People who are diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis have been exposed to high or concentrated amounts of asbestos at some point in their lives. Many years ago, asbestos was used widely and an average worker was not aware of how dangerous it could be to come into contact with it. Now, many of these same workers are suffering from work-related illnesses because of the negligence of their employer. The symptoms of these diseases can decades to be identified, so tracking the source of exposure can sometimes present a challenge.
Providing workers and residents with a safe environment is a duty that all property owners must take seriously. People should be able to expect that they will be given proper warnings if unsafe conditions exist and will be appropriately protected if there are hazardous conditions in place. This is certainly true when it comes to people work or live in a building that contains asbestos. In most cases, property owners or employers will make the responsible decision to have the toxic substance removed safety and by a certified abatement company.
We often hear stories about companies and property owners who are negligent when it comes to removing dangerous asbestos materials from a certain location. Many of them try to get away with cutting corners by trying to ignore the hazards associated with asbestos, or they hire unqualified workers to remove the asbestos-containing products. Too often, this negligence results in exposing unsuspecting people to a potentially fatal toxin. While they know they may face legal action down the road, including a premises liability lawsuit, they end up deciding to take the easy way out.
We have discussed that lingering threats of asbestos exposure that veterans of the U.S. Navy and construction workers have faced in the past several decades. However, there are other industries in which people worked that also pose a serious threat to the health of the workers and their families.
Recently, we have been discussing the dangers of asbestos exposure that men and women in the military faced for decades. Unfortunately, people are still being exposed to this cancer-causing fiber, despite the known risks associated with it. Allowing people to come into contact with asbestos, whether it was 40 years ago on a naval ship or just days ago on a construction site, is extremely negligent behavior.
Asbestos is an extremely toxic substance, exposure to which can cause a host of life threatening and health destroying diseases and injuries. In North Carolina, and elsewhere, this can result in the potential for significant premises liability. When property owners discover the presence of asbestos in buildings, particularly those being either torn down or remodeled, they often confront a dilemma--the relatively high cost of properly disposing of the asbestos in a way that is both legal and minimizes the risk of exposure both to work crews and to the surrounding community.
It should not be a huge surprise to property owners that they are responsible for maintaining a safe and hazard-free space. Property owners in North Carolina and elsewhere can garner civil penalties in a premises liability lawsuit if hazards on their property harm another person.
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.
People in North Carolina and nationwide were shocked to learn how two men worked together to dump over 60 million pounds of debris from demolitions on open farmland bordering on a river. The truly outrageous thing was that much of the debris contained asbestos, the toxic substance that can lead to various illnesses including many respiratory ailments and mesothelioma that can result in disability and death. The two men were put on trial for criminal offenses and could also be subject to lawsuits for premises liability by anyone damaged by the presence of the asbestos.
Asbestos was once used frequently for insulation and for wrapping wires. Since it was found by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be dangerous to human health, the substance was banned. Exposure to any amount can lead to serious lung problems. Negligence during building demolition and renovations can happen anywhere, including North Carolina, leaving workers and businesses liable to the devastating consequences asbestos exposure can have on people.