The Albany Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center was established in 1951, and it currently serves 32,000 veterans a year. This 16-story medical building is located on Holland Avenue in Albany, New York, and it contains 156 beds. The Albany VA provides inpatient and outpatient services to veterans. In 1990, the hospital was renamed Albany Stratton VA Medical Center in honor of Samuel S. Stratton, who served as a U.S. congressman for 30 years in the Albany area. The Albany VA Medical Center is recognized as a comprehensive cancer center by the American College of Surgeons.
Up until the late 1970’s dozens of asbestos-containing materials, such as fireproof insulation, pipe covering, floor tiles and insulating cement were used during construction and maintenance procedures at the Albany VA Medical Center. Workers, who applied, removed or maintained asbestos-containing materials are at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.
The Albany VA Medical Center was heated by steam produced in boilers. Asbestos-containing insulation was applied to boilers, pumps, valves and pipes within the steam system. Workers removed asbestos insulation in order to access equipment during maintenance and repair procedures. When these procedures were completed, new insulation was applied. Applying and removing asbestos-containing insulation released asbestos dust and fibers into the air.
Fireproof insulation was applied to the structural steel at the Albany VA Medical Center in order to protect the steel from potential fire damage. Asbestos was commonly incorporated into fireproofing materials because of its resistance to fire. Fireproofing material was mixed with water and sprayed onto the steel. This process emitted dust clouds, which contained asbestos. Most workers were not aware 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 Albany VA Medical Center were employed by various contractors throughout New York State. If you or a loved one were once employed in connection with the construction or maintenance of the Albany VA Medical Center and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.