Recently the employees of San Diego filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego, claiming that it knowingly exposed many of its public workers to asbestos.
San Diego leased a building and when it entered into the contract it was informed that asbestos was in the building. But they did not tell any of the public workers that had offices in the building. The lawsuit (which one can see in full detail here) said that San Diego knowingly kept this information from its workers. Maria Severson is the attorney who filed the lawsuit and is representing the 550 people who San Diego leased space in the building for. Although this asbestos exposure and the city having hid it is really disconcerting, it’s not nearly the worst part. The building that San Diego was leasing offices for 550 of its public workers was 1010 Second Avenue which, close to when the city entered the contract was bought by Tower 180 Owner LLC. The new owner began renovations in July 2017. Only a few weeks after the construction began, the employees of the city began to feel the effects of poor air quality from asbestos as well as other toxic materials. They soon reported coughing fits as well as itchy and burning throats. They also experienced other lung problems. San Diego received many complaints about this but ignored them all. It decided that breaking the lease would cost too much and not be worth their employees health so the city simply ignored these complaints. Maria Severson said when she filed the lawsuit that the city of San Diego knowingly put its employees, public workers, in harm’s way. Reasonably the city workers got really worried about their health related to asbestos exposure. The lawsuit, which officially is called Cadena v City of San Diego, was filed to ensure that the city would take care of its employees and that they would have health care for the rest of their lives so that if they got cancer from the asbestos they were exposed to during their time in 1010 Second Avenue they would not be on their own getting medical care for it. In January 2018 a test of the air quality in 1010 Second Avenue was run. It came back positive for asbestos. The building was then shut down and the city finally relocated its employees to other high rises in San Diego. You would think after this everyone would be happy. (After their health care is ensured, of course.) But that is not at all the case. The city relocated its firefighters to a place that didn’t solve the problem at all. San Diego relocated its firefighters to its Fire Academy Building 89 which is located in the old Naval Training Center. When the city signed the lease with the US Navy they were informed that it had asbestos. The Navy had surveyed two thirds of their facilities and most of them contained asbestos as well as other toxic materials, including lead. When the city relocated its firefighters it said that it would soon find an asbestos free workplace and relocate them (again) to that location. The lawsuit claims that they had, in fact, no intention of doing so. Severson said that inside that specific Naval building there had been report after report of asbestos and yet the city was so indifferent and didn’t care at all. They moved the firefighters from a building full of asbestos where they had already been exposed way too much to another asbestos ridden building. Even though the city was told when partaking in the contracts that the buildings had asbestos it refused to admit that it was aware that it was exposing its employees to asbestos. All this is really disconcerting, but how does it affect us? Obviously don’t hang out in or use a Naval building. Or be around asbestos. Both of those can be acted on, and one requires asbestos removal, the other just staying away from Naval buildings. If you’ve got asbestos in your building call us today at 312) 586-8713 to get your asbestos removed.
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