Massachusetts Residents Forced from Apartments Due to Asbestos Concerns

Residents of the Royal Crest Estates in North Andover, MA have been relocated to the La Quinta Inn and Suites due to asbestos issues at the complex.  The harsh winter in the Northeast has led to numerous cases of water damage from rooftop snow and ice dams.  Royal Crest resident Chantel Tejeda was asleep in her bedroom when she heard an area of her living room ceiling crash to the ground.  She was told by the facility’s management team that she would need to stay at the La Quinta Inn and Suites for two days.  When she learned that the stay would extend longer than the original two days, she returned her apartment to pick up more clothes.  Ms. Tejeda was surprised to find that she was not allowed to enter her apartment because there was asbestos removal taking place.

Most of the asbestos problems at the Royal Crest Estates concern popcorn and acoustic ceilings that contain low levels of asbestos.  Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral fiber, is a known carcinogen and can cause health problems including mesothelioma and asbestosis.  Before the public became aware of asbestos exposure and its potential health risks, asbestos was added to numerous building materials for its resistance to fire, heat, friction, electrical, and chemical damage.

Currently, residents from 12 Royal Crest apartments have been relocated, but there have been 78 asbestos removal projects at the 600 unit complex since January 1, 2010.  While many of the residents living there are unaware of the asbestos in their homes, laws don’t require the substance to be removed if it is in good condition.  North Andover Health Director Susan Sawyer has said that the asbestos abatement projects have followed state code setup by the Department of Environmental Protection.  There remains some anger on the side of the residents about whether damaged belongings will be covered and whether or not residents should have been informed of the asbestos prior to the removal.
 

Have you or a loved one been exposed to asbestos or diagnosed with mesothelioma? A mesothelioma lawyer may be able to assist you.