Maryland lawmakers are attempting to set a precedent in regard to minimizing asbestos exposure by increasing the penalty for construction companies that disobey environmental laws relating to the mesothelioma-causing mineral.
Beginning in October, the maximum fine that the state will be able to levy on a company that violated environmental laws relating to asbestos will increase fivefold from $5,000 to $25,000. Furthermore, an Asbestos Worker Protection Fund will also be established to take in the money gathered from these fines.
The law was co-sponsored by Sen. Victor R. Ramirez (D – Prince George’s County) and Del. Tom Hucker (D – Montgomery County), the Laborer’s Health and Safety Fund of North America reported. State lawmakers had previously heard testimony from representatives of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) and the Laborers’ Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizing Coalition on the matter.
“In an effort to undercut our signatory contractors who adhere to all federal asbestos abatements regulations – and in complete disregard for the health of their own employees – these businesses engaged in shoddy and illegal work practices,” LIUNA Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager Dennis Martire said following the law’s passage. “With its steeper penalties, this new law levels the playing field and discourages this despicable behavior.”
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos that was caused by subpar management of dangerous products at a construction site, there are legal options at your disposal. Call Sokolove Law today to learn more about pursuing a mesothelioma claim.