Illinois Demolition Workers Say They Were Misled About Asbestos Dangers

Illinois Demolition Workers Say They Were Misled About Asbestos Dangers


09/14/2010 // Chicago, IL, USA // Cooney & Conway // Mesothelioma lawyers: Cooney & Conway

Four Illinois demolition workers filed a lawsuit August 13 claiming the companies that hired them to dismantle a structure misled them about asbestos dangers?exposing them to risks for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers.

Mesothelioma lawyers who have handled similar cases say this is a frequent foundation for asbestos lawsuits: workers exposed to the cancer-causing material after employers, building owners, or manufacturers assured them, erroneously or negligently, that no asbestos was present.

The suit, brought in Madison County Circuit Court, alleges that the defendants?Alter Trading Corp., Environmental Consultants, Midwest Asbestos Abatement Corporation (doing business as Midwest Service Group), Envirotech, and Talbert Industrial Commercial Services?had inspected the premises prior to the demolition work and promised workers that the structures had been cleared of all asbestos.

But that assessment was wrong, according to the men?all employees of Premier Demolition. They also contend that asbestos remained at the site in Quincy, causing the workers to become exposed to high levels of asbestos in the air.

Asbestos?long linked to diseases including lung cancer and mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the protective lining covering many internal organs?is a particular concern in demolition and renovation work. If the material is disturbed, asbestos fibers can be released into the air and easily inhaled by workers and anyone else nearby.

Once inhaled, the plaintiffs’ complaint notes, asbestos fibers “then become lodged in the lung tissues [where] asbestos has been known to cause cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural plaques, and other very serious health conditions in humans.”

The plaintiffs claim that their exposure to asbestos while demolishing the Quincy structure caused them to fear contracting such diseases, which can materialize years or even decades later.

Once diagnosed, a mesothelioma patient’s prognosis is usually grim. Researchers have yet to discover a cure or even a long-term treatment, though mesothelioma lawyers have fared better, often obtaining large jury awards and settlements against those who knew, or should have known, of asbestos dangers but failed to protect others.

In their 10-count complaint, the plaintiffs allege negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of implied warranty, battery, strict liability, fraudulent misrepresentation, conspiracy, and negligent misrepresentation against the defendants. The plaintiffs further allege that the defendants:

• Failed to take the appropriate measures to locate asbestos and asbestos-containing products at the site;

• Failed to ensure that all asbestos products had been removed from the building;

• Failed to ensure that the workers hired to abate asbestos at the site were licensed;

• Failed to take appropriate measures?such as wetting building surfaces?to minimize the amount of asbestos fibers that might become airborne.

The plaintiffs seek a judgment of more than $400,000, as well as compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, damages for mental and emotional distress, costs, and other relief that the court deems just.

Given the long period between asbestos exposure and the onset of disease, the four men have also asked for reimbursement for medical monitoring tests?both the tests already performed and those they say will be needed in the years to come.

This news story was brought to you by the mesothelioma lawyers at Cooney & Conway. For more than half a century, we have been advocates for those injured because of the wrongful actions of others. We have litigated and resolved some of the nation’s most significant asbestos lawsuits, bringing justice?and compensation?to victims of asbestos exposure and the lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other deadly diseases it can cause.

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