Two years ago, several schools in or near Huntington Beach, California were closed up for renovations after it was discovered that building materials in the ceiling contained dangerous asbestos. More than a thousand students and their families were affected by the shutdown, displacing them to adjacent school districts, and requiring many to travel close to 20 miles in the morning just to get to class.
Recently, the youngest students of Oak View Elementary School were permitted to go back to class now that construction is completed. Carpets, flooring materials, lighting, and asbestos-ceiling fixtures were replaced or renovated to remove the dangerous carcinogen from the schools. Landscaping projects were also completed to give the schools a more-welcoming look after what can be described as one of the biggest asbestos scares Southern California has seen in recent years. The final price tag for the renovations and fixes has cost the school district close to $18 million.
Asbestos Links to Mesothelioma
Even though asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber, it does not mean it is a harmless material. By many comparisons, asbestos is much more hazardous than similar synthetic insulators and substances used as building supplies. When asbestos is moved, even gently, it can flake apart, causing microscopic fibers to enter the air and into the lungs of anyone in the area. Over time, this can cause mesothelioma lung cancer, a disease that is often fatal to those who contract it.
The Oak View Elementary School asbestos scare is particularly upsetting due to the fact that mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure might not show any signs of symptoms for years or decades. Some parents and officials in the renovated schools fear that the damage of the asbestos may have already been done, but they will not be certain until the students are much, much older. Since asbestos’s dangerous nature has been well-known since as early as the 1970s, anyone harmed by the materials found in the schools would likely have grounds for an injury lawsuit; deliberately constructing a building, especially a schoolhouse, with asbestos could be viewed as intentional negligence.
If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos and may have developed mesothelioma, contact Kaiser Gornick, LLP for legal representation. Although our San Francisco mesothelioma attorneys are based in the Bay Area of California, we proudly represent clients all across the nation. Your first consultation is absolutely free, so schedule yours today.