When it was originally founded in 1891, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) was located in downtown, Rochester, New York, and known as the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute. In 1961, due to increasing student enrollment and expanded course offerings, RIT’s administration relocated the university’s campus to its current location in Henrietta, New York.
Construction of RIT’s Henrietta Campus began in 1964. Today, the campus spans over 1,300 acres of land and is comprised of 237 buildings, including laboratories, athletic facilities, auditoriums and a field house. The initial construction phase of RIT’s Henrietta campus terminated in 1968, but renovations and the erection of new facilities are frequent and ongoing. In recent years, laborers who assisted in the construction of RIT’s Henrietta Campus have developed and died of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.
Prior to federal regulations placed on asbestos in the late 1970s, asbestos could be found as a component of insulation and building materials, including joint compound, pipe covering and fireproofing materials. These materials were used throughout the construction of the 1,300 acre campus. Workers who handled asbestos-containing materials, or those who worked in the same vicinity where these materials were applied and removed, are at high risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma. Most workers were completely unaware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos dust, and performed their work without masks or protective gear.
Many union and non-union laborers who worked on construction projects for the Rochester Institute of Technology were employed by various contractors throughout Western New York. In the process of representing workers and their families, we have gathered a vast amount of information regarding the type and variety of asbestos-containing products to which our clients were exposed. If you or a loved one once worked on construction projects at RIT, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.