Founded in 1826, the State University of New York College at Fredonia is one of the oldest campuses in the SUNY system, which is comprised of sixty four campuses. After the college was incorporated into the SUNY system in 1948, it began to rapidly increase in size. Located in Chautauqua County (southwest of Buffalo, New York), the campus has over thirty buildings, including fourteen residence halls, several lecture halls, a major athletic complex and concert theater. Prior to federal regulations placed on asbestos in the late 1970s, asbestos was a component of building materials, including joint compound, pipe covering and other building materials. In recent years, laborers who assisted in the construction of the SUNY Fredonia’s buildings have developed and died of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.
Construction of most of the college’s current buildings began in the early 1960s. Asbestos-containing fireproofing, joint compound and pipe covering were used in the construction of the buildings located throughout the campus. Fire proofers who applied asbestos-containing fireproofing materials, such as Monokote, are at high risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, including mesothelioma. Fireproof insulation is a mix of asbestos, cement and waste materials from linen mills. This material came packaged in bags, which was then dumped into a machine where it was mixed with water and then sprayed onto surfaces with a hose. During the application process, large clouds of dust and fibers were emitted into the air where the material was being applied.
Asbestos-containing joint compound and pipe covering were also utilized in the construction process of SUNY Fredonia’s buildings. Joint compound, or “mud” was used on seams and joints over drywall tape. After the compound dried, it was then sanded down to a smooth surface. During both the mixing process of asbestos joint compound and sanding process, dust and fibers were released into the air putting not only plasterers at risk for exposure, but others who also worked in the same vicinity.
In the process of representing workers and their families, we have gathered a vast amount of information on the type and variety of asbestos-containing products to which our clients were exposed. 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 as a laborer at SUNY Fredonia and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.