Susan E. Van Gelder

Susan E. Van Gelder



Practice Groups

Susan Van Gelder concentrates her practice in the areas of toxic tort litigation, product liability litigation, and general litigation, maintaining a primary focus on defending complex asbestos cases. With nearly 20 years of experience representing manufacturers of asbestos-containing equipment and component parts in lawsuits spanning the Northeast, Susan uses her deep well of practical knowledge of asbestos litigation to develop tailored defense strategies, ensure consistency in representation, and find expedited paths to resolution.

Susan has handled thousands of asbestos cases over the course of her career — hands-on experience that translates into relationships with the country’s foremost experts and a proven ability to find the right witnesses (oftentimes, decades after the initial exposure) to best defend her clients’ interests. One of the hallmarks of Susan’s proactive approach to asbestos litigation is her ability to isolate what works — or what doesn’t work — in a given matter and apply it, where appropriate, over time. Indeed, Susan builds cumulative defense strategies that ultimately help clients better anticipate legal costs and, where possible, avoid protracted litigation.  

In addition to asbestos litigation, Susan represents clients involved in exposure to silica, lead paint, and other toxic materials and substances. She also handles matters involving professional liability, municipal law, general negligence, and premises liability. She has extensive appellate experience, having successfully argued appeals before New York's intermediate Appellate Courts and the New York Court of Appeals. She has also successfully tried cases to verdict.

Susan writes about asbestos litigation for Goldberg Segalla's award-winning Asbestos Case Tracker, which was recently named to the ABA Journal's prestigious Blawg 100 and named the Best Litigation Blog for 2016 by the Expert Institute in its annual legal blog contest.   

Professional Affiliations
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Member, Women in the Law Committee
    • Steering Committee Chair, Professional Liability Expert Witness
    • Member, Lawyers' Professionalism and Ethics Committee
    • Member, Planning and Marketing Committees, Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Seminar
    • Past Member, Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee
    • Co-Chair, Annual Meeting, 2007 -2008,
    • Member, Seminar Planning Committee, 2007-2008
    • Chair, Publications/Newsletter, 2008-2010) 
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating: AV Preeminent
  • Top 25: Women Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2016–18
  • Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2013–18
  • Business First's Legal Elite of Western New York, 2017
  • Business First Who's Who in Law (Civil Litigation)
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York
  • State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D., 1997
  • State University of New York at Oswego, B.S., cum laude, 1994