With 1,100 guest rooms, three restaurants, a ballroom and numerous meeting rooms, the Hotel Statler was once the largest hotel in Buffalo, New York. Constructed in 1923, by Ellsworth Statler, it featured more guest rooms than any other hotel in Buffalo. With eighteen stories, it was the second-tallest building in the city. Hilton Hotels purchased the hotel in 1954, and it became known as the Statler Hilton. During Hilton’s ownership of the Statler, the building gradually transitioned its hotel rooms to office space. A local investment group led by William Hassett acquired the Statler Hilton in 1973, and renamed the building Statler Towers. Over the next thirty years, the building changed ownership several times. Financial difficulties forced several owners into bankruptcy, and the Statler Towers were sold at foreclosure auctions on three different occasions. In 2011, the building was acquired by Statler City, LLC, and renovations to the exterior and interior of the structure began.
Prior to the late 1970s, asbestos was incorporated into building materials used during construction, maintenance and renovations at the Statler Towers, including pipe covering, block insulation and insulating cement. Laborers who handled asbestos-containing materials at the Statler Towers have developed and died of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases. Most workers were completely unaware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos dust, and they performed their work without masks or protective gear.
Workers utilized asbestos-containing insulating materials in order to protect the steam and hot water systems at the Statler Towers. Steam and hot water pipes were insulated with asbestos-containing pipe covering and insulating cement. Because each room at Statler Towers was provided with steam heat and hot water, miles of asbestos-containing pipe covering coated these pipe lines. Steam boilers were also covered with asbestos block insulation in order to ensure the efficient operation of the heating system. Asbestos-containing insulating cement was applied to pipe elbows, pumps and valves. When asbestos-containing materials were removed or applied, asbestos fibers were emitted, which workers inhaled.
Many union and non-union laborers who were involved in construction, maintenance and renovation procedures at the Statler Towers were employed by various contractors throughout Western New York. If you or a loved one were once employed in connection with maintenance or renovations at the Statler Towers and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.