In early November, an apartment complex management company was charged with exposing residents to asbestos, according to KCNC-TV. Per the report, in addition to the company itself, one of its executives is facing charges as well for the events that led to the alleged apartment resident asbestos exposure.
How Were Apartment Residents Exposed to Asbestos?
KCNC-TV reported that the charges that the apartment complex management company and the executive are up against involve knowingly breaking federal regulations about performing renovations when asbestos is present.
The alleged apartment resident asbestos exposure first came to light in February 2014. A resident at the complex alerted health officials about the dust being created from ongoing renovations. The renovations involved sanding hallways within two of the apartment complex’s towers. The sanding created dust that contained asbestos. At one time, the hallways had been carpeted and the glue used to hold the carpet down contained asbestos.
Once the asbestos exposure was discovered, residents in 94 of the complex’s apartments were moved out of their units and taken to hotels to stay due to the danger. The case against the apartment management company and one of its executives involves the following charges:
- Failing to follow a federal rule that requires an asbestos inspection to be conducted before renovating a property
- Enabling asbestos to be released into the air, and as a result, placing the health and lives of people at risk
As of this writing, the executive was expected to enter a guilty plea, per the KCNC-TV report. He could face a fine of up to $100,000 and as much as a year in prison. In addition, several of the residents filed a class action lawsuit against the management company. The suit reached a settlement earlier this year. So far, the company has spent close to $1 million reimbursing residents, properly removing the asbestos and providing training to employees about how to prevent asbestos exposure.
Asbestos exposure can lead to asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer, which is a deadly and incurable form of the disease.
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