Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos Exposure Lawyers in New York

Until the late 1970s, asbestos was used as a fire-retardant component in many building materials. Unfortunately, it was eventually discovered that there was a link between asbestos exposure and lung diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and pulmonary fibrosis.

At Nappa, Monterosso & Poznansky, LLP, our occupational disease lawyers have advocated for workers in the greater NYC area for more than 30 years. We understand the complexities of asbestos exposure cases and help injured workers obtain the benefits and compensation they deserve.

Coughing construction worker in blue shirt, yellow vest, and hard hat

Occupations With a High Risk for Asbestos Exposure

There is always lots of construction going on in the greater New York City area. Throughout the 20th century, thousands of schools, churches, apartment buildings, transit stations, and public buildings that were erected contained asbestos in some form. Workers who repaired, renovated, or demolished these structures came into contact with asbestos.


Asbestos can be found in materials such as shingles, tiles, cement compounds, insulation, and other items like car parts. Although it is heavily regulated today, construction workers still face a higher risk of asbestos exposure than workers in other professions.


Some other professions in which workers may be exposed to asbestos include:

  • Workers in industrial settings such as manufacturing, power plants, and shipyards
  • Auto mechanics
  • Engineers
  • Machinists
  • Foundry workers
  • Boilermakers
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Pipefitters
  • Plumbers
  • Sheet metal workers
  • Steamfitters
  • Welders
  • Miners

It’s important to keep in mind that the loved ones of those exposed to asbestos may also be at risk. Asbestos fibers sometimes cling to clothing, shoes, skin, and hair and can travel home with workers.

Occupational Diseases Related to Asbestos Exposure

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 125 million people are exposed to asbestos in the workplace, and more than 107,000 deaths worldwide are linked to exposure each year.


Asbestos is composed of six naturally-occurring minerals that are processed and formed into very fine crystals or fibers. When these fibers are inhaled, they irritate airways and lung tissues. Because the asbestos fibers cannot be cleared by the lungs, they eventually cause inflammation, scarring, and serious occupational diseases.


Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that is exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. It most often affects the tissue surrounding the lungs (pleural mesothelioma). Being exposed to even a small amount of asbestos can cause mesothelioma, and signs and symptoms may not appear for decades. Mesothelioma can affect the tissues in the stomach and those surrounding the heart and testicles as well, although such instances are rare.

Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:

  • Painful coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Lumps under the skin on the chest
  • Unexplained weight loss

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal pain and swelling, nausea, and unexplained weight loss. Signs of pericardial mesothelioma in the tissues surrounding the heart include chest pain and difficulty breathing. Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis may cause swelling or a mass on the testicles.


A chronic lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers, asbestosis can be debilitating and deadly, and may not be apparent for 10 to 40 years. The severity of asbestosis symptoms varies, and may include:


  • Shortness of breath
  • A dry, persistent cough
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • A crackling sound in your lungs when you inhale
  • Fingertips and toes that appear wider and rounder than usual (clubbing)

More lung tissue becomes scarred as asbestosis progresses, and eventually becomes so inflexible that it can't expand and contract normally.

Other Diseases Caused by Exposure to Asbestos

Asbestos exposure can cause other occupational diseases such as COPD, pleural disease, pulmonary fibrosis, and cancers of the lung, larynx, kidneys, and ovaries. Because it often takes decades for these conditions to develop, it can be a challenge to recover maximum compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. Our occupational disease lawyers understand the toll these diseases can take on injured workers and their families. Our team understands how to put all relevant evidence together to prove you were exposed to asbestos and that it caused your illness.

Recovering Damages in Asbestos Exposure Cases

Although you can file a workers’ compensation claim for occupational disease caused by asbestos exposure, these benefits do not cover all your losses. If your employer was aware of potential asbestos exposure and failed to provide proper PPE and training to protect you, they may be liable for damages. Workers’ comp lawyers often work with personal injury attorneys to help injured workers recover damages in cases involving employer negligence or negligence by the manufacturer of the product that contained asbestos.


No amount of money can halt a disease or bring a loved one back, but monetary compensation helps give victims and their families a sense of justice and accountability. If you or a loved one has been harmed by asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to damages such as:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future wage loss
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death damages

In New York City, people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis may be able to file a claim with the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) court.

Why Choose Us?

If you or a loved one is suffering the physical, emotional, and financial costs of asbestos exposure, It’s crucial to seek the counsel of experienced work injury attorneys who understand the multifaceted aspects of asbestos litigation in New York.


Our workers’ comp attorneys and occupational disease lawyers are dedicated to helping you understand your rights and options. We fight to help you recover the compensation and benefits you need to protect your health and financial security.


As the largest work injury law firm in Staten Island, Nappa, Monterosso & Poznansky, LLP, has handled a wide range of workers’ comp and disability cases involving all types of asbestos exposure. Our team is here for you every step of the way. Attorney Rolando Cubela is proud to provide quality legal representation to our Spanish-speaking clients.

Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in New York

Dealing with the fallout of an illness caused by asbestos exposure is overwhelming. Our occupational disease lawyers at Nappa, Monterosso & Poznansky, LLP, provide the compassionate, competent legal support you need to get through tough times. To schedule a case evaluation with a workers’ comp lawyer, call us at 718-273-9000 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout the greater NYC area.

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