Perhaps no building in Fort Lauderdale has more influence on the lives of people than the Broward County Courthouse. Each day, judges and juries hand down important decisions that affect the public’s safety. Ironically, it is also among the most unsafe buildings to work. A class action lawsuit brought by sick employees alleges the building is filled with asbestos and hazardous mold. The county responded with an initiative to build a new courthouse. However, it remains uncompleted and a year behind schedule. To make matters worse, nobody knows when it will open, despite receiving a certificate of occupancy from the city of Fort Lauderdale six weeks ago. It is the latest in a series of debacles involving Broward County building safety.
Over the years, Broward County has earned a bad reputation for sick buildings. Many older buildings have been condemned or closed due to the discovery asbestos. But in far too many cases, the damage has been done. Exposure to asbestos and mold has resulted in serious health and respiratory issues, including mesothelioma. This rare form of lung cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos and is among the most fatal respiratory diseases.
The problem has not gone unnoticed by some of Broward’s top officials. According to the Sun Sentinel, property appraiser Lori Parrish complained several years ago to county commissioners about the alarming increases of sick employees at her government center offices. When the county told Parrish nothing was wrong, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Parrish hired her own building inspector which found “mold feces and a variety of things in our ceilings.” In addition to the Broward County Courthouse, the Nancy J. Cotterman Center has reported air-quality issues. Commissioner Lois Wexler claims she had to exit a room at the county’s government center complex at University Drive because it was aggravating her bronchial asthma.
So what is being done to correct the problem? According to Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry, the county is planning to renovate the portions of the courthouse that are not being torn down. The county has also hired AirQuest Environmental along with the Salazar Consulting Group to investigate and address concerns about the air quality of government buildings.
The truth is many Broward employees have no knowledge of working in sick buildings. If a person contracts mesothelioma in Fort Lauderdale, they are entitled to seek restitution for their health problems from a personal injury lawyer. The Fort Lauderdale asbestos lawyers at Neufeld Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA, understand the seriousness of these cases. Over the years, they have successfully represented a number of clients who have contracted respiratory infections and mesothelioma from buildings infested with mold and asbestos. Every employee has the right to work in a safe and healthy environment. When an employer or landlord fails to maintain their property, their negligence can be hazardous to the health of their tenants and employees. Nobody should have to worry about the air quality of their workplace. If you have been diagnosed with an illness related to mold or exposure to asbestos and mold, contact the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers with a long track record of protecting the rights of clients. Contact the team at Neufeld Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA and schedule your consultation today.