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Home renovator accused of improper asbestos removal

A man engaged in the renovation of three separate homes has been accused of improper removal and storage of asbestos containing material found in the residences. A lawsuit, filed in state court against him, seeks to impose penalties as steep as $25,000 a day for violations of a clean air law. Improper handling of asbestos in North Carolina and elsewhere has often resulted in serious personal injury or illness, with some contracting serious respiratory ailments or cancer as a consequence.

There are legally required safety precautions that must be followed in the course of attempting to remove asbestos from a home being renovated. The lawsuit claims that the defendant simply did not follow them. As a result, it is possible that people in the surrounding community have been exposed to toxic dosages of asbestos fibers which may have gotten into their lungs, creating a dangerous risk to their health.

The defendant owned two of the three multi-family homes he renovated, and served as the property manager for the third. He engaged in the renovation projects at different times in 2009, 2010 or 2011, according to the complaint. Instead of taking necessary precautions and following required procedures, the lawsuit asserts, the defendant used contractors who allowed asbestos fibers to carelessly be released into the air in the area during the home renovation process.

In one instance, the defendant is said to have allowed his contractors to simply cover up existing asbestos shingles on a building with vinyl siding. Subsequent drilling for the purpose of putting in heating vents allegedly resulted in asbestos fibers being released into the air.

This type of negligence when it comes to handling and removing asbestos can hurt many people who may not even have any knowledge that they are inhaling toxic fibers. Those who cause this harmful situation should be held accountable for the damage it can cause.

Source: mass.gov, "Acushnet Man Sued for Improper Removal and Storage of Asbestos in New Bedford," Oct. 24, 2012

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