Reading Time: 15 mins
Last Edited On: 03/18/2024

Written by Joe Lahav, EsquireEdited By Walter PachecoLegally Reviewed By Samuel Meirowitz

Why Work With a New York Mesothelioma Lawyer?

New York mesothelioma lawyers are experts on the laws and court rules related to asbestos litigation in the state. They also have extensive knowledge of the job sites and companies involved in New York asbestos exposure. These attorneys can help you understand your rights and legal options.

Having had prior mesothelioma cases with a variety of different asbestos companies really makes a difference in what type of recovery you’re able to make for your clients.

“One of the big differences between somebody relatively new to handling asbestos cases vs. folks doing this for a while is once you’ve developed information about the various companies that manufacture asbestos-containing products, you know what questions to ask,” New York-based lawyer Samuel Meirowitz tells The Mesothelioma Center. “You know what products are the most dangerous and why they’re the most dangerous.”

New York asbestos attorneys are among the most experienced in the nation because of the volume of cases they handle. According to a leading industry report, New York was among the top 5 states for asbestos lawsuit filings in 2022. These filings include personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits. New York mesothelioma lawyers also help people file asbestos trust fund claims.

Asbestos Exposure in New York

New York is No. 5 in the U.S. for mesothelioma and asbestosis deaths. About 180 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the state. Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. 

Empire State Building
Low levels of asbestos dust were found at the Empire State Building on 9/11.

Experts attribute the state’s high ranking to its rich industrial and manufacturing history. New York is often called the birthplace of the asbestos manufacturing industry. Military bases, shipyards and naval vessels docked in New York exposed veterans as well. Veterans in the state may file VA claims for benefits and they have access to VA health care.

Schools, historical buildings, public housing and private homes in New York were also built with asbestos-containing construction materials. Working, living and attending classes in these buildings puts people at risk of asbestos exposure. Firefighters and other emergency response professionals encounter asbestos in these old buildings and people were also exposed to asbestos in 9/11 dust.

New Yorkers who develop asbestos-related diseases have several options in the state for specialized treatment. Some of the most renowned New York mesothelioma treatment centers include Mount Sinai Hospital, NYU Langone Medical Center and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Survivor Story
Michelle Marshall Mesothelioma Survivor

Survivor Story

Survivor Story

Michelle worked in New York City’s historic Empire State Building in the 1980s during a major renovation project. It often left a thin dust film on her desk. It was the same desk where she often ate the lunch she packed and brought from home. Asbestos was a major material in the construction of the famed New York City landmark and is the primary cause of mesothelioma.

Read Michelle’s Story

New York Industries Known for Asbestos Exposure

New York has an extensive industrial history. Its factories, textile mills, power plants, manufacturing plants and shipyards used many asbestos products daily. The workers employed at many of these facilities were exposed to dangerous amounts of asbestos.

High Asbestos Exposure NY Industries
  • Chemical processing
  • Construction
  • Insulation installation
  • Manufacturing
  • Metal works
  • Oil refining
  • Paper milling
  • Power generation
  • Rubber production
  • Shipbuilding
  • Textiles

New York shipyards, including Bethlehem Steel, exposed many workers and veterans to asbestos. Many products throughout ships used the mineral  because it prevented fires on vessels and was resistant to corrosion from seawater. 

Manufacturing was another significant source of asbestos exposure in New York. Many manufacturing companies added asbestos to products because it made them stronger, heat-tolerant and less likely to corrode.

Missy Miller, Patient Advocate

A partner NY law firm’s diligent discovery process helped a patient prove asbestos exposure was from a school classroom.

Missy Miller Patient Advocate Headshot

New York Companies That Exposed Workers to Asbestos

Asbestos exposure in New York traces back through more than a century of the state’s history with a range of companies involved in industries such as manufacturing, chemical production and metal works. A predecessor of the Johns Manville Corporation began using anthophyllite mined in Staten Island to manufacture asbestos insulation in 1858. Asbestos use spread to a variety of industrial applications in New York and beyond throughout most of the 20th century.

