Lawsuit claims apartment complex knew about asbestos exposure

South Carolina workers are at particular risk for exposure to the deadly asbestos, especially when clearing away debris from work sites. An out-of-state crew claims that they were knowingly subjected to asbestos exposure when an apartment complex repeatedly denied the existence of the toxic substance. At least two former workers are now suing the complex.

The apartment complex apparently hired the construction crew to remodel multiple units. Workers successfully remodeled five apartments when they found a substance they believed was asbestos. The lawsuit claims that complex’s president allegedly became enraged when approached with their concerns, and ordered them to return to work. Days later, three workers were fired because of concerns they might report the situation to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

A new crew was later hired to transport debris out of the complex. However, the new crew also quickly honed in on the asbestos, and one of the workers removed a sample and had it tested. The results confirmed their suspicions — the debris was full of asbestos. They reported these results to management but within days were instructed to continue removing the debris without any type of training or safety equipment.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen that can cause victims to develop mesothelioma, an incredibly painful and deadly form of cancer. South Carolina employers who intentionally put their workers at risk for asbestos exposure can typically be held responsible through the civil justice system. However, since mesothelioma can take decades after the initial exposure to develop, individuals should keep careful documentation of exposures and medical records.

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