Illinois Company Puts Foreign Workers at Risk of Mesothelioma
The long and tragic history of asbestos use and mesothelioma in the United States is filled with stories of company managers and owners putting profit over the health of employees, clients, and others who would come into contact with the deadly carcinogen, and those same types of actions continue even today. The owner of an Illinois construction company is facing fines and criminal investigations as a result of having brought Mexican workers into the U.S. and exposing them to that same risk.
Asbestos is a mineral that delivers real benefits in terms of strength, insulation, and heat and flame retardant, but those benefits come at a real human cost. The material causes a number of diseases and cancers, including the rare and deadly form called mesothelioma. The dangers of asbestos became widely known to the American public in the 1970s, but it’s been proven that prior to the information becoming public, company owners were aware of its hazards and continued using it. They exposed tens of thousands of people to the risk of early and painful death as a result of breathing in or ingesting the dust and fibers, then hoped that they would not be held accountable because the period of time between exposure and illness was so great that they assumed nobody would make the connection. They were wrong, and since that time, billions have been paid in compensation to mesothelioma victims.
Because asbestos was so widely used in the United States, it is still present in many buildings, and its removal is an expensive process that requires special safety equipment and training. As was true in the past, companies try to cut corners and put the health of workers at risk in order to earn a greater profit, and that is what the Kehrer Brothers Construction Company is being accused of. The company was fined $1.8 million last year for having brought Mexican workers into the country to remove asbestos from a school building without benefit of safety gear. Now the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has joined the investigation and are looking at whether the company’s actions constitute criminal behavior. According to the Department of Labor, the workers were brought in legally under a special visa program, but were then treated extremely poorly, essentially keeping the workers as if they were prisoners and threatening them if they reported the safety violations or mesothelioma risk that they were being subjected to.
As awareness of the hazards of asbestos and the risk of mesothelioma is elevated, more and more asbestos companies are being held to account, and this is also true of those who were negligent and exposed workers to asbestos in the past. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you believe that it was a result of negligence, call the mesothelioma law firm of Danziger & De Llano today. Our compassionate professional team will advise you of your rights and of how we can get you the compensation that you deserve.
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