Owning a home is something that many people hope to do. Homeowners take a lot of pride in their homes and will often go to great lengths to make sure their home is a safe and happy place to be. However, this can require third parties to complete work on the home. If that third party is reckless and irresponsible, a homeowners dream can quickly turn into a nightmare.
That may be the troubling experience one family is going through after it was revealed that the company they hired to remove asbestos shingles violated safe removal practices.
The company was hired to remove the asbestos, which must be done according to strict state and federal regulations. If materials are not properly removed, handled and disposed of, the asbestos dust that is released during the work can put people in serious danger. Breathing in asbestos can cause irreparable damage to a person’s lungs and health. Certified abatement companies are supposed to understand this and are expected to take the appropriate measures to get rid of the materials.
In this case, unfortunately, the company failed to do this. They tossed shingles containing asbestos to the ground, stored them in plastic bags and removed them without properly containing them. This resulted in debris and dust being released into the air. This could have potentially put workers and the homeowners at a very real risk of being exposed to the known carcinogen.
A lawsuit has been filed against the company seeking outstanding fees and civil penalties. However, it is unknown at this time if the homeowners will also choose to file a lawsuit against the company for endangering their health and well-being. People in similar circumstances have exercised their right to take legal action against negligent parties in an attempt to hold those parties accountable and pursue compensation.
There is no doubt that asbestos-related illnesses are devastating, and financial awards cannot undo the damage that has been done. But they can be crucial in helping victims and their families cope with lost wages, medical bills and the ongoing care that victims of these diseases often experience.
Source: Worcester Business Journal Online, “Oxford company sued for alleged asbestos violations,” Emily Micucci, July 16, 2014