Marine Midland Plaza is a twenty-one story office building located on Chestnut Street in Rochester, New York. Completed in 1970, the building is the sixth tallest building in Rochester, and it houses commercial offices. In 1999, Marine Midland Plaza was renamed HSBC Plaza. Asbestos-containing drywall joint compound or mud, ceiling tiles and fireproof insulation were utilized during the construction of Marine Midland Plaza. Workers who handled these materials, or worked in the vicinity of those who did, are at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Prior to the late 1970s, asbestos was used as a filler material in drywall joint compound because it prevented the compound from cracking when it dried. This material was manufactured as a dry powder, and it was mixed with water to form a paste. During the construction of Marine Midland Plaza, workers applied three coats of asbestos-containing dry mix joint compound to the seams between sheets of drywall. After one coat of joint compound dried, it was sanded before the next coat was applied. During both the mixing and sanding processes of asbestos-containing joint compound, dust and fibers were released into the air, putting not only laborers at risk for exposure, but others who worked in the surrounding vicinity.
Asbestos-containing ceiling tiles were also installed at Marine Midland Plaza. Simply handling ceiling tiles emitted asbestos-containing dust. Workers cut ceiling tiles to allow for lighting, ventilation, sprinkler heads or irregular wall shapes. Cutting ceiling tiles released asbestos dust into the air.
Fireproofers applied asbestos-containing fireproof insulation to the structural steel and decks at Marine Midland Plaza. This insulation was manufactured as a dry powder, and it was packaged in heavy paper bags. The dry mix was poured into a machine, mixed with water and sprayed onto structural steel surfaces. Pouring, mixing and spraying fireproof insulation created clouds of asbestos-containing dust. Construction trades, including electricians, pipefitters, and carpenters routinely disturbed the fireproof insulation in order to gain access to the structural steel. Disturbing fireproof insulation also emitted asbestos dust and fibers.
Various contractors throughout Western New York employed many union and non-union laborers who worked on construction projects, such as Marine Midland Plaza. If you or a loved one were once employed in connection with the construction of Marine Midland Plaza and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.