Lawyer plans to file federal class action lawsuit against county

UNIONDALE, NY (CBSNewYork) – With concerts, the circus and hockey, the Nassau Coliseum has been a very popular venue for years. But now, state inspectors are looking into whether asbestos inside the coliseum poses a cancer threat.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

Nassau County has admitted in the past that there is asbestos in the walls of the coliseum, but attorney Joseph Dell, whose firm represents 75 of the facility’s workers, said this is a major problem and that some of his clients have been diagnosed with cancer.

“I have clients who have lung cancer, I have clients who have just the fear,” he told CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano. “Their fear is the dry cough turns out to be lung cancer from exposure that they’ve had to asbestos.”

Dell said that he plans to file a federal class action lawsuit against the county.

“We’ve sent bulk samples out to three separate laboratories, and they’ve all come back with very dangerous levels of asbestos,” Dell said. “I represent individuals who have mesothelioma and lung cancer and are at home on oxygen. These folks are very concerned about their health. They’re very worried not only about their own safety, but everyone’s safety.”

The state has launched an asbestos investigation and OSHA said it’s looking into it. The investigation, however, didn’t stop thousands from attending the circus on Saturday.

“I wanted to see the circus. I wasn’t going to get scared off from a little reporting,” said Bob Rostan of East Meadow.

The building is also home to the New York Islanders.

“The Islanders, as the primary tenant, expect that the building owner, Nassau County, and the building facility manager, SMG, will review the allegations and take any and all appropriate action,” said Michael Picker,  the team’s senior vice president.

In a statement, County Executive Ed Mangano said that he has long stated that there is a need for a new sports entertainment venue in Nassau County, saying “the Coliseum is the oldest unrenovated facility in the NHL.”

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section…

Comments (6)
  1. Tom says:

    can you imagine all the lawsuits that will occur if you live in nassau leave now while you still can.

  2. rob says:

    the truth will be told any day now and the fact that many knew about it….horrible just$$$$$$$$$$$

  3. Thomas says:

    Nassau county and smg are they that stupid. Nassau is run by crimials that dont care at all about the residents that live there all they want to do is run people out of town and raise their taxes. Nassau residents leave now while you still can.

  4. smoker says:

    i have been to so many concerts ther in the 80’s. i wonder if i breathed in asbestos with my weed?

  5. Velvethead says:

    Of course a bulk sample of an asbestos made building product will have “dangerous levels” of asbestos. It’s asbestos! If the lawyer had in his possession numerous AIR samples that show dangerously high airborne levels of asbestos, that would warrant concern. He obviously doesn’t have that. Hey ambulance! Wait for me!

    1. Kelly says:

      article doesn’t give adequate information on the testing done. link to earlier report just as confusing (9/11 sickness) as I don’t see correlation with LI arena.
      would have been nice is the article contained more usable / viewable information.

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