The Pohlman Foundry was located at 205 Baitz Avenue in Buffalo, New York, and it manufactured gray iron castings for pumps and compressors. The Foundry was in operation for 113 years, and its customers included manufacturers of automotive and industrial parts. In 1998, the Pohlman Foundry was acquired by Lionheart Industries Inc. In 2002, the foundry ceased operations, and in 2004, it shut down permanently.
The Pohlman Foundry’s operations were contained to one building. As demand for iron castings grew, building additions were constructed to accommodate different departments, including, the large, medium, and small mold areas; furnaces and cupolas; an office; the maintenance department; and the finishing department. Asbestos insulation lined the walls of the finishing department. Prior to the late 1970s, asbestos was incorporated into insulation materials for walls and other surfaces. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
Laborers were exposed to asbestos as they worked in the finishing room at the Pohlman Foundry. The finishing room contained blast units, grinders and chipping stations for cleaning castings before they were shipped. A blast unit is a machine that removes excess iron and impurities on metal castings by hitting them with steel shots. At the Foundry, it was common for the steel shots to hit the two to four inch, asbestos-containing wall insulation, causing it to tear and release asbestos fibers and dust into the finishing room. Many workers were not aware of the dangers of inhaling asbestos fibers and dust, and they carried on their work without masks or protective gear. Laborers that worked in the finishing department, as well as those who worked in its vicinity, may have been exposed to asbestos dust and are at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC represents former workers and retirees from the Pohlman Foundry. In the process of representing these workers and their families, we have gathered a vast amount of information concerning the types of asbestos-containing materials to which our clients were exposed. If you or a loved one were once employed at the Pohlman Foundry and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.