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One firm left to go in asbestos exposure litigation

Most Minnesota readers understand that construction work is dangerous. There are usually many safety regulations and strict procedures in place to help keep workers as safe as possible. For instance, if a building is scheduled to be torn down, there's a certain way to go about it to decrease the risk of injuries among workers or bystanders. Recent litigation involved more than one party being sued regarding asbestos exposure when a building in another state was razed.

Two separate firms agreed to settle out of court for a total of $180,000. The settlement comes after they were accused of illegal asbestos work. The situation involves a YMCA building that was scheduled to be torn down in 2014. It was alleged that the parties were responsible for a 45,000 square foot ceiling being demolished without properly sealing it first; the worst part is, the ceiling contained asbestos. 

The claims against the parties also stated that they did not use proper protective equipment, nor did they adhere to safety practices that would have limited exposure to asbestos. Witnesses say clouds of dust could be seen during the demolition of the building, which was located near a school. Workers supposedly also threw asbestos debris out a window and into an improperly lined trash can below.

Disregard for the law regarding safe handling of asbestos can result in serious injuries and/or illness to those exposed to tiny particles. Asbestos exposure is known to cause severe respiratory illness. Any Minnesota resident or worker whose illness is associated with asbestos exposure may be entitled to pursue the issue in court.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Two firms settle case over illegal asbestos removal", Jill Terreri Ramos, July 25, 2017

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