The State University of New York at Binghamton was originally a branch of Syracuse University, and it was established in 1946 as Triple Cities College. Students completed their first two years of study at Binghamton, and the next two years were fulfilled at Syracuse University. In 1950, Triple Cities College was incorporated into the State University of New York (SUNY) system, and it was renamed Harpur College. Following a decade of growth, in 1961, Harpur College built a new campus in Vestal, New York. In 1965, Harpur College was designated a University Center within the SUNY system. The campus currently spans 387 acres of land, and it contains over sixty buildings, including lecture halls, residential halls, laboratories, athletic facilities and administrative buildings. SUNY Binghamton is one of four SUNY universities that grant doctorate-level degrees, and it offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 130 areas of study. With nearly 15,000 in student enrollment, SUNY Binghamton is one of the largest universities in the SUNY system.
In recent years, laborers employed in the construction and maintenance of the buildings at SUNY Binghamton have developed and died of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases. Dozens of asbestos-containing materials were utilized at SUNY Binghamton, including fireproof insulation, pipe covering, insulating cement and block insulation. Workers who handled these materials are at high risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Fireproof insulation was applied to the structural steel of buildings at SUNY Binghamton in order to protect the steel from potential fire damage. Fireproofing was manufactured as a dry mixture of linen, asbestos and cement, and it was packaged in fifty-pound bags. The dry insulation mix was poured into a spraying machine, mixed with water and sprayed onto structural steel using a hose. Pouring and spraying fireproof insulation caused clouds of asbestos dust and fibers to become airborne. Plumbers and electricians frequently disturbed the insulation after it was applied in order to gain access to equipment housed alongside the steel. When the insulation was disturbed, asbestos dust became airborne.
Buildings on the SUNY Binghamton campus were heated by steam produced in numerous boilers. The steam was transported from the boilers to the buildings through a system of pipes. Pipes, valves, pumps and boilers in the steam system were typically covered in asbestos-containing insulation. When maintenance or repairs were performed on the steam system, insulation was removed in order to access the equipment. When maintenance or repair work was completed, new insulation was applied. Removing and applying pipe covering, insulating cement and block insulation caused asbestos dust to become airborne.
Many union and non-union laborers who worked on construction projects at the SUNY Binghamton were employed by various contractors throughout the Southern Tier and Central New York. If you or a loved one were once employed as a laborer at SUNY Binghamton and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.