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Asbestos exposure crimes lead to $400,000 restitution order

Asbestos exposure in industrial settings such as shipyards, old schools, houses, public buildings and auto repair shops can cause mesothelioma. Asbestos dust can accumulate on the lining of the lungs and cause respiratory illnesses. In extreme cases, it can be malignant and form cancer around the linings of the heart and abdomen. Although short-term exposure can be life-threatening, it can also take many years for mesothelioma to develop. For this reason, laws regulating asbestos exposure exist at the federal and state levels, including in Ohio.

An environmental laboratory in another state was recently placed on probation for five years by a federal court and instructed to pay restitution of $409,830 following a finding that it had allowed the release of asbestos into the air. The company's services include monitoring the air at projects involving the removal of asbestos. The company admitted to asbestos-related violations from 1999 through 2007.

During that time, the company provided laboratory analysis and air-sampling for two other firms that were involved in asbestos-removal projects. However, it was determined that these two companies left behind scattered, dry asbestos after illegally removing it from buildings. This allowed asbestos particles to be released into the atmosphere, exposing people to potentially deadly consequences.

Such irresponsible actions threaten not only the lives of workers but also pose a risk to others. Ohio residents who have lost loved ones to malignant mesothelioma have the right to seek accountability from those who may have violated asbestos-related laws. However, proving negligence on the part of a company -- or companies -- can be difficult, and the support of an experienced asbestos litigation attorney may be invaluable. A lawyer can launch an independent investigation to determine the origin of the asbestos exposure while pursuing a monetary judgment against wrongdoers in order to provide financial relief for surviving family members.

Source: syracuse.com, "Syracuse environmental lab ordered to pay $400,000 for asbestos-removal crime", John O'Brien, Nov. 25, 2015

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