Asbestos Exposure at Bethlehem Steel Company – Staten Island


Founded in 1895 and located on the north shore of Staten Island, Bethlehem Steel Company originally constructed wooden vessels under the name of The Burlee Drydock Company. In 1916 the yard began to construct steel ships. The shipyard was purchased and renamed by Bethlehem Steel Company in 1938. During World War II, the shipyard employed over 12,000 people who worked on a 24-hour schedule to ultimately construct dozens of destroyer ships, 75 landing craft, 5 cargo vessels and 3 ocean-going tugs to be used in the war. The yard’s massive output during World War II made it the most profitable shipyard of its time. Following the war, the plant focused on constructing and repairing barges and other harbor crafts. The plant built the Staten Island Ferry in 1950, which is still in use today. The company completely stopped operations in 1960 and the former shipyard is now the site of May Ship Repair.

Throughout the 20th century, asbestos was considered an essential material in preventing fires, and was widely used in almost all areas of the manufacturing of heavy equipment. Thousands of employees, many of whom are military veterans, were exposed to asbestos at the Bethlehem Steel yard, especially those who worked in proximity to asbestos-containing equipment such as boilers, turbines, pumps, and valves. Electricians, pipefitters, boilermakers, equipment and automotive mechanics, pipe coverers and insulators, plumbers, and welders were at especially high risk of asbestos exposure at the Bethlehem Steel Company Shipyard.

Since 1995, the attorneys at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC have been helping clients in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and across New York State who have been injured due to asbestos exposure. Through our tireless efforts, we have helped to shape and reform asbestos laws throughout the state of New York. We have a full team of lawyers devoted to representing people exposed to asbestos.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us today and we will schedule an appointment to come to your home and meet with you and your family to explain your legal rights.