New York Asbestos Companies
  • Aetna Asbestos Construction Co.
  • Allied Chemical & Dye Corp.
  • American District Steam Co.
  • American Mannex Corp.
  • Asbestos Construction Co
  • Burkhardt Paper Co.
  • Durez Plastics & Chemicals Inc.
  • Flintkote Co.
  • Garlock Inc.
  • General Aniline and Film Corp.
  • General Cable Corp.
  • Hewitt Rubber Co.
  • Jenkins Bros.
  • Laboratory Furniture Co.
  • National Asbestos Shingle Corp.
  • National Gypsum Co.
  • New York Fire Proof Covering Co.
  • Niagara Asbestos Corp.
  • Phelps Dodge Corp.
  • Raphael Asbestos Roofcoating Corp.
  • Refractory and Insulation Corp.
  • Rockaway Metal Prod. Corp.
  • Rome Cable Corp.
  • Ruberoid Co
  • SAS Gasket & Supply Co. Inc.
  • Standard Asbestos Co.
  • Superior Electric Mfg. Co.
  • Thermos Heating Systems Inc.
  • Union Carbide Corp.
  • Uniroyal Inc.
  • United States Rubber Co.
  • Wenz Asbestos Co. Inc.
  • Wilco

Many of these companies operated throughout the U.S. but had headquarters in New York. For example, Union Carbide operated an asbestos mine in California until 1985 but its headquarters were in New York City. Other major asbestos companies located in New York include GAF Corporation, National Gypsum Co. and Garlock Inc

Some workers at these companies later developed asbestos-related diseases. To help cover the costs of treatment, lost wages and other expenses related to their medical conditions, a number of these workers and their families hired New York mesothelioma lawyers to help them seek compensation.

Mesothelioma Law Firms Practicing in New York

Mesothelioma patients in New York may benefit from  experienced asbestos law firms with offices throughout the state. Well-known firms with offices in New York City, for example, include Weitz & Luxenberg, Cooney & Conway and Simmons Hanly Conroy.

NY Cities With Top Asbestos Law Firms
  • Albany
  • Buffalo
  • Mount Vernon
  • New Rochelle
  • New York City
  • Rochester
  • Schenectady
  • Syracuse
  • Utica
  • Yonkers

A top mesothelioma attorney can secure the maximum value of your case. They have the experience and reach to help you get justice against the companies that exposed you or your loved one to asbestos.

Top Asbestos Firms in New York

Weitz & Luxenberg, for example, is a top New York City mesothelioma law firm. Based in New York City, the firm’s asbestos attorneys help clients throughout the state. National firms like Simmons Hanly Conroy also have offices in New York. These mesothelioma lawyers specialize in asbestos litigation and understand both federal asbestos regulations and New York state statutes.

Weitz and Luxenburg

Weitz & Luxenberg

700 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
  • $8.5 Billion Recovered
  • Serves Clients Nationwide
  • Rated #1 by U.S. News & World Report for 2022
Simmons Hanly Conroy Logo

Simmons Hanly Conroy

112 Madison Avenue 7th Floor
New York, New York 10016
  • $8.9 Billion Recovered
  • Serves Clients Nationwide
  • Rated a Tier 1 Law Firm in 2022 by U.S. News & World Report
meirowitz & wasserberg logo

Meirowitz & Wasserberg

1040 Sixth Avenue 12B
New York, NY 10018
  • $200 Million Recovered
  • Serves Clients Nationwide
  • Rated in the Top 10 Asbestos and Mesothelioma Trial Lawyers

According to a KCIC 2023 industry report, many New York residents file their claim in the state. However, it’s not in every resident’s best interest to file there based on the circumstances of their individual case, for example if asbestos exposure occurred somewhere else or if the company responsible is headquartered in another state. 

Firms that practice nationwide know the best state in which to file a given claim. New York residents with mesothelioma can benefit from a nationwide asbestos law firm with experience in different types of cases in nearly every state. 


Percentage increase of asbestos claim filings in New York between mid-year 2021 and 2022, and the largest increase in the nation.

Source: KCIC  

Nationwide Asbestos Law Firms Outside of New York

Seeking assistance from a nationwide firm can help people pursue a claim elsewhere. If your asbestos exposure took place outside of New York, or if the accountable company has its headquarters in another state, your attorney may advise you file in another state.

Nemeroff Law Firm Logo
8226 Douglas Avenue Suite 740
Dallas, TX 75225
  • $500 Million Recovered
  • Serves Clients Nationwide
  • Rated a “Hall of Fame” law firm by The Legal 500
Cooney & Conway Logo
120 N Lasalle Street Suite 3000
Chicago, IL 60602
  • $7 Billion Recovered
  • Serves Clients Nationwide
  • Rated a National Tier 1 Firm by U.S. News & World Report in 2022
Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman
820 Mililani Street Suite 505
Honolulu, HI 96813
  • $600 Million Recovered
  • Serves Clients Nationwide
  • 30+ Years Experience

If you can’t travel to a New York law office, top lawyers will travel to clients throughout the country to conduct interviews and depositions, and they won’t charge you for their travel expenses. They can also conduct virtual or phone meetings when health concerns make in-person meetings challenging.

