Employees working at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island, New York are both fearful and outraged that their employers failed to protect them from being exposed to asbestos, a toxic substance that is linked to serious respiratory diseases including lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. So far, at least 140 people have filed notices of claims against the managers who were responsible for the day-to-day operations of the entertainment venue, the New York Islanders hockey team and Nassau County claiming that they have been sickened by asbestos exposure.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was alerted to the deficient safety standards present at the Coliseum when they received a complaint from an employee. OSHA conducted an inspection of the facility, which resulted in a staggering number of citations; 16 safety violations totaling $88,000 in fines. It was determined that many workers who were employed or independently contracted to do work at the aging facility were exposed to asbestos. This included electricians, carpenters, mechanics, plumbers and maintenance workers. The asbestos exposure was not contained to a specific area, and was found in several sections of the building including the loading dock, ice plant room and catwalks. It is unclear if the general public who attended events at the facility were in danger.
The violations pertaining to asbestos included the company’s failure to identify the presence and whereabouts of the toxic material. They also did not have the appropriate procedures in place to minimize or eliminate an asbestos exposure or the education and practice of employees using personal respirators in areas containing the hazardous material. Employees were not provided with the proper training to recognize asbestos or asbestos containing materials. Additionally, there were a multitude of other violations that had the potential to cause significant injury or harm to the employees. Some of these included inadequate or inoperable lighting, electrical circuits that were unlocked, faulty forklifts, and lack of training for employee protection against chemical and bloodborne pathogen hazards.
More than 100 claims have been filed in court by current employees, former employees and one widow who lost her spouse, all claiming that long-term exposure to asbestos has lead to deterioration in their health or death. It is expected that the claims will likely be combined to form a federal class action lawsuit that will presumably aim to seek compensation in the amount of $500 million to $1 billion dollars. Employers who fail to provide a safe and healthy working environment or employers who choose to ignore or conceal potential hazards can be held liable for any damages incurred by their employees.
If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos and/or has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related illness, we encourage you to contact the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers of Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler to speak with a qualified asbestos attorney. Pursuing an asbestos lawsuit can help you receive the proper compensation for your injuries. Although there is no known cure for mesothelioma, securing a fair legal settlement can help provide you with the financial security that is necessary to pay for your medical expenses and support your family during this difficult time. We represent clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania including the communities in Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Chester County and Bucks County, as well as throughout the state of New Jersey. Call us today at 215-569-4000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Philadelphia asbestos lawyers or fill out our online contact form.