyde exposure, and other toxic chemicals.

Read the Gandolfo decision here.


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