The owners of a building and employers have a responsibility to make sure a property is safe for employees, tenants and visitors. This means that they must comply with state or federal safety regulations and they must deal with any hazards or violations in an appropriate manner. When a property owner does not take this responsibility seriously, people can get injured or sick. In many of these cases, it can be appropriate to file a premises liability claim.
One of the most common hazards that is present in many building across the country is asbestos. For several decades, homes and other buildings were constructed using asbestos in sulation, roofing and plumbing materials. Property owners must be sure that they are aware of any asbestos that is present and deal with it appropriately. In general, property owners can protect residents and workers by notifying them of the dangers of disturbing asbestos or they can have the asbestos removed responsibly so that the risk of anyone being exposed to the toxic material is eradicated. However, negligent property owners ignore this duty and end up putting innocent people in danger.
An apartment complex is currently at risk of being condemned based on a number of health and safety violations that were identified on the property. There were reports of caved-in ceilings, lead poisoning and unabated asbestos. The presence of asbestos may be one of the most worrisome hazards as there is no quick fix for people who have already suffered toxic levels of exposure.
When people are exposed to airborne asbestos, they can develop serious health issues, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. Many victims have no idea when, where or how they were exposed because it can take decades for symptoms to start showing. This is why it is crucial to hold property owners accountable when it comes to warning people about the asbestos or having it removed.
In this case, the property owner says he was surprised to hear about the asbestos and other violations and insists the apartments are safe to live in, despite the lengthy list of hazards and toxic materials. Not only has he failed to keep his tenants safe, but he has also failed to realize just how dangerous his negligence may truly be.
Source: KFOX14, “Landlord of apartments facing condemnation speaks to KFOX14,” Genevieve Curtis, May 14, 2013