Five Oregon construction workers fearing for their health are suing a medical center and construction contractor for allegedly exposing them to asbestos.
Exposure to asbestos can result in mesothelioma, a rare but incurable cancer. Other serious diseases associated with asbestos exposure are lung cancer and asbestosis.
The Eugene Register-Guard reports that the asbestos lawsuit filed by the five workers alleges that both McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon, and Layton Construction of Utah knew there was asbestos at a hospital worksite but failed to warn workers about the toxic material or to protect them from exposure to it.
State regulators had fined both the hospital and the contractor earlier this year for allowing workers to handle asbestos-containing debris from old duct work in the hospital’s HVAC system during a remodeling project. The state said its investigation found that both parties were aware of the presence of asbestos-containing materials in the duct work.
McKenzie-Willamette and Layton were cited at the time for violating the federal Employer Liability Law and the Oregon Safe Employment Act and each was fined more than $25,000 by state occupational safety and health regulators. Both firms paid the fines and did not dispute them.
The current lawsuit stems from these violations and it seeks up to $10 million on behalf of the five construction workers, according to the newspaper. It was filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene, Oregon.
The lawsuit states that the five workers did not know about the asbestos and “handled the demolition material as if it did not contain asbestos — allowing dust to be freely spread through the work area as well as throughout public areas of the hospital.”
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation and to learn if an asbestos lawyer can help you.