Photo Credits Author:Pedro Angelini Licensed under creative commons
In 1899, the local government in Fulton, New York offered the Swiss confection company Nestle a free plot of land to entice them into building their first American factory. The company accepted and became a fixture in Fulton, employing thousands of workers in the area during the twentieth century. However, these workers had their lives put at risk because of the use of asbestos parts, materials, and equipment at the factory.
Exposure to asbestos is the only cause of the highly aggressive cancer mesothelioma. Since as far back as the 1920s, the businesses that made asbestos products knew that asbestos was a danger to workers’ safety, but failed to warn them of the dangers of asbestos.
Belluck & Fox has represented former employees at the Fulton Nestle plant who were diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of on-the-job asbestos exposure, including maintenance mechanics and laborers. Because of this, we have already obtained documents such as maps and invoices showing the sale of asbestos to the plant. Our team knows the layout of the facilities and how workers were exposed to asbestos at this site. If you worked at Nestle in Fulton, we can use this prior experience to help you get compensation.
The origins of the Nestle Corporation can be traced to 1866, with the founding of two Swiss companies: The Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé. The two merged in 1905 into the entity that would eventually become known as Nestle, and began to build a roster of products that would eventually extend to over 8,000 unique brands. The company is best known for its chocolate varieties, but markets a diverse array of food products including bottled water, frozen meals, and pet food.
Asbestos Use at Nestle in Fulton, New York
Nestle’s Fulton plant was completed in 1900, and chocolate production began at the site in 1909. The factory was set on a 30-acre property near the eastern border of town, along what today is Fay Street, between South 7th Street and N South Arterial Highway. Asbestos was used at the factory, and remained present until after the site ceased operations in 2003. Partial demolition of the site began in 2013.
Boiler rooms contained a particularly high concentration of asbestos-containing equipment. Because their function is to heat water, boilers are constantly at risk of damage from high temperatures and corrosion. These boilers were insulated with asbestos on their exteriors, and lined with asbestos refractory. The boilers were also connected to equipment, such as pumps, gauges, pipes, valves, and soot blowers. To create seals at these junctions, asbestos gaskets were used. These gaskets were thin discs of asbestos board that were cut or punched as-needed from large sheets of asbestos. The process of cutting and shaping the gaskets would release dust as the asbestos fibers were torn in the gasket-making process. Packing, a type of braided rope made from asbestos, was also used to create seals and stuff pumps. Specially measured lengths of packing were required for this purpose, leaving workers to cut through the packing as needed. When pumps required maintenance or repair, packing was removed with special hooks that pierced and tore the asbestos, creating loose, breathable fibers.
Asbestos cement was used throughout the plant as insulation material. It often came as a powder, which was mixed with water into a pasty consistency, then applied by hand. Mixing the raw asbestos powder with water would release millions of asbestos dust particles into the air. Workers would also be required to scrape and wire brush the hardened asbestos cement when the equipment it was used on required maintenance or repair.
The buildings at Nestle’s Fulton factory were also constructed using asbestos products. Materials such as wall insulation, wallboard, fireproofing spray, shingles, and floor and ceiling tile all were made using asbestos. In June of 2013, the owner of the now-closed plant was found to be engaging in illegal asbestos abatement. Government investigators uncovered over 2,000 feet of asbestos insulation and cement on the plant’s pipes.
Beyond exposures that occurred directly to Nestle workers, families were exposed to asbestos through what is known as take-home exposure. Asbestos doesn’t just contaminate the air at a factory; it contaminates the workers themselves by settling on their hair, skin, clothing, and shoes. Because these workers were never warned of the dangers of asbestos, they unknowingly carried these dangerous fibers into their home. These were released into the air when workers would change out of their uniforms, and were then inhaled and ingested by their family members. Take-home exposure has resulted in many of these workers’ spouses and children developing mesothelioma.
Belluck & Fox is on Your Side
Workers who were employed at Nestle in Fulton prior to the 1990s were exposed to asbestos on a daily basis. If you worked at this plant and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact the law offices of Belluck & Fox immediately. The asbestos industry caused your disease, and knew they were putting you and millions of others at risk. These companies could have prevented all cases of mesothelioma, but chose rather to hide the dangers of asbestos. If you are one of the many victims of the asbestos industry’s irresponsible practices, it is your right to seek compensation.
Hiring attorneys experienced in asbestos law is important to the success of your lawsuit. Over the last decade, Belluck & Fox has been recognized as one of the nation’s premiere asbestos law firms, and our attorneys have won over $600 million for our clients and their families. We know the ways in which workers were exposed to on-the-job asbestos, and can show who made the asbestos products that caused your illness. We have already fought and won cases for employees who worked at Nestle in Fulton, and already have documents showing the purchase and use of asbestos at the site.
Belluck & Fox prides itself on the personal attention we offer our clients. With four offices located throughout New York State, our attorneys are convenient to all New York residents, and can will meet you in your home. Your case will be handled by our attorneys, and you will not be referred to another law firm after retaining our services. We take cases solely on an individual basis, and will never bundle your case with others as a class-action suit. There is also no financial risk, as we will only take payment if we recover money for you and your family. Our offices can be reached at 877-637-6843 or through our online contact form.