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Asbestos at Martha’s Vineyard Library Site Causes Delays, Costs

Residents of Martha’s Vineyard, a town on the Cape south of Boston, have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the library budgeted to cost a quarter of a million dollars at the time bids were awarded. The problem now facing contractors is it is now estimated to cost nearly half a million dollars to complete the project, due to unforeseen delays including discovery of asbestos on the job site, according to a recent news article from MV Times.

law books.jpgWhen contractors had their bid approved and began work, the project was quickly halted when water begin filling the excavation site for the library foundation. The water was coming up from the water table below, and, for some reason, this was not anticipated at the time plans were approved. It cost builders and engineers over $100,000 to fix water table issues before construction could be resumed.

Once the water table issue had been resolved, contractors unearthed an underground storage tank, which had to be painstakingly removed and the resulting vacant hole filled in with suitable material. At this point, there were problems with the fence erected around the project. After tackling these new issues, and at very great expense, contractors then found pipes believed to be insulated with now friable asbestos material.

As our Boston mesothelioma attorneys can explain, once asbestos is found on a project, an inspection must be performed to confirm the presence of asbestos and determine the extent of the problem.

While it is easy for an experienced professional to look at pipe insulation and assume it is made of asbestos-containing material, pieces of the material must be carefully cut way and sent to a materials testing facility for microscopic analysis to confirm presence of asbestos. The microscopic nature of asbestos makes it particularly difficult (nearing impossibility) for doctors to find asbestos fibers in living tissue. For this reason, presence of asbestos in a patient is often confirmed by a biopsy after a patient develops symptoms of mesothelioma.

Development of mesothelioma typically takes 20 to 50 years after initial exposure, and at this point a patient may only have a short amount of time left to live. Doctors are not generally willing to order an invasive biopsy without symptoms, especially considering asbestos can be found in a patient’s lungs, stomach, chest, and other organisms.

Members of the committee working on building the new library say they have a beautiful new building, which is only two-thirds of the way complete. They are faced with a choice of opening the library in a bare bones manner, getting additional funding, or scrapping future building projects, which they are very hesitant to do.

They have, however, not been getting much positive response with respect to their requests to essentially double the initially approved construction budget. There also remains some controversy, because library committee members say the city is not releasing funds collected from town residents and other donors earmarked for the library project. Library committee members are now asking the funds either be released to pay for additional construction needs or be returned to the donors.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional resources:
Edgartown selectmen balk at increased library cost overruns , March 11, 2015, MV Times
More Blog Entries:

Can Family of Asbestos Workers Sue for Illness?, September 15, 2014, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyers Blog