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Officers allege Capitol Hill police of negligent asbestos exposure

April 23, 2012 10:08 AM

A recent asbestos removal project in a Senate subway tunnel was supposedly done in legally safe ways. But police officers who had to be on duty nearby say they should have been outfitted with protective gear. Members of the police union have filed a formal complaint against the department with the union’s Office of Compliance.

The officers were concerned they would be exposed to asbestos during an operation to install a sprinkler system in the Senate tunnels, which required the Architect of the Capitol (AoC) to remove asbestos from the area. Precautions taken included the following: a) appropriate containment enclosures were built, b) workers were outfitted with prescribed protective clothing and equipment, and c) the air in the area was continuously monitored—all as required by EPA regulations. But officers stationed close by say contaminated workers were coming in and out of the enclosure, some carrying buckets of potentially contaminated water. These officers requested but received no protection. 

This is not the first of such complaints; the AoC had another instance of alleged asbestos neglect in 2006, when Capitol Power Plant workers claimed they were negligently exposed to asbestos while working in the Senate tunnels. An outside company determined at that time that asbestos levels were well above the personal-exposure limits set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Remember, even though asbestos has been known for many decades to be dangerous to human beings, it’s not unusual to find that inadequate precautions are taken. Breathing or ingesting asbestos fibers can lead to disease and death, even decades after it happens.If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the aggressive asbestos-related lung cancer, you may have legal rights. If you were exposed to asbestos in any of these or other ways, you may be eligible to claim compensation:

  • on the job—industrial, mining, construction, vehicle repair, office work, etc., or
  • second-hand from living with someone who worked with asbestos, or
  • living in an area where asbestos was mined or used in manufacturing.

Even if you’re not sure how you contracted mesothelioma, we at HendlerLaw can help review your history to uncover forgotten or unrealized instances of possible exposure. We will do this with you at no charge. And, whether you decide to pursue a claim outside court or begin a lawsuit, our work is done at no fee to you unless and until you receive a settlement.

All our attorneys are experienced at helping people who suffer as a result of corporate misconduct or negligence. We work with you one-on-one, and we’re dedicated to helping you and your family navigate the complex legal system as painlessly as possible. Call us today. 800.443.6353