Mader Plastering started as a partnership between Edward Mader and Lawrence Reger in 1953. The company was founded as a small plastering company originally located in West Seneca, New York. Prior to the late 1970s, laborers who were employed by Mader installed and applied asbestos-containing building materials, including, fireproof insulation, joint compound (mud), ceiling tiles and sprayed-on acoustical insulation. Mader was one of the largest interior finishing companies in Western New York employing union Laborers, carpenters, plasterers, drywall finishers and tapers. In the late 1960s to early 1970s, independent contractors, Buffalo Acoustical and Rochester Acoustical, were acquired by Mader Plastering. Today, Mader is based in Elma, New York, and is known as Mader Construction Company, Inc.

Asbestos-containing fireproof insulation was typically applied to a building’s structural steel in order to protect it from high temperatures and fire damage. Up until the late 1970s, asbestos was incorporated into many materials used by the construction industry, including fireproofing material. Fireproofing material was packaged in dry bags, dumped into a mixer with water, and sprayed through a hose and applied to steel. Dumping, mixing and spraying fireproof insulation created clouds of asbestos-containing dust. When fireproofing material was applied or disturbed, tradesmen, including electricians, plumbers, steamfitters, pipefitters, bricklayers and carpenters were also exposed to asbestos by merely working in the same vicinity as fireproofers. Asbestos-containing fireproofing brands used by Mader Plastering include: Blaze Shield, Thermal Acoustic, Cafco, Monokote, Spradon, U.S. Gypsum, National Gypsum, W.R. Grace and Zonolite Company. Fireproofing material was applied to a number of buildings throughout Western New York, including Women & Children’s Hospital, Marine Midland Center, the Donovan Building, the Dulski Federal Building, Main Place Mall and Tower, and the University at Buffalo’s North Campus, including the Law School, Ellicott Complex, Knox Hall and Baldy Hall. Workers applied asbestos-containing building materials without the knowledge that asbestos could cause mesothelioma or lung cancer.

Laborers who were employed by Mader Plastering also installed walls and ceilings. After World War II, the interior walls in homes and commercial buildings were almost exclusively constructed of prefinished gypsum board (drywall) and joint compound (mud). Asbestos was used as a filler material in joint compound, and it was sold as either ready-mix (an application-ready product) or as dry mix (a powder that requires water in order to form a paste for application). Common manufacturers of joint compound include Georgia Pacific and U.S. Gypsum. Joint compound was applied to seams and joints over drywall tape. After the compound dried, it was sanded down to a smooth surface. During both the mixing process of asbestos joint compound and sanding process, dust and fibers were released into the air putting not only plasterers at risk for exposure, but others who also worked in the same vicinity.

Asbestos-containing acoustical ceiling tiles were used in order to conceal HVAC ducts, electrical wires and plumbing. It was often necessary for laborers, employed by Mader, to cut the ceiling tiles to fit around irregular parts of the ceiling. Laborers, including carpenters, also kerfed (groove cut) tile so that ceiling tiles could properly fit into a spline or supporting members of a ceiling suspension system. Simply handling acoustical ceiling tiles produced asbestos-containing dust, and cutting or kerfing the ceiling tiles created a tremendous amount of asbestos dust that workers inhaled.

The attorneys at Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC, have gathered a vast amount of information concerning the type and variety of asbestos-containing products used by employees of the Mader Corporation. Our clients understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer. If you or a loved one were once employed by the Mader Corporation and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us regarding your legal rights.