Policeman Punished Because of Asbestos Prevention Work

Shocking story out of Pennsylvania, as a well-respected member of the Philadelphia Police Department is being reprimanded, not praised, for his continued diligence in making sure that a space regularly used by children was asbestos-free.

Paul Zenak claims in a lawsuit against the Police Athletic League (PAL) of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Police Department that he and dozens of children in an after-school program were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos that was improperly exposed in a local church basement where the program took place.

After raising concerns about the asbestos materials, Zenak – a two-time recipient of the police department’s “Officer of the Year” award – claims that an unlicensed contractor with close ties to the city’s Police Athletic League was brought in to remove asbestos from the building. However, when he returned to the room following the abatement, Zenak said the room was still dusty and covered in asbestos debris.

After raising concerns about the room’s safety yet again, he was issued “the first letters of reprimand … [he] had ever received in his twenty years of public service,” according to the lawsuit.

Zenak claims that the punishment was unwarranted and will pose a barrier if/when he wants to advance his career, advance and transfer to other positions. His lawsuit also claims that asthma-like symptoms that have kept him out of work may be attributed to the asbestos he was exposed to, Courthouse News reported.

He alleges that the PAL and the police department violated the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Act and Philadelphia False Claims Act, acted in negligence and recklessness, and committed civil conspiracy. He is asking for damages and for regular medical monitoring to be covered by the defendants.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma that can be attributed to asbestos exposure, call Sokolove Law today for a free legal consultation regarding a mesothelioma lawsuit.