How to Find the Right New York Asbestos Attorney

Finding the right asbestos attorney involves careful consideration to select the best legal representation for your case. You want to find a firm that has secured compensation in other cases like yours in New York. 

Good firms discuss their track record of success. Look for one that has handled claims with similar details to yours. This may involve cases stemming from the same job site or lawsuits listing the same asbestos companies that may be liable for your exposure.

Attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, for example, represented James Petro in his claim against several asbestos companies including Mario & DiBono, which supplied asbestos-containing fireproofing spray. New York asbestos lawyers Danny Kraft, Kush Shukla and Stacy Pulido secured $28.5 million for Petro at trial.

Asbestos Verdicts Awarded to New York Workers

Many asbestos claims settle out of court in New York. A select few go to trial and may result in substantial verdicts.

New York Asbestos Awards
  • $31.5 Million: Former construction worker Romeo Maffei received damages in 2023. His lawsuit claimed he developed lung cancer following exposure to asbestos-contaminated boiler parts. Throughout his career, Maffei worked on hundreds of Burnham LLC.’s boilers.
  • $28.5 Million: A New York County Supreme Court jury ordered several defendants to pay damages to James Petro in 2023. He developed lung cancer following exposure to asbestos working as a steamfitter at the World Trade Center.
  • $23 Million: A New York jury ordered Jenkins Bros. to pay damages to mesothelioma patient James McWilliams in 2023. He encountered asbestos working as a steamfitter using Jenkins’ asbestos-laden flange gaskets and valves.
  • $22 Million: A former electrician who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and a seaman in the Navy and Merchant Marines were jointly awarded $22 million in 2004. The New York State Supreme Court confirmed the damages.
  • $15 Million: The New York Supreme Court rejected Kaiser Gypsum’s motion for a new trial in 2023 and confirmed the damages awarded to the family of construction worker Munir Seen. He developed mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos-containing joint compound.
  • $4.25 Million: A New York appeals court confirmed damages of $4.25 million awarded to Marlena Robaey in 2020. She developed peritoneal mesothelioma in 2012 and pleural mesothelioma in 2016. Some of the defendants listed in the claim settled out of court.
  • $3.3 Million: A jury ordered Ford Motor to pay damages to mesothelioma patient Joseph Skrzynski at a trial in New York’s Erie County Supreme Court in 2021. Skrzynski’s asbestos exposure occurred through contaminated brakes and clutches.
  • $2.25 Million: A New York jury ordered John Crane Inc. to pay damages to the family of Leonard Shafer, a former electrician at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 2008. Shafer developed mesothelioma from exposure to John Crane’s asbestos stuffing tube packing material.
  • $2 Million: A Niagara County Supreme Court jury awarded damages to Benedict Viglietta in 2022. He developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos at Hooker Chemical plant. Exposure to Hedman Resources Limited-supplied raw asbestos and Johns Manville-made contaminated products led to Viglietta’s mesothelioma.

New York mesothelioma lawyers have obtained settlements worth more than a million dollars for their clients. They have also secured 6-figure payouts from asbestos trust funds.

New York Asbestos Laws and Regulations

New York has enacted a number of laws and regulations to promote safe handling and removal of materials containing asbestos. The New York State Asbestos Law, known as Industrial Code Rule 56, protects the public from exposure to asbestos.

Additionally, New York City has its own set of asbestos laws known as the NYC Asbestos Control Program. Other laws involving asbestos appear in the New York Compilation of the Rules and Regulations. The Department of Labor’s Asbestos Control Bureau enforces asbestos laws, inspects asbestos projects, responds to complaints and shuts down work if violations are found.

Key Facts About NY Asbestos Laws
  • Industrial Code Rule 56 lists proper procedures to follow when handling and disposing of asbestos materials in buildings and dwellings with 4 or more units. It requires licensed asbestos abatement professionals to do work that may disturb asbestos.
  • NYCRR contains specific regulations for asbestos abatement training and methods, as well as transporting and disposing of asbestos waste.
  • NY Civil Practice Law and Rules defines the state’s negligence laws and sets the statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.

These resources help New Yorkers learn about asbestos laws in their state. They also help them understand their rights if they’ve gotten sick from asbestos exposure. 

New York is home to some of the strictest asbestos laws and regulations in the country, a result of the extensive amount of asbestos 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.

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