Shafner's legacy one well worth recognizing

9/13/2013

Article by Mel Olssen of Mystic CT

I was pleased to see Attorney Matthew Shafner receive some recognition from his peers, the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association's lifetime achievement award. Matt is a quiet, honest, humble gentleman. When you meet him you would never think this person is responsible for saving millions of workers lives.

Matt took on the giant asbestos corporations for workers who were being affected by the fine particles lodged in their lungs from working with asbestos-caused cancer. If you are a native of eastern Connecticut you most likely know people who died from working with or around asbestos. Today most workers are trained and certified to work with asbestos and have protective clothing to shield them from the deadly material. There are many millions of workers in our country whose lives have been saved thanks to Matt Shafner. They all owe a load of gratitude to him for taking on the giant asbestos corporations.

The worker memorial in Washington Park in Groton should have a statue of Matt, the quiet legend, who took on the "Big Guys" for the blue collar workers and won.

Editor's note: The writer is past president of MDA- UAW Local 571.