A class action lawsuit for asbestos exposure against the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City, MO has settled for $80 million recently reported. The case involved removal of asbestos during the renovation of the court house from 1983- 1985.
The majority of the funds will go to a medical monitoring fund which will cover the costs of medical monitoring to the victims of the asbestos exposure. Kansas City based U.S. Engineering, removed the asbestos over 30 years ago from 1983 to 1985. Approximately 7,500 people could be eligible for the medical screening.
The settlements are split into two categories. The first category involves people who were exposed to asbestos removal from 1983 to 1985 and had been in the downtown courthouse for at least 80 hours during one of those years.
The claimants will be eligible for thorough annual medical exams, including chest X-rays and blood testing. The second category involves those who were in the courthouse for 80 hours in any 1 year period after the work was done from 1986 to 2007. They will get free screening every 5 years.
The Plaintiff, Jeanne Morgan, testified how the asbestos dust would cover everything in her fifth floor office and would see the asbestos blow out of the air vents as workers were removing heating vents. The asbestos dirt and debris was tracked throughout the courthouse by the workers and the workers would not wear any masks, gloves, or any warning signs.
Morgan’s friend and coworker Nancy Lopez died from mesothelioma in 2010 at the age of 56. This was caused from the courthouse asbestos exposure and her family reached a $10.4 settlement with the county and U.S. Engineering Co. Lopez is the only victim so far to have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of the courthouse exposure. The class action lawsuit is designed to help possible future victims of the asbestos exposure.