Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma in New York
Since asbestos was once so heavily used across a variety of industries where heat- and fire-resistance was crucial, the risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos-borne illnesses is not isolated to any one region. However, New York State – historically a center of economic and industrial activity – has had more than its fair share of asbestos exposure throughout the years, ranging from Eastman Kodak’s massive facilities in Rochester to construction of the skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan, including the World Trade Center. Asbestos is no longer frequently used in the U.S., but it continues to be a problem in older buildings and facilities when the fibers become disturbed and exposed.
Below are summaries of five job sites throughout New York where asbestos exposure has occurred. These are just a few examples of job sites in New York at which workers were exposed to asbestos.
1. Brooklyn Navy Yard
The Brooklyn Navy Yard (founded shortly after the Revolutionary War) was bustling with activity during the U.S. involvement in World War II, covering roughly 200 acres and employing more than 70,000 workers at its peak. It was closed in 1966, but not before numerous workers exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos that caused them to develop mesothelioma. And since it often takes many decades before symptoms appear, new claims are still being filed based on exposure at this shipyard. Depending on the circumstances and nature of the claim, monetary compensation can be significant. For instance, in a case handled by MesoLawyersCare attorneys, two former Brooklyn Navy Yard workers, an electrician and a Merchant Marine seaman, were awarded a combined $22 million in 2004 after developing mesothelioma from their exposure at the site in the mid-1940s.
2. Con Edison and Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO)
Known today as the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), facilities operated by the former Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) were constructed throughout many decades in the 20th Century and contained a great deal of asbestos-containing materials. Similar to other power plants built at that time, LILCO plants (at least five facilities throughout the state) used asbestos-based insulation, pipes and pipe coverings, gaskets packing, and even some of the protective gear worn by workers, as well as other materials. Attorneys for MesoLawyersCare have represented many workers who have obtained multi-million settlements and jury verdicts as the result of their work at power plants owned and operated by Con Edison, LILCO and other power companies in New York State.
3. Eastman Kodak Plant
The Eastman Kodak plant in Rochester was comprised of more than 200 structures (including powerhouses, factories, and laboratories) spread throughout roughly 1,300 acres during much of the 20th century. Many of the estimated 15,000 workers regularly handled and replaced asbestos-containing materials used in the process of the manufacturing and delivery of the products made at this facility — mainly film, chemicals, and camera equipment. Asbestos exposure at the site primarily occurred in conjunction with the power generating equipment and on the assembly lines. Workers often unknowingly transported the dangerous fibers throughout the Kodak campus and even to their homes, exposing family members. Anyone working at the site prior to the 1990s may have been exposed. MesoLawyersCare attorneys are familiar with the details of the asbestos exposure at Eastman Kodak and have successfully represented workers who developed mesothelioma from this job site.
4. Kentile Tile Plant
Brooklyn’s Kentile Tile Plant, in operation between 1898 and 1992, manufactured floor tiles and other flooring products. One of its flagship products was a particularly durable asphalt floor tile that contained upwards of 25 percent asbestos. Even its vinyl sheet flooring contained an asbestos backing that was especially friable (meaning the fibers are easily released into the air). Kentile workers were exposed to asbestos when they dumped raw asbestos into large mixers used in the manufacturing of the floor tile. Unfortunately, the bags of asbestos supplied to Kentile lacked adequate warnings about the hazards of asbestos. Kentile workers were not protected from the dangerous asbestos particles. Also, those who used Kentile floor tiles were exposed to asbestos when the tiles were cut, sanded or otherwise broken apart. Attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have successfully represented many workers who worked at the Kentile plant and many consumers who used these floor tiles.
5. New York City Building Construction
New York City saw a massive urban construction boom in the early- to mid-20th century, coinciding with the widespread, conspicuous use of asbestos-containing materials for fireproofing and durability. Those most vulnerable to asbestos in older New York City buildings include construction workers, plumbers, pipe fitters, insulation workers, as well as anyone involved in the construction, demolition or renovation of these buildings. To take one example, in 1971, the World Trade Center’s steel structure was sprayed with a half-inch coating of asbestos fiber up to the 40th floor, with a non-asbestos fireproofing material used for the remained (as a ban on asbestos was anticipated). Other asbestos-containing materials were also used as part of the construction of the “Twin Towers”. In total, the World Trade Center contained roughly 400 tons of asbestos fiber. Workers who labored in the construction of the World Trade Center were frequently exposed to asbestos. Then, when tragedy struck on Sept. 11, 2001, large amounts of asbestos were released into the air when the buildings collapsed. First responder, clean-up crews at Ground Zero, and residents near the area of the attack were exposed to asbestos and then also put at risk for developing mesothelioma.
The attorneys from MesoLawyersCare have recovered more than $10 billion dollars for people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Our firm has successfully represented workers exposed to asbestos throughout New York State, as well as throughout the country. For more information or a free consultation, fill out the form on this page, have a live chat now with one of our representatives, or call us.
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