A roundup of recent asbestos-related news and information that you should be aware of. An ongoing list of reported asbestos hot spots in the US from the Asbestos News Roundup archive appears on our asbestos map.
In June, a Salvation Army Thrift Store in Philadelphia collapsed, killing six people. The building was in the process of being demolished, but hadn’t been checked for asbestos. First responders are now asking if there was asbestos in the building—they are worried for their health and possible risk for asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.
The building, located at 22nd and Market Streets, collapsed on June 5. Firefighters were called to the scene as first responders, but were not wearing gear that would protect them from asbestos. In fact, reports indicate there were 125 emergency crews at the site, some of whom were there for hours. The rescue and recovery efforts ran from 10:45 am on Tuesday until late in the day on Wednesday.
First responders are just some of the people who may be at risk for asbestos exposure from work in old buildings. According to information posted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), workers in the following areas can be exposed to asbestos:
• Brake repair mechanic
• Demolition worker
• Dry wall finisher
• Insulation installer
• Pipe or steam fitter
• Shipyard worker
• Vermiculite processing plant worker
The ATSDR also states that outdoor workers, such as construction workers, landscapers, and excavators might be exposed to naturally occurring asbestos found above the ground through activities that crush asbestos-containing rock or stir up dust in soils that contain asbestos.
New Orleans, LA: Elizabeth Gailyne Sutherland has filed an asbestos lawsuit against numerous defendant companies, which, she alleges, contributed to her asbestos exposure and resulting asbestos mesothelioma.
Mrs. Sutherland suffered secondhand or ‘take home’ asbestos exposure. In her lawsuit, she asserts her husband’s work for the defendants resulted in her inhalation of asbestos containing material and contraction of mesothelioma.
The defendant companies are: Alma Plantation LLC, Anco Insulation Inc., Arrowood Indemnity Company, Eagle Inc., Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Taylor-Seidenbach Inc. and the McCarty Corporation in the Orleans Parish Central District Court on March 11.
The asbestos lawsuit accuses the defendants of knowing the hazard their material contained but failing to warn petitioner, her husband and others of the potential danger of contact with the material, failing to provide safety equipment, failing to provide general ventilation in work areas, failing to warn that asbestos dust could be carried on the employee’s clothing and expose members of their households and selling, distributing and manufacturing asbestos containing products.
Mrs. Sutherland is seeking an unspecified amount for physical pain and suffering, medical expenses and rehabilitation, loss of earning and disability. (louisianarecord.com)
St. Clair County, IL: a Federal Employers’ Liability Act suit has been filed by Howard Sturgeon in alleging he was exposed to asbestos during his 28 years as a communications technician at CSX Transportation.
Specifically, Sturgeon claims through the course of his work, which involved wiring buildings and working in buildings that contained asbestos, he was exposed and inhaled asbestos.
According to the complaint, CSX: negligently and carelessly failed to provide a safe place to work; failed to warn of the presence and hazards of asbestos; failed to provide proper safety equipment; failed to provide safe buildings and equipment; and failed to provide safe methods of work.
As a result of his asbestos exposure, Sturgeon claims he has developed severe and permanent injuries to his lungs, respiratory system and body, all of which cause him to suffer great pain and mental anguish, lose money and earnings he otherwise would have earned and caused him to spend money for medical expenses.
Sturgeon is seeking damages in excess of $50,000. (madisonrecord.com)
Bloomington, IL: The family of Jake Lilienthal, who died in 2009 from asbestos lung disease, has been awarded $1.4 million in damages, by a McLean County jury.
According to the attorneys for the Lilienthals, Jake Lilienthal developed from his work for the GM&O Railroad from 1957 to 1972 at rail yards on Bloomington’s west side. His asbestos exposure continued after he transferred to the company’s shops in Paducah, KY, the lawsuit alleged.
After just two weeks, the jury found the railroad had knowledge of the hazards of asbestos and failed to warn Lilienthal, who is survived by his wife. (pantagraph.com)