In this day and age, it’s difficult to imagine a company being careless when it comes to asbestos. Asbestos exposure has been proven to cause cancer and a variety of fatal illnesses, and because of this, the substance has been heavily regulated in Ohio and across the United States for decades. Despite this, in another state, a construction company stands accused of illegally disposing of asbestos, endangering both the public and the company’s employees.
According to reports, Hultgren Construction was renovating a building known as the Copper Lounge in late 2016 before it collapsed. However, when asbestos was discovered at the site, the company apparently failed to file the required paperwork before it removed the hazardous substance. Additionally, the workers who removed the asbestos-laden insulation were not certified to perform asbestos removal, compounding the company’s illegal activities.
Per state officials, the asbestos was then illegally dumped at a city landfill after being casually loaded into plastic garbage bags and transported through the town. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources spearheaded an investigation into the hazardous incident. An environmental specialist with the department does not believe that landfill officials knew of the toxic nature of the substance when the materials were accepted.
When airborne asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can cause a number of diseases, from mesothelioma to asbestosis and more. The company who carelessly exposed both its workers and the public is facing a $20,000 fine from the state, but only time will tell there will be more tragic results for any exposed. In Ohio, for those suffering cancer or other serious illness as a result of illegal asbestos exposure, there are seasoned professionals in the Cleveland area who have experience in asbestos litigation and can offer ongoing legal support in pursuing legal recourse for any damages sustained.
Source: usnews.com, “Company Illegally Disposed Asbestos in Sioux Falls”, Dec. 21, 2017