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Legal claim cites ongoing asbestos exposure to city workers

Workers in South Carolina typically expect that the only thing they will have to worry about while at work is just that -- work. People should not have to worry that their employers might be concealing important health information from them. Unfortunately, a group of out-of-state workers say they were subjected to that exact problem, and now have to worry about the future effects of asbestos exposure. 

Hundreds of city employees were moved into a new building in Jan. 2016. In July 2017, the local Air Pollution Control District received notification that the building owners planned removal of fireproofing materials that contained asbestos. However, it is not clear if anyone else was immediately notified, including the buildings' tenants. 

By Aug. 2017, the city employees who had moved into the building the year before began to complain that they were experiencing adverse health side effects from the construction. Another six months passed before officials were notified that asbestos had accidentally been disturbed during the renovation, exposing workers and necessitating immediate removal. Subsequent testing of samples throughout office spaces returned disturbing results -- the asbestos was everywhere. 

The city initially announced that it planned to cancel the lease and move its workers elsewhere. However, employees were later told that it was impossible to break the lease without taking a significant financial hit. One city official essentially stated that abating the loss of money was better than protecting the health and well-being of workers, further stating that he believed the asbestos levels were acceptable. 

Workers claim that there were other issues after this, including mishandling of asbestos by construction crews. They have since filed a legal claim against the city, and many more employees are expected to join the case. For those who are subjected to asbestos exposure in South Carolina, seeking compensation through the careful actions of a civil suit is often a good idea, as resulting compensation can be applied to related damages, including medical and financial. 

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