Asbestos exposure has long been blamed for causing deadly cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Business owners and others who knowingly subjected workers to asbestos have been the subjects of mass torts for decades, winning victims in Tennessee and other states compensation for their pain and suffering. Recently, officials in another state were indicted for allowing the presence of asbestos to go unchecked, exposing many people to its harmful particles.
Since asbestos is used in many construction materials, older buildings may have many components that must be monitored and carefully removed if they begin to break down. The city's fire department building had asbestos floor tiles that presented no danger because they were intact. However, following the flooding from a recent hurricane, the floor tiles became damaged and had to be removed.
Apparently, the fire chief and city administrator were aware that demolition would release harmful asbestos into the air, but they did nothing to protect the firefighters, their families, volunteers and others from the community who frequently used the building. People were allowed into the building freely while the floor tiles were removed. Reportedly, no precautions were taken to prevent asbestos particles from becoming airborne and inhaled by inhabitants of the building.
It takes only a small amount of asbestos and a short period of exposure to set in motion the body's reaction. The slow-growing diseases that result from such exposure may not show symptoms for decades, and there is no cure. To assist their families in paying for the years of treatment and palliative care, many Tennessee victims of asbestos exposure seek the assistance of an attorney to join mass torts which attempt to win compensation from those responsible.
Source: wpde.com, "Indictment: Marion officials knew fire department had asbestos, allowed community exposure", Tonya Brown and Gina Vasselli, Nov. 14, 2017