Oakland, CA asked in Civil Litigation and Personal Injury for California

Q: Two weeks ago a company came and cleaned my basement crawl space. Today i notice light leaking though my vent in the

living room. I went and showed a light in the crawl space and there is abestos heat vent pipe cracked that goes right to our living room and where my two month old daughter nurses less then three feet from said vent. I brought the company into my house to make it safer for my baby and they made it infinitly worse. Newborns breathing hot asbestos is not a good thing. I am wondering what is my next step. Thanks in advance for your time. We paid $1100 dollars for the service and actually already had to talk to them and was issued a 50$ refund for having to clean up after their guys. I have no idea who to turn to even to check to see if my baby is ok.

1 Lawyer Answer

A: As long as the asbestos exposure your daughter underwent did not result in a disease, you do not have a personal injury case and thereby, taking legal action against the company you hired is a futile endeavor. In fact, it is actually impossible for your daughter to become ill in the near future, as it takes between 10 and 50 years for a disease to ensue after one inhales asbestos fibers. However, you should not be very concerned in this regard, since people rarely develop a disease from household asbestos exposure. It is usually the heavy exposure taking place in occupational settings which ends up in a serious illness. Therefore, your daughter becoming ill due to this type of asbestos exposure is quite unlikely.

To prevent further exposure to asbestos, you should move her in another room as soon as possible and seal the area in question so as not to release toxic fibers in the air anymore. Occupying the room should be avoided by anyone until the problem is solved. I suggest you hire a licensed asbestos removal company to properly attend to the issue, since – as you have unfortunately seen – people who are not adequately trained can make the damage tremendously worse. It is highly recommended to ask the company to show you their license before you decide to hire their workers. As for the company you had a bad experience with, since you cannot sue, I advise you to report them for being unprofessional.

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