Hiring a Mesothelioma Lawyer in New York

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New York is often called the birthplace of the asbestos manufacturing industry. In 1858, a predecessor of the Johns Manville Corporation began using anthophyllite mined in Staten Island to manufacture asbestos insulation. Over the next century, asbestos use spread to a variety of industrial applications in New York and beyond. Now that the health hazards of these materials are well-known, New York has enacted a number of laws and regulations to promote safe handling and removal of materials containing asbestos.

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New York is home to some of the strictest asbestos laws and regulations in the country. That’s because the state is trying to protect the public from the extensive amount of asbestos that was used throughout the state from the 1800s through the 1970s.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that the U.S. government began enacting laws and regulations to limit the use of asbestos. Implementation of these laws took time, which meant many people were still heavily exposed throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

The state is known for its rich industrial history. Factories, textile mills, power plants, manufacturing plants and shipyards used many asbestos products on a daily basis. The workers employed at these facilities were exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos.

Many of these workers later developed asbestos-related diseases and hired a New York mesothelioma lawyer to help them seek compensation. For example, in 1991, a New York judge consolidated 850 cases filed by power plant workers to expedite their claims.

Around the same time, two other judges consolidated 600 cases filed by asbestos-exposed workers from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Experienced asbestos lawyers in New York are among the most qualified in the country to represent mesothelioma patients.

New York Asbestos Laws and Regulations

The New York State Asbestos Law, known as Industrial Code Rule 56, protects the public from exposure to asbestos. It describes proper procedures for handling and disposing of asbestos materials.

It also requires all work which disturbs asbestos materials be done by licensed asbestos abatement professionals.

The New York State Department of Labor’s Asbestos Control Bureau enforces these laws. The department’s staff has the authority to inspect asbestos projects, respond to complaints and stop work if violations are found.

Additionally, New York City has its own set of asbestos laws known as the NYC Asbestos Control Program. Other laws involving asbestos are found in the New York Compilation of the Rules and Regulations (NYCRR):

  • 10 NYCRR Part 73: Regulations for training asbestos abatement workers and those providing safety training

  • 12 NYCRR Part 56: Regulations involving public safety during asbestos abatement projects

  • 6 NYCRR Part 360: Regulations for properly disposing of asbestos waste

  • 6 NYCRR Part 364: Regulations on how to safely transport asbestos waste

The penalties for violating these laws are costly. Penalties have ranged from thousands to millions of dollars.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Filing Deadlines

New York has set deadlines, known as statute of limitations, for filing a personal injury and wrongful-death lawsuits.

  • Mesothelioma patients have three years from the date of their diagnosis to file a personal injury claim.

  • Surviving family members have two years to file a wrongful-death claim.

Mesothelioma patients can reach out to a New York mesothelioma attorneyfor guidance on when to file. An experienced attorney can determine how the statute of limitations applies to your case.

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New York Job Sites with Documented Asbestos Exposure


  • Albany Felt Company


  • American Standard (Ingersoll Rand)

  • Bethlehem Steel

  • Dunlop Tire and Rubber (Sumitomo Rubber)

  • General Motors

  • Spaulding Fibre

New York City

  • Astoria Powerhouse

  • Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation

  • Brooklyn Navy Yard

  • Brooklyn Union Gas Company

  • Caddell Dry Dock & Repair Co.

  • Charles Poletti Power Project

  • Consolidated Edison Company

  • GMD Shipyard Corporation

  • Kentile Floors

  • Todd Shipyards Corporation

Niagra Falls

  • Carborundum Company

  • Niacet Corporation

  • Niagara Electrochemical Company

  • Occidental Chemical Corporation

  • Union Carbide Company



  • Georgia Pacific Corporation

  • Plattsburgh Air Force Base

  • Vanity Fair Paper Mills, Inc.


  • Bausch & Lomb, Inc.

  • Eastman Kodak Company

  • Xerox Corporation


  • American Locomotive Company (ALCO)

  • General Electric

  • Schenectady Chemical


  • Bendix Corporation (Honeywell)


  • Zonolite Company/W.R. Grace

New York Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Many mesothelioma lawsuits have been filed in New York courts. That’s primarily because New York is a hotspot for asbestos exposure. The state’s industrial facilities, factories, mills, power plants and shipyards employed many people who worked with asbestos products.

