Baseball Opening Day: Asbestos Concerns at Old Ballparks?

Old Yankee Stadium Asbestos Exposure Mesothelioma RiskWith the opening day of the 2012 MLB baseball season fast approaching, it is worth taking a look at some of the older baseball stadiums across the country that were likely built with asbestos construction products and host millions of fans every summer.

When it comes to asbestos in a stadium, the original Yankee Stadium had the uniquely unfortunate quality of having been originally constructed in 1922-1923 and substantially renovated in 1974-1975, both of which were when asbestos products were still regularly used in construction projects and before the implementation of more strict asbestos regulations in the 1980s.

While the stadium was never firmly connected to any asbestos exposure involving fans, it was linked to the mesothelioma diagnosis of a former foreman who worked there. A former carpenter who worked on many historic sites in New York City throughout his 30-year career was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2009 that may have been caused in part by asbestos ceiling and floor tiles he cut through at the stadium while building concession stands.

In its later years, there was also an incident that could have potentially exposed some remaining asbestos products that were used in the stadium’s construction or renovation. On April 13, 1998, the then-75-year-old stadium was closed by city officials after a 500 lb concrete beam broke free from underneath the upper deck and fell onto the seats below. Two weeks of health and safety inspections followed before the stadium was allowed to reopen to the public.

Prior to the eventual demolition of Yankee Stadium in 2009-2010, a $20 million contract awarded to Decommissioning & Environmental Management Co. by the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation included asbestos abatement that had to be performed first.

Players and managers who played in the old stadium have not been immune from deadly illnesses caused by asbestos exposure. Former Yankee coach Charlie Metro passed away from mesothelioma last March.

If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma that can be traced back to asbestos exposure at a certain location, there may be legal options at your disposal. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free legal consultation regarding a mesothelioma claim.

Photo courtesy of Eric Beato via Flickr.