In 1848, the Sisters of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious order, established the first hospital in Buffalo, New York. Sisters of Charity Hospital was originally located on St. Louis Place, and in 1876, it moved to the corner of Main Street and Delavan Avenue. In 1948, Sisters Hospital relocated to its current location at the corner of Main and Humboldt Streets and on the site of a former maternity hospital and mental institution. Several additions and renovations have been completed at Sisters Hospital. The hospital currently maintains 467 beds for inpatient care, and it offers emergency, maternity, cardiology and rehabilitation services.
Many trades, such as carpenters, electricians, pipefitters, laborers, insulators and sheet metal workers were involved in construction and renovation projects at Sisters Hospital. Prior to the late 1970s, asbestos was incorporated into dozens of building and construction materials, including fireproof insulation, pipe covering, insulating cement and block insulation. Exposure to asbestos-containing materials can cause mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Asbestos-containing fireproof insulation was applied to the structural steel throughout Sisters Hospital. Fireproofing material was mixed with water in a machine and sprayed onto the steel with a hose. The fireproofing process created clouds of asbestos dust, which remained airborne for days. Additionally, workers disturbed the fireproof insulation after it was applied in order to install pipes, ventilation ducts, framing studs and other equipment. When fireproof insulation was disturbed, asbestos fibers were emitted into the air.
Sisters Hospital was heated by steam produced in boilers. Steam was delivered to locations throughout the hospital through a network of pipes and radiators. Workers applied asbestos-containing pipe covering to steam pipes at the Sisters Hospital in order to protect the pipes from damage and to maintain stable internal temperatures within the heating system. When pipe covering was cut and applied, asbestos dust and fibers were emitted. Insulating cement was also applied to pipe elbows and valves. Pouring and mixing insulating cement caused asbestos fibers to become airborne. Boilers were also covered in asbestos block insulation, which was cut to fit the contours of the boilers. When workers applied block insulation, asbestos dust was released into the air and inhaled by workers.
Many union and non-union laborers who worked on construction projects for Sisters of Charity Hospital were employed by various contractors throughout Western New York. If you or a loved one were once employed in connection with construction or renovation projects at Sisters of Charity Hospital and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us regarding your legal rights.