5 Asbestos Victims Receive $190 Million in NYC’s Largest Compensation Payout By Companies

In a record-breaking judgement by a jury in the Manhattan Supreme Court, five asbestos cancer victims will receive $190 million in compensation against two manufacturing companies for repeated exposure to the deadly material. All five of the men worked in the trades for Burnham Corporation or Cleaver-Brooks Companies as steamfitters, plumbers or construction workers.
At the crux of the substantial payout is that despite knowing the health dangers from working with asbestos, neither company educated their workforce on the risks of working with or around asbestos, or provided safety equipment to protect their workers from accidental exposure.
The Burnham Corporation and Cleaver-Brooks Companies specialize in the manufacturing of boilers and HVAC materials. Though the use of asbestos in manufacturing has since been banned, the Burnham Corporation and Cleaver-Brooks Companies relied on the pliable material in the creation of boilers. Since asbestos is a natural insulator and heat resistant, the material was an ideal addition to the construction of boilers.
Of the five asbestos cancer victims, three died from mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that can affect the protective lining of the lungs, heart or abdominal cavity. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma cancer. The families' of the deceased will receive their portion of the payout.
Asbestos is a highly toxic, naturally-occurring mineral heavily used in the manufacturing of products for the trades. Tradespeople – including plumbers, steamfitters, automotive workers, boilermakers and electricians – regularly came into direct contact with asbestos fibers through working with or on asbestos materials.
One of the five men worked aboard an aircraft carrier in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, as a pipe fitter. Pipe fitters typically install and maintain pipe systems in commercial settings, but may also work aboard ships, submarines and other vessels. Similarly to the use of asbestos in boilers, asbestos was commonly found in pipes for insulating purposes.

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