Did California Prison Ignore Asbestos Exposure Risk?
Asbestos Found at California Correctional Facility
In asbestos news, the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) located in Dublin, California, is under investigation for the potential unreported exposure of mold and asbestos within the federal women’s prison. The Federal Bureau of Prisons allegedly dismissed complaints and concerns regarding illness among the 500 inmates and over 200 employees, which raises health and safety questions.
The California correctional facility has been under intense scrutiny after receiving several complaints about the sexual abuse of inmates. After further investigation, a government watchdog has concluded there is a “substantial likelihood” that the Federal Bureau of Prisons has committed additional wrongdoings by ignoring complaints and failing to address mold and asbestos contamination in Dublin, California. Asbestos exposure in prisons is not uncommon, as many buildings were built when limited restrictions were placed on construction materials. However, the FCI officials did not complete an asbestos examination before remodeling the women’s federal prison in California, which directly violates the EPA Clean Air Act.
The Bureau of Prisons released a statement arguing that employees perform weekly fire, safety, and sanitation inspections. They also claim that employees are encouraged to report hazardous conditions to officials to combat these issues. A spokesperson for the Bureau, Emery Nelson, asserts, “All safety concerns reported by staff at Dublin are being addressed.”
Could Staff and Prisoners Contract Mesothelioma?
Many prisons require inmates to work during their imprisonment to repay their court debts and prepare them for reentry into society. According to the Dublin Inmate Admission and Orientation Handbook, “Institutional maintenance jobs are usually the first assignment an inmate receives.” The work an inmate might receive might include working in food services, as a unit orderly, or in a maintenance shop. Because many prisons were built under pre-asbestos restrictions, those working in or around maintenance and similar positions risk possibly being exposed to asbestos. Whether a prisoner, staff, or prior individual of the prison system, there is a chance that asbestos fibers could still exist within the foundation.
Asbestos exposure occurs when microscopic fibers become airborne, putting those who inhale or digest them at risk. As a result, conditions like lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma culminate in the victims. Mesothelioma is a dangerous form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen.
As a result of this wrongdoing, the case is open until the Agency finalizes its report which will be forwarded to President Joe Biden and Congress.
Could you Have Been Exposed to Asbestos in Prison or Jail?
We sympathize with those incarcerated and with prior involvement in the justice system that could have been potentially exposed to chemicals or asbestos due to unsafe conditions. Don’t feel like you should ignore exposure concerns because of past actions as all inmates are entitled toxic-free living conditions. If you or a family member have been arrested and jailed and later diagnosed with mesothelioma or another lung disease, there are legal options available.
Legal opportunities for those exposed to asbestos and their families include:
- Mesothelioma Lawsuits
- Asbestos Trust Funds
- Class Action Lawsuits
- Personal Injury Lawsuits
- Wrongful Death and Bereavement
Settlements awarded can assist patients in receiving medical treatment, transportation and board, and palliative care.
Free Case Evaluation for Former Occupants and Prison Workers
If you have faced asbestos exposure and later developed lung diseases, like mesothelioma, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation. Get a free case evaluation with one of our expert asbestos litigation attorneys. Together, we will assess your situation and determine your next steps. Receive a free case evaluation if you believe you could have been exposed in prison.