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Asbestos Exposure at Columbia University

If you were a student, faculty or staff member at Columbia University in the City of New York and were recently diagnosed with mesothelioma or another illness connected to exposure to asbestos, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Bailey & Glasser, LLP has a team of asbestos attorneys who are prepared to help you negotiate or litigate an asbestos claim against Columbia University. We believe that no one should get cancer from university campus buildings.

Mesothelioma FAQs

  • What is mesothelioma? 

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a human carcinogen that is associated with many exposure related illnesses, including lung cancer and asbestosis.

  • Can mesothelioma be cured?

Sadly, there is no known cure for mesothelioma. While treatments are available to improve a patient’s quality of life, mesothelioma is terminal. The average life expectancy for a mesothelioma patient is 12 to 21 months, with treatment, according to the National Library of Medicine.

  • How common is mesothelioma? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an average of 3,128 new mesothelioma cases each year. In New York, from 2015 to 2019, there were 916 new cases of mesothelioma and 646 mesothelioma deaths. New York is fourth in the nation for the number of mesothelioma cases.

Is Asbestos Present at Columbia University in New York?

Columbia University owns 71 buildings on the main campus and a total of 265 structures across New York City. Many of these buildings are known to contain asbestos. For example, the Columbia University Irving Medical Center is known to have asbestos in its administrative, academic and housing buildings. In addition, asbestos has already been removed or sealed in at least 30 different university-owned buildings.

Asbestos is present in a variety of materials that were used in the construction of Columbia University buildings until the 1970s. Before asbestos was confirmed as a known carcinogen in 1987, many different building and construction materials that needed to be heat-resistant relied on asbestos. This includes wall plasters, spray-on fireproofing for beams and ceilings, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, linoleum, pipe and duct insulation, roofing felt, glues and adhesives, and boilers and tanks.

When asbestos is disturbed at a university, such as when asbestos-containing materials are damaged during building renovations or demolitions, asbestos fibers and particles can be released into the air and inhaled or ingested by students and staff members nearby. Over the course of many years (20-60+, on average), these asbestos fibers can cause cancerous tumors and other serious health issues for students and staff members who attended Columbia.

Columbia University’s Asbestos Management Program

Columbia University has an asbestos management program in place to increase awareness of this health risk, train employees and minimize asbestos exposure risks to building occupants. This program involves regular building surveys to determine areas where asbestos is present and prompt asbestos response by approved and licensed professionals. Before any renovations are done on older buildings, a licensed asbestos abatement contractor is brought in for inspections and asbestos removal.

However, it was a Columbia asbestos abatement project that led to fear by employees that they were being exposed to asbestos fibers. Workers complained to the union that they believed they had been exposed to asbestos through the air ducts in the powerhouse chiller plant at Columbia University. These fears were based on a notification that was sent out to employees regarding asbestos that was disturbed when pipe insulation was removed during chiller plant renovations. This incident is just one example of Columbia University’s failure to protect its students and staff.

Sources of Compensation for Victims of Asbestos Exposure at Columbia University

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, and an investigation finds that you were exposed to asbestos while attending Columbia University as a student or working there as part of the faculty or staff, you may have the right to file a related claim or lawsuit. A mesothelioma claim is the fastest way to get financial relief for your pain, suffering and other related costs, including mounting medical bills.

You may be entitled to compensation through a few different legal remedies, such as:

  • A workers’ compensation claim against Columbia University (as an employee).
  • A personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit against Columbia University.
  • A product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the asbestos-containing product.
  • An asbestos trust fund claim with a company that has declared bankruptcy.

An attorney from Bailey & Glasser, LLP can carefully review your case and advise you on the best legal route moving forward. Our team has experience handling many different types of mesothelioma and asbestos claims in New York and throughout the country. We are committed to pursuing maximum financial compensation for our clients through all available outlets.

How to Start an Asbestos Claim Against Columbia University

A successful claim could result in a payout for your past and future hospital bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, emotional suffering, unplanned expenses, and other losses. Pursuing a claim against Columbia University for exposing you or a loved one to asbestos is easy at Bailey & Glasser, LLP.

Just take the following steps:

  1. Contact one of our intake specialists to describe your case. We will listen to your story and let you know how we can help.
  2. Our team of experienced asbestos attorneys and staff will review your case details and arrange for a rapid response follow-up.
  3. We will connect with you to schedule a convenient time for a free, confidential and no-obligation asbestos case evaluation.

We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible about a potential claim as a former or current student, faculty or staff member at Columbia University who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis or a related disease.

Contact Us Today

At Bailey & Glasser, LLP, we are passionate about helping our clients go up against powerful adversaries in pursuit of justice for asbestos exposure. This includes colleges and universities that have negligently exposed victims to asbestos within their buildings, such as Columbia. Contact us to discuss a potential case if you or a loved one is an asbestos-related cancer victim who attended or worked at Columbia University in New York City. Call (866) 871-7971 today.