Hotel owners charged with exposing guests and workers to asbestos
The owners of the Frisco Holiday Inn in Denver, Colorado have been indicted by the state’s Attorney General for exposing its guests and workers to asbestos, reported KUSA, Channel 9 news. According to the indictment the hotel’s four owners did not obtain a proper permit for asbestos abatement that they conducted in 2009 during renovations. The owners additionally “failed to properly abate and dispose of asbestos” at the facility said the Attorney General.
After the renovations it was discovered that a few of the hotel’s rooms were contaminated by asbestos, causing them not to be rentable. Despite this, one of the owners of the hotel is also suspected of instructing the housekeeping staff to clean the contaminated rooms, thereby causing them to be exposed to asbestos. The hotel “allegedly continued to rent out the rooms to guests who were unaware of the contamination,” reported KUSA.
“Exposure to asbestos can cause serious, even fatal, respiratory diseases, so it must be handled safely and legally to protect the public,” said Lori Hanson, the agent in charge of the Denver Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Criminal Enforcement Division. Serious asbestos related diseases include the deadly cancer, mesothelioma, as well as lung cancer and asbestosis.
The Attorney General’s indictment documents claim the defendants were fully aware of the asbestos contamination at the Frisco Holiday Inn, putting them in violation of the Air Quality Control Act. “If convicted of causing or contributing to a hazardous substance incident, the defendants could face up to six years in prison or a $500,000 fine,” said KUSA.
Law firms are busy fighting the asbestos problem on the legal end by helping people suffering from asbestos-related diseases receive monetary compensation. One leading law firm that has been helping people for over twenty years is Weitz & Luxenberg.