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Employer slapped with steep fine for asbestos violations

We often read about the sometimes-hefty fines that negligent employers face for violating state and federal laws when it comes to removing and disposing of asbestos. These fines, intended to punish the recklessness of a business owner, may have little effect on the lives that are devastated by the asbestos exposure that is often a consequence of reckless removal practices.

Victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are entitled to pursue financial compensation from a negligent party. In addition to a negligence claim, however, victims should know that they may also qualify for workers' compensation benefits to help with medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. Workers at four companies may decide to pursue these options after the owner of the companies was convicted of several asbestos violations.

According to reports, the man owned four companies that demolished various buildings. In just one case, the companies demolished an old steel mill that contained asbestos. During the demolition process, unprotected employees worked in a haze of asbestos particles that were kicked up during the removal process. In an older project, the companies again subjected workers to dangerous conditions by failing to provide them with protective gear while they worked around massive amounts of airborne asbestos.

The owner was fined $850,000 for the excessive violations in terms of negligent asbestos removal. He will also spend 15 weekends in jail and three years on probation.

However, the penalties for his federal crimes will likely not allay the concerns of the workers who were subjected this negligence. It can take decades for victims to learn that they have developed an asbestos-related disease. For many of these people, the cost of medical bills can be enormous. While money cannot undo the damage that has been caused by exposure to asbestos, financial compensation from a negligent party can be very helpful in dealing with these added expenses.

Source: WYTV, "Springfield Businessman to Pay $850,000 Fine," Adam Ferrise, April 7, 2013

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