Lockport Memorial Hospital was originally established as Lockport City Hospital in Lockport, New York, on July 1, 1908. The Ladies Hospital Aid Association raised $5,000 for the Hospital’s construction; the City of Lockport matched this amount. When the Hospital was first opened, it included 18 patient beds. As the community of Lockport grew, demands for Hospital’s services also increased and, from 1938-1983, it went through numerous expansions and renovations. In 1959, the Hospital’s name was changed to Lockport Memorial Hospital by the Lockport Common Council. In 1979, ownership of Lockport Memorial Hospital was transferred to a not-for-profit corporation with a community driven board of directors. Today, the Hospital sits in its original location at 521 East Avenue and is now part of Eastern Niagara Health System (ENHS).
Prior to federal regulations placed on asbestos in the late 1970s, asbestos was incorporated as a component of insulation and building materials, including fireproofing materials, joint compound (mud), pipe covering and floor tile. These materials were used during construction and renovations at Lockport Memorial Hospital. Workers who handled materials that contained asbestos or those who worked in the vicinity of others who did are at high risk for developing asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Fireproof insulation was applied to the structural steel at Lockport Memorial Hospital in order to protect the steel from fire damage and high heat temperatures. Asbestos was incorporated into fireproofing because of its fire resistant qualities and relatively low cost. Fireproof insulation was manufactured as a dry mix, which was typically packaged in one hundred pound bags. Raw fireproofing material was dumped into a machine, mixed with water and sprayed onto steel surfaces with a hose. During the mixing and application processes, an enormous amount of asbestos-containing dust and fibers were emitted into the work area. Laborers who worked in the vicinity of the application of fireproofing may have also inhaled asbestos dust and fibers. Additionally, tradesmen, such as pipefitters, electricians, ironworkers and carpenters routinely disturbed the fireproofing after it was installed in order to install pipes, conduits, wall framing, ventilation ducts and other building materials.
Asbestos-containing pipe covering, mastic, cement, and floor and ceiling tiles were also used during construction and renovations at Lockport Memorial Hospital. Laborers and tradesmen who were hired to apply, remove or work in the vicinity of asbestos-containing building materials may have been exposed to asbestos dust. Inhaling dust and particles from the application and maintenance of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk of developing serious health problems. Even who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for the development of asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Many union and non-union laborers who worked on construction projects for Lockport Memorial Hospital were employed by various contractors throughout Western New York. If you or a loved one were once employed in connection with the construction of Lockport Memorial Hospital and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.