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Mass. Landlord to Pay $100,000 Asbestos Lawsuit Settlement

According to a recent news feature from the Boston Herald, a landlord who owns multiple rental units in New Bedford, Massachusetts has agreed to pay $100,000 in civil fines.  This payment will be made to settle claims filed by the Commonwealth’s Attorney General related to asbestos violations.  The allegations were that he was renovating four residences and engaged in illegal asbestos removal during the renovation process.

tosignacontract3Specifically, the lawsuit filed in the Suffolk Superior Court in Boston alleges that his contractors knowingly had workers remove material containing deadly asbestos fibers without wearing proper protective clothing and without having ventilators or respirators.  The material was then taken out with ordinary construction waste and taken to a landfill instead of being taken to a proper asbestos collection facility that handles this and other hazardous waste. Prosecutors said by engaging in illegal asbestos removal, these contractors put the workers at a high risk for asbestos inhalation as well as also putting the general public at risk.  As our Boston asbestos injury attorneys can explain, the law requires that a person who owns property that is likely to have asbestos hire a certified asbestos abatement professional to perform a thorough inspection.  During this inspection, samples should be taken, and those samples should be sent to a materials testing lab.  The lab will examine the samples under a microscope to determine if the substance contains the deadly asbestos fibers.  The testing is done under venting chamber to prevent any danger to the workers at the lab, and these workers can also wear a respirator while testing for the presence of asbestos.

Once it has been confirmed that there is asbestos, the company can also use a light test to determine the type of asbestos. While asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral compound, it is actually made from a combination of up to six types of silica elements, so there are different types of asbestos fibers, and some of these fibers are more dangerous than others.

At this point, the owner of the property can work with the certified asbestos abatement company to develop a proper and legal asbestos abatement plan.  In this plan, the building must be shielded to prevent asbestos from escaping into the air.  The asbestos must also be wet to prevent the release of dust to the fullest extent possible.  The material must then be packed in approved plastic containers and taken by an approved transport company to a hazardous waste disposal facility.

While asbestos is considered extremely fire resistant, it can be burned in special high-pressure ovens at hazardous waste facilities. However, this is not necessary good for the environment.  The latest method of destroying asbestos, still in testing phases, involves a reactor that floods the deadly asbestos fibers with microwave radiation.  The reactor is a horizontal microwave generator called an ATON HR.  It is supposed to be able to render asbestos fibers harmless without causing any damage to the environment normally associated with burning the substance.

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:

Landlord will pay $100k to settle asbestos lawsuit, September 15, 2016, AP Wire

More Blog Entries:

Grant v. Foster Wheeler, LLC – Proof of Asbestos Defendants’ Products as Proximate Cause of Injury, July 5, 2016, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog