New York Asbestos Lawsuits

Our New York asbestos attorneys represent victims who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer in product liability lawsuits against the asbestos companies. We fight to get maximum compensation for victims and their family. This page looks at mesothelioma asbestos lawsuits in New York and their potential settlement value.

About Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that primarily affects the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that covers most of the internal organs. Mesothelioma stands out among cancers due to its singular cause: asbestos exposure. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can lodge in the lining of vital organs like the lungs or abdomen, triggering inflammation, scarring, and ultimately, cancerous cell growth.

Despite its rarity in the cancer landscape, with just over 3,000 cases diagnosed annually, mesothelioma is exceptionally lethal. It boasts a survival rate of below 12% at five years and under 1% at seven years post-diagnosis, making it one of the deadliest forms of cancer.

Mesothelioma manifests in various subtypes, depending on its originating location. The most prevalent subtype, pleural mesothelioma, affects the lining around the lungs and represents over 80% of cases. Its onset often occurs after a prolonged latency period of 15 to 40 years following initial asbestos exposure.

Asbestos Exposure in New York

New York has an annual asbestos-related death rate of 7.2 per million. That is slightly lower than the national average asbestos death rate among states. Around 2,300 New York residents died from mesothelioma between 1999 and 2015. Geographically, the western part of the state (particularly the Buffalo area) has the highest mesothelioma rate.

New York is a large and economically diverse state. Asbestos exposure in New York involves a variety of different industries. Below is a summary of the industries in New York where asbestos exposure was common.

Mining Industry – Western New York

Mining was a major industry in western and upstate New York, particularly in the areas near the Vermont border. Mining in New York focused on various minerals, including talc. Anyone who worked in the New York mining industry was at high risk of exposure to asbestos because it was commonly used for a variety of applications in the mining industry. Also, many of the minerals mined in western New York (such as talc) are found alongside or with natural asbestos deposits, which increased the risk of asbestos exposure for anyone working in the mines.

Construction Industry – NYC

As the most populous metropolitan area in the United States, New York City is renowned for its constantly evolving skyline. Over the years, it has been the site of some of the world’s largest construction projects, alongside tragic events such as the September 11th, 2001 attacks. The collapse of the Twin Towers resulted in a significant release of asbestos into the air, leading to an alarming prevalence of respiratory disorders, including asbestosis and mesothelioma, particularly in Brooklyn and neighboring areas. These health issues stem directly from the extensive use of asbestos in construction practices by companies such as W. R. Grace, Asbestos Construction Company, and Lord Construction Company.

Shipbuilding – NYC

New York City has the most active port in the U.S., and there has always been a significant shipbuilding industry based in the port of New York featuring docks and shipyards where ships are constructed and repaired. The Brooklyn Naval Yard is one of the best examples. Shipyards also exist on the shores of lake Erie in western New York. Asbestos was very widely used in many applications in the shipbuilding process, but particularly for insulating pipes, boilers and other equipment.

Power Plants – Upstate NY

New York has a large number of power plants, including the nation’s second-largest hydroelectric power generating facility at Niagara Falls, supplying substantial electricity to New York City and various municipalities across the state. Several of these power stations, notorious for asbestos exposure, include the Arthur Kill Generating Station and Astoria Gas Generating Station on Staten Island, the Ravenswood Generating Station in Queens, and the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation in Syracuse.

Specific Asbestos Exposure Sites in New York

Below are some of the known industrial sites in New York where workers were exposed to high levels of asbestos.

Bethlehem Steel Shipyard – Staten Island

In 1939, Bethlehem Steel expanded its extensive operations by acquiring United Shipyards on Staten Island, rebranding it as Bethlehem Steel Shipyard. Throughout World War II until its conclusion in 1945, the shipyard constructed 50 naval destroyers and 75 landing crafts, alongside offering maintenance and repair services for numerous other military vessels. Although the shipyard sustained production, albeit at reduced rates, in the immediate post-war period, by 1960, insufficient demand led to its closure by Bethlehem Steel. Nonetheless, over the course of more than two decades, shipbuilders were exposed to significant amounts of asbestos used in ship construction, increasing their risk of developing mesothelioma later in life.

