Harrison Radiator Laborer Describes Exposure to Asbestos Materials

Harrison Radiator was established in 1910 by Herbert Harrison in Lockport, New York.  During its first years of operation, the company was located in a small building on Canal Street. In 1914, Harrison Radiator moved to a facility on Washburn Street that consisted of five buildings, which became known as the Main Plant. The company was acquired by United Motors in 1916, and in 1918, General Motors purchased both United Motors and Harrison Radiator. In 1952, Harrison Radiator constructed a 350-acre, 10-building manufacturing facility on Upper Mountain Road called the West Plant.  Harrison Radiator manufactured automotive radiators and air conditioners at both facilities for General Motors. During its peak production years, the company employed more than 10,000 workers at its Lockport facilities. In 1987, Harrison Radiator closed its Washburn Street plant. In 1995, General Motors spun off all its component manufacturers into a new company named Delphi Automotive Systems, and Harrison Radiator was renamed Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems. Harrison Radiator was reacquired by General Motors in 2009 as part of its Automotive Components Group, and its plant on Upper Mountain Road continues to manufacture automotive heating and cooling components. The buildings of the former Main Plant are now utilized as an office park known as Harrison Place.

Asbestos was incorporated into numerous materials used during the manufacturing process at Harrison Radiator. Up until the late 1970s, insulating materials, such as block insulation, pipe covering, insulating cement, gaskets and packing material contained asbestos. Employees and contractors who worked at Harrison Radiator were at risk for asbestos exposure. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.

Asbestos-containing block insulation, pipe covering and insulating cement lined boilers, pipes, pumps and valves associated with the steam system at Harrison Radiator. Due to wear and tear, asbestos insulation was removed and reapplied so that the equipment within the steam system could maintain a constant internal temperature. When asbestos-containing insulation was removed and reapplied, asbestos dust became airborne. Most workers were completely unaware of the dangers of exposure to the asbestos dust and performed their work without masks or protective gear.

Asbestos-containing gaskets were also utilized throughout the Harrison Radiator plants. These gaskets created a tight seal between pipe flanges, pumps and valves. Asbestos-containing packing material was wrapped around valve stems and pump shafts in order to prevent fluid leaks. Asbestos gaskets and packing material were often replaced during maintenance and repairs on pumps and valves. The replacement process emitted asbestos fibers, which workers inhaled.

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 at Harrison Radiator in Lockport, New York, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.