New York personal injury attorney Joseph W. Belluck says New York Knicks officials made the right call to postpone Tuesday\’s NBA game at Madison Square Garden between the Knicks and Orlando Magic after debris that may have contained asbestos fell into the arena.
According to the Associated Press, the debris fell when maintenance was being performed following Monday\’s New York Rangers hockey game, which included \”cleaning asbestos-related materials in the attic above the ceiling.\”
The Knicks decided to postpone the game for safety reasons and said in a released statement that they will not reopen the Garden \”until we are absolutely assured the arena is safe.\”
Belluck praised the Knicks\’ decision.
\”The game postponement at Madison Square Garden because of asbestos illustrates how prevalent this dangerous substance is in New York buildings,\” said Belluck, a partner in Belluck & Fox LLP, a New York mesothelioma law firm that focuses on representing victims of asbestos-related diseases.
The current version of Madison Square Garden, or MSG, opened in 1968. It is the longest active major sporting facility in the New York metropolitan area.
\”The Knicks officials were correct to postpone the game. Inhaling even a small amount of asbestos can lead to deadly diseases, such as mesothelioma,\” Belluck said.
Malignant mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of the lung or abdomen, is most closely associated with prolonged exposure to asbestos, especially in the workplace. Symptoms typically do not appear until 20 to 40 years after exposure, complicating the diagnosis.
In the U.S., about 2,500 to 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year, and the number has increased in recent decades.