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Asbestos Lawsuit Against Smithsonian Settled

This is a settlement for the lawsuit.

Washington, DC: A 54-year old former employee of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum has been awarded a $233,000 settlement ending his lawsuit against the institution.

Richard Pullman, a former exhibit specialist, worked for the museum for 28 years, during which time he frequently had to saw and drill into the interior walls of the museum. However, it wasn't until 2008 that he and his colleagues were informed that those walls contained asbestos. He now has asbestosis, a lung disease caused by inhaling fine airborne asbestos fibers.

According to the terms of the settlement published in the Washington Post, Pullman received $154,000 in August and will receive $79,000 in severance pay. The Smithsonian also agreed to pay 65 percent of his health insurance for nine months.

The Smithsonian commissioned an independent report to look into the asbestos situation, and the consultant has recommended changes in procedures, training and inspections at the buildings, to locate toxic substances throughout the massive complex. The Smithsonian failed, reportedly, to maintain complete records of asbestos-containing material, so workers had insufficient information as to the whereabouts of the toxic substance, and how to work around it.

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Published on Dec-11-09


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