Between 1998 and 2000, New York was among five states that captured 66 percent of the nation’s asbestos lawsuits.

In 2000, New York and California led the nation in the number of asbestos case filings.

New York courts have developed procedural rules and practices and case management practices to deal with the number of cases. For example, the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) was developed to handle cases filed by residents of NYC and people exposed in NYC.

Courts in New York City and Syracuse, New York, have established “inactive dockets” for asbestos cases. These courts place cases of claimants who allege asbestos exposure, but are currently unimpaired, on a separate inactive docket. Discovery and processing of such cases is delayed until the plaintiff’s injuries have progressed.

These courts also adopt procedural rules and issue case management orders to address a backlog of cases. For instance, under “first in, first out” procedures, claims of terminally ill claimants are set aside for accelerated trials during one month, twice a year.

These case management orders also include procedures for “clustering” groups of similar cases for trial and discovery. For example, multiple cases handled by a single law firm may be clustered into a group.

Many asbestos claims are settled out of court. Some go to trial and may result in substantial verdicts. Other claims seek compensation from asbestos trust funds.


Mesothelioma settlements obtained for New York workers are generally kept private. This means the settlement amount is withheld from the public.

But, experienced mesothelioma lawyers are known to secure settlements ranging from $1 million to $4 million.


One of the biggest mesothelioma verdicts in the state’s history was ordered in 2017. Plaintiff Marlena Robaey claimed she developed peritoneal mesothelioma in 2012 and pleural mesothelioma in 2016 as a result of secondary exposure to asbestos through her husband.

Ed Robaey used asbestos products in his job working on boilers and engines. Some of the defendants listed in Robaey’s claim settled out of court. Those who remained were ordered to pay $75 million to the Robaeys.

In 2004, a New York jury awarded a total of $22 million to a former electrician and the estate of a man who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Four years later, a New York jury awarded $2.25 million to the family of another former electrician at the Brooklyn Navy Yard who developed mesothelioma.

But not all cases have resulted in favorable verdicts for asbestos claimants. It’s important to speak with a New York mesothelioma lawyerwith the expertise to handle your case.

Trust Funds

Each state has its own laws that govern when and how a claimant can file a claim with an asbestos trust fund.

New York is among the states that allow setoffs. If a claimant has received compensation from an asbestos trust fund, any defendant that they sue may deduct the amount of trust compensation from a court award.

Additionally, New York City is among the courts that may require a plaintiff to file trust fund claims prior to a trial for a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim.

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Lawyer and On-Site Legal Advisor

Joe Lahav is a lawyer and legal advisor at The Mesothelioma Center. He graduated with honors from the University of Florida College of Law in 2000, and he's licensed to practice in Washington, D.C., and Florida. Joe lost his mother to cancer, and he understands the emotional toll mesothelioma can have on families.

Walter Pacheco, Managing Editor at Asbestos.com
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8 Cited Article Sources

The sources on all content featured in The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com include medical and scientific studies, peer-reviewed studies and other research documents from reputable organizations.

  1. New York City Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Environmental Compliance. (2011, February 3). Asbestos Control Program: Asbestos Rules and Regulations.
    Retrieved from: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/air/asbestos_rules_20110203.pdf
  2. New York State Department of Labor. (n.d.). Asbestos Control Bureau.
    Retrieved from: https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/safetyhealth/DOSH_ASBESTOS.shtm
  3. New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. (n.d.). New York State Asbestos Law.
    Retrieved from: http://nycosh.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/fs_33_asbestos_3_rev1.pdf
  4. New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. (n.d.). The New York City Asbestos Control Law.
    Retrieved from: http://nycosh.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/fs_34_asbestos_4.pdf
  5. New York State Department of Health. (2017, June). Asbestos Laws and Regulations.
    Retrieved from: https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/indoors/asbestos/laws.htm
  6. FindLaw. (n.d.). New York Asbestos Regulations.
    Retrieved from: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/new-york-law/new-york-asbestos-regulations.html
  7. New York State Safety and Health. (n.d.). Asbestos in New York State: Facts and Responsibilities.
    Retrieved from: https://labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/p224.pdf
  8. Carroll, S.J., et al. (2005). Asbestos Litigation. :  Retrieved from: http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG162.pdf

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Last Modified December 13, 2019

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