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Tennessee Mesothelioma Settlement Highlights Risk of Asbestos in Schools

Asbestos in Schools

It has been widely reported that America’s schools are a ticking time bomb of asbestos contamination. Most public academic buildings in use today were built before the 1980s, when asbestos was established as a powerful carcinogen, and little has been done to remove the material from the buildings where they were applied so long ago. Though much of the asbestos that is in place does not pose a threat because it is behind walls or ceilings and intact, there is a great deal of asbestos that is “friable” – this means that is is breaking down into fibers that can be inhaled or ingested, and which pose a threat to students and teachers alike. It was friable asbestos that was sprayed onto pipes as insulation that claimed the life of Mike LaSorsa, a teacher in the Knox County school district. The county has recently reached a “tentative settlement” with LaSorsa’s family for exposure that occurred between 1991 and 1997, when he taught at South-Doyle school, and between 1968 and 1982 when he taught at Fulton High School.

In a deposition filed before his death, LaSorsa speaks of his memories of the days when he taught, and of the material that regularly fell into his classroom and onto his students’ desks.  He described “big old pipes all wrapped in this white stuff,” and said, “I kept rags there for the kids to dust off their desks.” LaSorsa’s testimony indicated that the debris falling from the pipes – which were coated with a spray-on form of asbestos – was so constant that he had to sweep it up two to three times per day while working at Fulton High School between 1968 and 1982. He said, “I didn’t realize later – until later that maybe that might have been asbestos. I didn’t know that.”

During their investigation into the case, the school district uncovered asbestos that it had previously been unaware of. In response to finding the material they agreed to the settlement, and will be having the material removed over the summer break at a cost of roughly $250,000.

Asbestos has caused great pain and suffering for those who have been exposed to it, and the tragedy of mesothelioma and other illnesses caused by exposure to the carcinogen is that the companies that provided the material for construction and other applications were aware of the dangers that it posed. As a result, these companies are now being held legally responsible for the damage that they’ve caused. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, the attorneys at Danziger & De Llano are available to explain your legal rights and tell you whether you are eligible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. Call us today for more information.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an experienced blog writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of expertise include health, medical research, and law.

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