The Missouri Court of Appeals has reversed a ruling that denied class certification in a five-year-old asbestos lawsuit brought against Jackson County and a contractor. The lawsuit was filed in 2010 on behalf of thousands of people potentially exposed to asbestos in the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City. The new ruling will allow anyone who worked in the courthouse for more than two consecutive weeks or for 80 hours annually since 1983 to take part in the class action asbestos lawsuit.
Asbestos is well known to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, but it has also been linked to a range of other health problems, including heart disease and nervous disorders, as well as certain autoimmune disorders. Furthermore, the risk of developing health complications like mesothelioma can linger for years after exposure to asbestos.
The asbestos lawsuit stems from a remodeling project at the Jackson County Courthouse that went on between 1983 and 1984. The lawsuit claims that the contractor in charge of the remodeling, U.S. Engineering Co., did not properly handle, remove, or dispose of asbestos from insulation inside the building. The contractor is accused of having also failed to turn off the air-handling units, which witnesses say resulted in asbestos powder coating floors and offices in the courthouse. This powder allegedly was never properly cleaned up, and instead was allowed to remain in the courthouse, where it continued to pose a health risk to workers and visitors for decades.
Plaintiffs in the asbestos lawsuit are seeking damages from Jackson County and U.S. Engineering to set up a medical program to monitor the health of members of the asbestos lawsuit class. Expert witnesses have stated that anyone who was significantly exposed to asbestos in the courthouse is at increased risk of latent health problems.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung disease or mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos, contact the lawyers at Lopez McHugh to schedule your free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation through an asbestos lawsuit.