The Edward A. Rath County Office Building is located at 95 Franklin Street in Buffalo, New York. The Rath Building was completed in 1970 and is currently owned by Erie County. Today, it is home to many government offices, including the Erie County Executive’s office, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Public Works and numerous other departments. Prior to the late 1970’s, asbestos-containing pipe covering and fireproofing materials were incorporated into the Rath building’s construction. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.
The fireproofing material used in the construction of the Rath building was a mix of asbestos, cement and waste materials from linen mills. This material was packaged in paper bags as a dry powder. Prior to application, the fireproofing material was dumped into a machine, mixed with water and sprayed onto steel surfaces with a hose. Asbestos-containing dust was emitted during the mixing and application process. Electricians, iron workers, plumbers, pipefitters and plasterers who also worked in the vicinity where the fireproof material was applied, were put at risk for exposure to asbestos fibers and dust. After the fireproofing material was applied, laborers routinely disturbed the asbestos-containing material in order to access the building’s structural and electrical components. Disturbing asbestos-containing fireproof material after it was applied also emitted dust and fibers.
Asbestos-containing pipe insulation was also applied on steam and water lines that ran throughout the Rath Building. Asbestos was incorporated into pipe covering prior to the late 1970's because it provided ample heat and fire resistance. Even handling asbestos-containing pipe covering caused asbestos fibers to become airborne. Workers who cut, sawed and applied asbestos pipe insulation were likely exposed to airborne asbestos dust and fibers. Laborers who worked in the vicinity where pipe covering was removed and applied were exposed to asbestos, and are at risk for developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
In the process of representing workers and their families, we have gathered a vast amount of information the type and variety of asbestos-containing products to which our clients were exposed. Our clients understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer. If you or a loved one were once employed as an iron worker, fire proofer, electrician, plumber or laborer during the construction of the Edward A. Rath County Office Building, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation.