Detention centers across the country, like Canton, Ohio’s Stark County Jail, were built long ago with asbestos contained in many building materials. Employee and inmates are at risk of asbestos exposure, and later developing asbestos-related diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Records show that the Ohio prison system has spent millions of dollars removing asbestos from its institutions. Other medical records show many former jail workers and prisoners have developed mesothelioma or lung cancer as a result of being exposed to asbestos while performing or simply spending time in housing areas in prison.
Most commonly, prisoners and employees are exposed to asbestos dust during renovation projects, and many complaints are reportedly ignored by prison managers.
Any former Stark County Jail workers or inmates in Canton, Ohio could be at risk of developing serious health issues, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio personal injury lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.
It is not uncommon for older buildings, including institutions like Stark County Jail, to contain some amount of asbestos, often found in walls, ceilings, flooring, and piping.
During nationwide inspections, asbestos has been found in prison pipe insulation, ceiling materials, walls and floor tiles. Asbestos-containing glue has been found on the floor in inmate dormitory rooms. Asbestos has been found in various other detention center rooms, from chaplains’ offices and libraries to staff lounges.
Correctional facilities across the country have been involved in asbestos abatement, or removal, programs in the last several years. However, some jails and prisons have attempted to save money by having inmates perform potentially dangerous asbestos-related cleanup duties. This is not only unethical behavior, but a deliberate, negligent act in which victims have legal claims.
In Kansas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that an asbestos-contaminated prison facility in Topeka violated the Clean Air Act and Toxic Substances Control Act during renovation work. Inmates and prison employees were put to work in breaking down flooring at the facility, which may have contained asbestos.
It is common for inmates to perform work within prisons, but the work must be within reason and normal precautions must be adhered to. Whether a prison is employing inmates or outside contractors, safety measures must be followed, including equipping workers with protective clothing and providing training on asbestos removal and handling.
A recent case in an Ohio jail underscores how serious the asbestos problem can be. Inmates in the Chillicothe Correctional Institution collected powder from a dorm floor and insulation from steam pipes, and sent them for lab testing. They both tested positive for asbestos.
In this same facility, inmate work crews were forced to work with asbestos without proper training or protection. The inmates’ attorneys accuse the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction officials of “deliberate indifference” to a known health risk.
The institution not only put inmates’ health at risk but then lied to investigators about it. Prison officials denied there was asbestos in the housing areas, and stated that it had all been removed prior to the allegations. This was not true. Steam pipes in many dorms were still full of asbestos insulation, and pipes in the prison’s system of utility tunnels were wrapped in asbestos.
Studies show that inhaling asbestos dust can severely scar and damage the tissue surrounding the lungs. This can be the primary cause of lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Patients who develop mesothelioma may not show symptoms for up to decades after their first exposure. It is recommended that former workers an inmates of Stark County Jail to contact medical professionals if they suspect exposure to asbestos. Symptoms of mesothelioma may include the following:
• Chest Pain
• Persistent cough
• Trouble breathing
• Lumps of tissue on the chest and abdomen
• Abdominal pain and swelling
• Weight loss
Prisons have been accused of having inmates handle asbestos cleanups without the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knowing about it. The federal government has strict regulations governing asbestos handling, including requirements for protective clothing.
Many prisoners and jail employees have sought damages for injuries after exposure to asbestos while working various jobs within the prison walls. Most claims allege that proper protective measures were not taken. Former workers and inmates at Stark Country Jail in Canton, Ohio may have been at risk almost anywhere in the facility.
The Inmate Accident Compensation Act protects a prisoner’s rights, and allows them to bring claims against federal prison systems for “deliberate indifference to a serious risk of harm” from exposure to asbestos.
ABOUT THE LYON FIRM
Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
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Many experience asbestos exposure through the workplace. Workplaces may have been filled with toxic materials, and employers may have failed to warn of the serious health risks of the job. Filing a suit helps to raise the awareness of job safety.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was first utilized in the early 1900s for its insulating abilities, fireproof properties, and versatility. It has been estimated that over 30 million tons of asbestos was used in the American economy in industrial yards, homes, schools, shipyards, and other workplaces.
The natural breakdown of asbestos products and subsequent sawing or cutting of the asbestos creates dust and fibers that are inhaled and can lead to mesothelioma and other severe forms of lung cancer.
When asbestos breaks down over time or with use, the fibers of the material can become airborne, presenting a risk of inhaling or ingesting the toxin. Asbestos is a cancer-causing agent, and those heavily exposed can develop scarring in the lungs and later develop lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Asbestos was widely used in piping, insulation, electrical components, machine parts, packaging, flooring, ceiling tiles, roofing, and in many building materials.
If you were exposed to asbestos at your workplace, and have developed cancer or a related illness, you are likely to qualify for compensation.
Asbestos was cheap, durable, fire-resistant and light, and was though to be the perfect insulating material before research showed it was extremely hazardous to the health.
The success rates of settlements regarding asbestos exposure injury are quite high. It may be necessary to prove that occupational exposure is the primary cause of lung cancer or mesothelioma, though this is the job of The Lyon Firm, and we have experience in reaching large mesothelioma settlements.
Our Firm will help you find the answers. The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered.
Experience: Joe Lyon is an experienced Asbestos Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 19 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Asbestos lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.
Resources/Dedication: The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.
Results: Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure asbestos settlements.
Asbestos can be found in factories, warehouses, hospitals, schools, homes built before 1980, construction sites, and in many military installations. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are 75 different jobs that can expose workers to asbestos, with those jobs primarily involving construction and manufacturing. Thousands of American workers are still exposed to asbestos each year.
Mesothelioma is a serious illness that has been linked to asbestos exposure in medical literature. It is estimated that there will be thousands of new cases due to the latency period of 20-50 years after being first exposed to asbestos.
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to asbestos exposure.