A Seattle real estate manager failed to take the proper precautions to protect demolition workers from asbestos fibers during renovations to a Seattle area apartment complex, according to an indictment filed in federal court.
The Associated Press reports that Stanley Xu was president of Longwell Co., the real estate management company that oversaw the Avante Apartment Homes in Kent, Washington. The apartment complex sustained damage after water pipes froze and burst in 2009. More than 40 units were damaged at the time.
Xu hired The Everlasting Construction LLC and contractor T.J. Yoo todo repair work on the complex after the pipes burst. However, federal prosecutors allege that Xu failed to have the ceilings examined for asbestos as required by law. Prosecutors also claim that Yoo knew there was asbestos in the building but did not provide workers with respirators to keep them safe while they ripped down the ceilings with hammers, according to the Associated Press.
Last month, Yoo pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to violating federal asbestos standards, a charge that carries up to five years in prison. Xu is scheduled to appear in court later this week.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral once widely used in many building materials due to its strength and ability to resist heat and muffle sound. It could be found in some ceiling and floor tiles, paints, coatings, and adhesives.
If products containing asbestos are disturbed, asbestos fibers are released into the air. The fibers can be inhaled and accumulate in the body where they eventually cause inflammation, which can trigger serious health problems.
Asbestos exposure is linked to mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer. If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Call Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.