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Building owner settles, possibly to avoid asbestos litigation

Sometimes, accusations against one South Carolina party or another wind up being sorted out in court. In the construction world, that often includes asbestos litigation surrounding issues regarding illegal removal of the substance, violation of safety protocol or failure to inform workers or others that asbestos is present in an existing structure. A situation in another state has been settled before going to trial.

A building owner was the central figure of an investigation that alleged his company failed to perform required environmental protection surveys regarding asbestos removal before a renovation project. Reconstruction was set to take place on the second floor of the building. Surveys were to take place between 2013 and 2015.

The case against the building owner stated that there was asbestos in floor boards that were part of the proposed renovation plan, as well as in a section of wall, and that the appropriate inspection surveys the building owner must provide before a project begins were never completed. In 2016, the entire building was destroyed in a fire. Just before that happened, however, the asbestos removal situation was brought to the attention of the district attorney's office for investigation.

Local fire officials determined that the fire was not an act of arson. The building owner agreed to pay a $75,000 settlement without admitting liability. A permanent injunction was set to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. There may be South Carolina workers, residents or building owners facing asbestos litigation problems at this time; if so, an experienced attorney would be a great asset to have on board when heading to court.

Source: montereycountyweekly.com, "Owner of Dick Bruhn Building in Salinas agrees to pay $75K for illegal asbestos removal.", Nic Coury, Aug. 11, 2017

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