In 1900, Nestlé founded its plant in Fulton, New York, which was also the first Nestlé plant to open in the United States. The Fulton plant initially produced Nestlé milk foods, but in 1909, the company expanded its operations and chocolate production began. In 1935, researchers at the Fulton plant developed the first cocoa mix, also known as Nestlé Quik, and two years later, the Fulton plant became the birthplace of the popular Crunch bar.
The Fulton plant contained numerous buildings, including the condensery, the cocoa pressing building, and the confections molding and packaging facility. Steam was used during the production of a variety of Nestlé products. Asbestos-containing materials insulated a wide variety of equipment at the plant, including pipes, boilers, duct work and turbines. As a result of asbestos exposure at Nestlé’s Fulton plant, many workers developed mesothelioma, a cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos.
Maintenance work was regularly performed on equipment located throughout the Nestlé plant. Numerous steam pipes ran throughout the buildings, and the asbestos insulation that covered these pipes required frequent replacement. Workers responsible for this type of maintenance created asbestos-containing dust by scraping and prying at asbestos materials. This process was extremely messy, and created dust clouds. Many workers were not aware of the dangers of exposure to the asbestos dust, and carried on their work without masks or protective gear.
In 2003, after more than one hundred years in Fulton, Nestlé closed its plant. Since the closing of the plant, investors from Côte d'Ivoire have purchased the old chocolate factory and are currently attempting to reopen it as New York Chocolate and Confections Company.
Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC, represents former workers and retirees, as well as their families, from the former Nestlé plant in Fulton, New York. If you or a loved one were once employed at the Nestlé plant, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, please contact us for a free case evaluation.