Malignant mesothelioma is a terminal disease caused by exposure to asbestos, and that exposure is almost always linked to the patient’s occupation. But in the face of an announcement from Pennsylvania’s Attorney General and State Police about criminal behavior on the part of Scranton School District officials, parents now have to worry about their children’s risk for it and other asbestos-related diseases.
School Officials Face Criminal Charges for Failing to Protect Students from Exposure to Asbestos and Lead
At the heart of the Scranton parents’ mesothelioma concerns are the lack of action taken by former Scranton Superintendent Alexis Hazzouri Kirijan, former Director of Operations Jeff Brazil and current Maintenance Supervisor Joseph Slack. The trio were aware of dangerous asbestos and lead conditions within the district’s schools buildings but ignored the situation, and even lied about whether they had taken actions to correct it.
In a statement to the public, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said, “The willful coverup of the lead and asbestos problems throughout the Scranton School District during the former superintendent’s and chief operating officer’s time in leadership was, as the grand jury decided, criminal.” The group lied about having resolved the problem of 22 lead-contaminated water sources in the schools, claiming that they had turned them off, and they never notified the public that asbestos was present despite it having been identified in 74 locations.
Failure to Notify of Asbestos Risked Mesothelioma for School Staff and Students Alike
The criminal charges filed against the school officials in Scranton are particularly striking since they come one year after news that a Philadelphia School District Teacher had been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos in her classroom. In Scranton, only 10 percent of the 74 locations that were identified as contaminated have gone through remediation despite the carcinogenic material having been discovered almost four years earlier. “In other words, these individuals broke the law, and the health of students, faculty and staff remained in jeopardy for more than three years,” Shapiro said.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net have the resources you need to help you move forward. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.