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Asbestos Exposure at the Ohio State University

Millions of students, faculty and staff at the Ohio State University over the years may have been exposed to cancer-causing asbestos on campus. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis or another related illness as an alumnus or former faculty member of Ohio State, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

The asbestos attorneys at Bailey & Glasser, LLP have decades of experience handling these cases and going up against colleges and universities on behalf of our clients. Find out how we may be able to help you with a potential case during a conversation with one of our intake specialists. Contact us today at (866) 871-7971.

What Is Asbestos? What Are its Health Risks?

Asbestos is the name given to a group of six naturally occurring mineral silicates. Asbestos was heavily used prior to the 1980s to manufacture materials due to its natural heat-resistant properties. In 1987, the International Agency for Research on Cancer confirmed that all six types of asbestos were carcinogenic, meaning they cause cancer in humans. For over 100 years prior, however, asbestos-containing materials were used in the construction of millions of buildings around the United States – including many colleges and universities.

The diseases that are associated with exposure to asbestos include:

  • Mesothelioma – aggressive and terminal cancer of the mesothelium
  • Asbestosis – scarring of the lungs, possibly leading to mesothelioma
  • Pleural plaques or thickening – thickening tissues in the lining of the lungs
  • Pleural effusion – a buildup of fluid in the chest cavity
  • Lung cancer – malignant tumors that form in the lungs
  • Other types of cancer – including cancer of the larynx, esophagus and ovaries

Asbestos fibers have been known to enter the body and become lodged in the tissues, including the thin membranes that surround most internal organs (the mesothelium). Most often, asbestos fibers and particles get lodged in the lungs and chest cavity. This includes asbestos becoming stuck in the pleura, or the lining that surrounds the lungs, and causing pleural mesothelioma.

Confirmed Asbestos at Ohio State University

Ohio State University has a total of 864 buildings on its Columbus main campus and four regional campuses. A survey of all of Ohio State’s buildings conducted in 1985 found that an estimated 92 percent or more of the buildings on campus contained asbestos. The three main sources of asbestos were thermal systems insulation, spray fireproofing and acoustic plaster materials.

Potential asbestos-containing materials on OSU’s campus include:

  • Ceiling tiles
  • Cement pipes
  • Decorative plasters
  • Drywall joint compounds
  • Floor tiles
  • Friction products
  • Fume hood liners
  • Gaskets
  • Glues and adhesives
  • Gypsum board
  • Lab bench counters
  • Linoleum
  • Paints
  • Roofing materials
  • Spray-on insulation
  • Wallboard

All of these materials can be found in Ohio State University buildings. Anything that contains 1 percent or less asbestos is treated as an asbestos-containing material and should be removed according to professional abatement procedures. However, Ohio State has taken the stance that as long as materials that contain asbestos remain in good condition and are not damaged, exposure is “unlikely,” and the health of employees and occupants is not at risk.

Does Ohio State University Protect its Students and Staff From Asbestos?

In accordance with federal and state regulations, Ohio State University’s building design standards include an asbestos survey that must be completed for all renovation and demolition projects, regardless of the size of the project or the age of the building. This survey must be completed by a qualified Asbestos Hazard Evaluation Specialist and should outline any products that are known or assumed to contain asbestos.

In addition, Ohio State has enacted specific asbestos policies regarding asbestos abatement, oversight, assessment and management in the hundreds of its buildings that contain asbestos. If it is determined that a building contains asbestos that must be removed prior to repairs, renovations or demolition, the contaminated materials must be properly removed and disposed of under Ohio’s asbestos laws.

However, like most universities and colleges in the country, Ohio State is not engaging in active asbestos abatement or removal procedures. The university does not want to spend the money that it would take to safely remove asbestos from its buildings. Instead, the university practices “in-place” asbestos management, which essentially leaves asbestos-containing materials untouched unless it becomes necessary to remove them due to a construction or renovation project.

Are You Eligible for Financial Compensation for Asbestos Exposure at Ohio State?

You may have grounds to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against Ohio State University if there is evidence that the school was negligent in failing to protect you from exposure to asbestos. If the school knowingly subjected its students, faculty and staff to dangerous levels of asbestos via contaminated products, for example, or did nothing to warn you of this potential risk, it may have to pay for your asbestos-related illness. The same is true if you were negligently exposed to asbestos by the manufacturer of a product.

Negligence is the failure to use a reasonable level of care, such as taking appropriate measures to contain and remove asbestos from Ohio State’s buildings. If negligence can be established using clear and convincing evidence as more likely to have occurred than not, you could receive a settlement or jury verdict for your past and future losses. A financial recovery may include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost future capacity to earn, out-of-pocket expenses, attorney’s fees, and wrongful death damages.

Other sources of compensation for a victim of asbestos exposure at Ohio State University may include a workers’ compensation claim (for injured employees) or an asbestos trust fund claim. An asbestos trust fund is set up by companies when filing for bankruptcy to pay victims who were exposed to asbestos from their products. An attorney can help you understand your right to pursue financial compensation for your asbestos-related illness or the death of a loved one.

Bailey & Glasser, LLP Will Fight for You | Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis or any other illness caused by exposure to asbestos, the attorneys at Bailey & Glasser, LLP are here to assist you with your legal needs. We have the experience, knowledge and resources to guide you through a case involving exposure to asbestos at Ohio State University, no matter how long ago you were a student or staff member. Speak to an intake specialist about your potential case today. Contact us online or call (866) 871-7971. We will fight for you.