The Batavia School for the Blind was founded in 1868. It was renamed the New York State (NYS) School for the Blind in 1929. The School for the Blind aimed to provide public education for blind children utilizing an adapted curriculum to meet their special needs. Since its inception, the school has grown and evolved into providing specialized instruction and clinical and related support services that are tailored to each student.
The School for the Blind’s original school building was built in 1868 and demolished in 1940. As the school continued to grow into a campus, new buildings were constructed. In the 1960s, a new dormitory building, Knight Hall, a heating plant and a motor vehicle complex were constructed. Prior to federal regulations placed on asbestos in the late 1970’s, asbestos was incorporated into numerous building materials. Workers who handled materials that contained asbestos or worked in the vicinity of others who did are at high risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma.
Many trades, including carpenters, plasterers, fire proofers, pipe coverers, plumbers, insulators and boilermakers helped to construct these buildings. Throughout the Batavia School for the Blind, asbestos-containing materials insulated pipes and ducts, boilers and structural steel throughout various buildings on its campus. Laborers and tradesmen hired to apply, remove or work in the vicinity of these building materials may have been exposed to asbestos dust. Inhaling dust and particles from the application and maintenance of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk of developing serious health problems. Even those not who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for the development of asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Many union and non-union laborers who worked on construction projects at the New York State School for the Blind were employed by various contractors throughout Western New York. If you or a loved one were once employed in connection with the construction of the School for the Blind and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.