Gaining work experience and training for future employment can prove invaluable for high school students in Ohio, and, as a result, many students take advantage of programs that offer these benefits. Sadly, not all programs have participants' best interests in mind. A former nonprofit organization was recently slammed with hefty fines by a judge for intentional asbestos exposure.
Firm Build was a nonprofit that was contracted to help give students invaluable job training in certain fields. However, claims made against the three executives that ran the nonprofit stated that the program simply used the students to help shave the cost of the renovation project on which they worked. Rather than using professionals, Firm Build had the students handle asbestos in order to clear it out of a building.
Although the investigation into the men's actions began back in 2009, the legal process did not conclude until recently. All three were charged with violating laws concerning emissions and pollution to which they pleaded guilty. On other charges, including a felony charge for the mishandling of asbestos, they pleaded no contest.
The judge overseeing the case determined that the three men must pay a combined amount of more than $1.5 million for the current and future medical needs of the students who suffered exposure to asbestos during the work program. Even if some victims are not currently experiencing health problems, asbestos exposure can have far-reaching implications and health effects that may not surface for many years. For these victims, the funds are intended to provide lifelong monitoring. Though this order stemmed from a criminal matter, Ohio victims of asbestos exposure can also seek similar compensation via civil claims.
Source: fresnobee.com, "Fresno federal judge fines 3 execs $1.8m for students' asbestos exposure", Feb. 23, 2015