New questions are coming to light regarding the building collapse in Center City on June 5, 2013. An accident during demolition of the building at 22nd and Market Streets caused the building to topple onto an adjacent Salvation Army Thrift Store, killing 6 people. As the debris is being cleared from the site, the presence of asbestos in the building’s remains is causing concern.
Asbestos, a fiber used in insulation, is known to cause severe health conditions such as mesothelioma and lung cancer when its particles are inhaled or ingested. Its use has been strictly regulated since the 1970s, and there are very specific guidelines for removing asbestos from construction or demolition sites.
Paperwork filed with the city in January indicated that there was no sign of asbestos in either of the two adjacent buildings to be demolished. The inspection was conducted by Kenneth Hudson, an accredited inspector from a firm in Delaware, on behalf of STB Investment Corp., who owns the building that collapsed. The reports were filed by an architect named Plato Marinakos, who assisted in acquiring the necessary permits for demolition.
STB received bids from five companies for the demolition work, one of which specifically cited asbestos removal in their proposal. The cost for removing the asbestos alone would have been $40,000. STB went with their cheapest option, a company called Griffin Campbell Construction Co., whose bid came in at less than half the cost of the other contractors and did not include a provision for asbestos removal.
After receiving reports that an asbestos crew had been brought in to do work on the collapse site, City Councilman James F. Kenney is questioning the legitimacy of the initial asbestos inspection. He wants a detailed report from everyone involved explaining why the asbestos being removed from the site was just being discovered. He expressed concern for the firefighters and other first responders who dove through the wreckage to rescue people trapped inside.
In most cases, people who develop mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases have been exposed to asbestos for years. Construction workers, shipbuilders, and pipe fitters may encounter the material every day, and must take necessary precautions. However, no amount of asbestos exposure is safe. Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 10 to 50 years after the initial exposure, and by then it may be too late to effectively treat the devastating disease.
The experienced asbestos attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler have represented mesothelioma victims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for four decades. Our knowledgeable, professional staff will help you through every step of the process to get you the compensation and peace of mind you deserve. With offices conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey and will meet with you and your family at a location convenient to you. Call us today at 1-800-369-0899 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a qualified, caring attorney.