Durez Plastics Corporation was a chemical and plastics factory that manufactured plastic molding compounds, as well as phenol, resins, and other industrial products. The plant, originally owned by Hooker Chemical and subsequently sold to Occidental Chemical Corporation, was one of the largest and most important employers in North Tonawanda, New York. Unfortunately, as a result of its manufacturing operations, Durez caused its workers, their families, and the surrounding community to be exposed to asbestos dust. Durez used tremendous quantities of raw asbestos fibers as a product ingredient to strengthen its plastic molding compounds. In addition, the hot surfaces in the plant, from pipe runs to tanks and kettles, were covered with asbestos-containing insulation.
Since 1985, our attorneys have represented hundreds of workers from the plant suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases. The closer those workers lived to the plant, the more likely it was that they would develop asbestos-related disease. Even members of families who lived or worked in the neighborhood of the plant, even at a considerable distance, between 1959 and 1979, have developed mesothelioma, as a result of breathing in asbestos dust that escaped into the surrounding atmosphere. The asbestos dust settled on surfaces, including cars, lawns, backyard swimming pools, rooftops, and even Ramsey Field, where Little League activities were conducted in the 1960s and 1970s. Typically, the period between first exposure to asbestos and the symptoms of mesothelioma is greater than forty years. Men and women who worked at Durez or lived nearby in the 1970s will continue to be at risk. Given the massive quantities of asbestos used at Durez every year until 1978 and the poor exposure controls in place during the majority of that time, it is unlikely that the pace of new asbestos disease cases will slow down soon.
For more information, visit our web pages, news articles, and videos highlighting the Durez Plastics Corporation. If you want to find out more after viewing our website, we are happy to speak with you about the risks workers and local residents have been exposed to at and near that site. If you or a loved one were once employed at or lived around the Durez Plastics Corporation in North Tonawanda, New York, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.