Brooklyn Naval Shipyard – Brooklyn

Established in the early days of the United States, the Brooklyn Shipyard received its inaugural naval contract in 1798. Throughout history, it played pivotal roles in various significant events, such as the development of the first U.S. steam-powered warship, The Fulton, and the launch of the Niagara, which facilitated the laying of the first transatlantic cable. Although facing a decline in demand in the early 20th century, during World War II, the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard emerged as a key producer of battleships for the U.S Navy. Post-war, it continued constructing ships aligned with Cold War-era naval strategies, but a devastating fire in 1966 ultimately led to the closure of the shipyard. Amidst the peak activity of the Brooklyn Shipyard, thousands of workers were inevitably exposed to asbestos, a prevalent material in boat construction at the time due to its fire-resistant properties.

Caddell Drydock – NYC

Established in 1903, Caddell Drydock and Repair Company stands as the oldest operational shipyard in New York State, boasting dry docks and facilities capable of servicing over 300 vessels annually. Distinguishing itself from other shipyards in the state, Caddell Dry Dock has primarily catered to commercial shipping needs throughout its existence, although it did contribute several vessels to the U.S. Navy during World War II. Beyond routine repair tasks, the company has gained renown for its restoration and replication efforts on historical ships. Unfortunately, it also gained notoriety for subjecting its workers to hazardous asbestos exposure for much of the 20th century.

Todd Shipyard – Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Division of Todd Shipyards holds the distinction of being the company’s original site, established by William H. Todd himself. Initially known as Robins Dry Dock & Repair Company, the site has undergone transformations and expansions, housing various shipyards over time. In the 1940s, the Brooklyn Division earned a prestigious “M” award from the Maritime Commission, acknowledging its excellence in construction and repair operations. During the war era, the workforce at the site swelled to nearly 20,000 employees, facilitating the construction of 3,000 ships to support the war effort. Following World War II, the Todd Corporation redirected the focus of its Brooklyn Division towards alternative projects alongside shipbuilding and repair endeavors. However, this shift did not shield its workers from asbestos exposure, which could potentially lead to the development of fatal cancers.

New York Mesothelioma Verdicts & Settlements

$325,000 Verdict (2020): 63-year-old female, claimed she was diagnosed with mesothelioma after she was exposed to Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower, talcum powder products manufactured by defendants Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., on a daily basis for a period of 62 years. She claimed her mother powdered her with the products when she was a child, she then continued to use the products as an adult, and she applied the products to her own child. The plaintiff asserted the products contained asbestos, her use of the products resulted in substantial amounts of airborne dust, and her exposure to the asbestos from the products caused her mesothelioma.

$6,966,000 Verdict (2019): 60-year-old male, claimed he was diagnosed with mesothelioma after he worked at a factory for seven years and was exposed to asbestos from gaskets or packing used in connection with valves manufactured and sold by defendant Jenkins Bros. The plaintiff contended the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care by not providing a warning about the hazards of exposure to asbestos from the gaskets or packing. The defendant denied liability, denied it manufactured the asbestos-containing gaskets and packing, and contended it had no duty to warn of any dangers of asbestos-containing parts because it had no control over the placement of third-party parts in its valves and did not know of such placement.

$2,000,000 Verdict (2018): 74-year-old male, died of mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos dust and particles emitted from defendant Jenkins Bros.’ work spaces and/or the valves and rubber goods it manufactured. The plaintiff estate, representing a decedent who died Jan. 13, 2016, approximately six months after the original complaint was filed, contended defendant Jenkins Bros.’ actions constituted negligence in relation to its product packaging, breach express and implied warranties, strict liability, a violation of labor laws, conspiracy and premises liability. Damages were disputed. Jurors awarded the plaintiff $2 million and found defendant Jenkins Bros.

$20,000,000 Verdict (2017): Plaintiff was reportedly was diagnosed with mesothelioma after he allegedly was exposed to asbestos while working with asbestos-containing products manufactured by defendant Crane Co. and others. The plaintiff contended the defendant was at fault for causing his injuries. The defendant reportedly denied liability. The plaintiff died during the litigation. A jury determined the defendant was 85 percent at fault and 26 nonparties were a total of 15 percent at fault. The plaintiff’s spouse filed a claim for loss of services and was awarded $5,000,000.

Contact Our New York Asbestos Lawyers

If you (or a family member) have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and want compensation, contact our New York asbestos lawyers today for a free consultation at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation

Contact Information