Asbestos exposure in a Boston suburb has resulted in criminal charges, and our Boston mesothelioma Lawyers understand that the 59-year-old landlord is accused of violating the MassLive.com, the incident happened in Grafton, about one hour west of Boston.
The woman is reportedly charged with three violations of the state’s Clean Air Act, and was specifically accused of improperly having asbestos removed from her property.
The defendant in this case purchased a property back in the late summer of 2007. Shortly after her purchase, she sent a formal notice to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. In that notice, she informed them of asbestos that was found in the roofing components, as well as in the wall board. Now unfortunately, many older structures in Boston still contain asbestos, despite the fact that the federal government barred its further use in U.S. products beginning in the 1970s.
But because its use was so prevalent throughout the first and middle part of the 20th Century, asbestos is still being found in a number of residences – especially in older, more established cities, like Boston.
Asbestos exposure can be deadly when it’s inhaled, causing fatal cancers, like mesothelioma. However, exposure doesn’t mean immediate demise. In fact, people may go many years before ever realizing they’ve been put at risk. By the time they are diagnosed with mesothelioma, their life expectancy is significantly reduced.
So when a property owner becomes aware of the asbestos, there are very specific procedures they have to follow in order to remove it. For instance, they have to a hire a contractor who is certified to handle the asbestos removal.
What allegedly happened in this case was that the property owner, back in the autumn of 2009, started paying two prospective tenants to begin renovation work on the property. That renovation work included removal of the siding.
The property owner knew of the existence of asbestos, as evidence by the letter she sent to the DEP back in 2007. And yet, the state contends she did nothing to warn the tenants that the work they were doing was putting them at serious risk for asbestos exposure – and all the illnesses that come along with that.
To make matters worse, the prospective tenant’s CHILDREN were also helping with the work. The landlord knew this too, and yet, stayed mum. These were individuals who had no training in dealing with asbestos, and they didn’t have the proper equipment to protect either themselves or those in the surrounding neighborhood.
In addition, she didn’t give the DEP a heads-up that the work was being started on, as she was required to do by law.
The DEP didn’t become aware of the situation until the landlord hired a private company to dispose of the asbestos-laden material, which was piled up at her property.
The landlord has pleaded innocent to the charges, which include failing to follow proper procedures, improper asbestos storage and failing to give notice of an asbestos-related project.
As of yet, there is no indication that the tenants who did the work have filed a personal injury suit against their landlord, though it appears in this case, they certainly could.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.