Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Pennsylvania police officer brings asbestos exposure claim

When discussing asbestos related injuries, one aspect often never discussed is how resistant many places of business are at implementing the needed change to prevent asbestos exposure from ever occurring. Asbestos removal can be extremely expensive, and many businesses would prefer to take unsafe shortcuts rather than be faced with the expense of conducting the cleanup correctly.

A decorated Pennsylvania police officer claims that he faced retaliation when he complained about how asbestos was removed from a location where he and other officers worked with children. The officer alleges that an unqualified contractor performed the asbestos removal work because that contractor had close ties with other business concerns. The officer further asserts that the actual work of the contractor was "dangerously shoddy" in conducting such removal.

The officer states that he visited the work location soon after the asbestos was supposedly removed. What he instead found was that the room was dusty and that bags of debris were left lying at the location.

Under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Act, the officer should have been able to raise such concerns without the threat of retaliation. Of even greater concern, the officer has complained about asthma-like symptoms cropping up since the purported exposure to the asbestos occurred. He also believes that the children that he coached at the location may also have been exposed to the asbestos.

Those fearing exposure to asbestos would be highly advised to contact an attorney. Considering the known dangers of asbestos exposure, there should be no cost-cutting when it comes to asbestos removal. And since a task can in itself be dangerous to the workers engaged in the removal, every precaution must be taken to insure worker safety as well.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Cop Claims City Blew off Asbestos Problem," by Reuben Kramer, May 25, 2012

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