I Thought I Had An Irritating Job

I was hanging out with my little brother over the holidays and he was describing some recent problems he’d been having around the office.

He’d been working for a Servpro franchise in Asheville, but he quit a month or so ago. It turns out that Servpro was called in to clear out the inside of an old building after a fire. Because of the age of the building, they had to have an environmental contractor come through and check the place out before they could do their work.

Jenni’s been taking cancer epidemiology this semester and she was telling me about just what an amazing carcinogen asbestos is. The primary issue is simply as an irritant it incites cell growth and eventually the formation of tumors. Airborne asbestos fibers tend to be short enough that they are invisible to the human eye.

Matt was there and walked the environmental monitor through. The next day, before any of the results were in, his crew was ordered in to clear the place out. When Matt balked and said that he wanted a respirator, he was told that was simply “too bad.”

The next week, the results came back and the ductwork that they cleared out was full of asbestos. How extensively Matt was exposed and what the long term health effects will be, we have no idea. To add insult to injury, Matt found out that after he left the place, they’ve been recommending against his hiring whenever he lists them as a previous place of employment. He’s a “troublemaker.”

Jenni and I have both been encouraging him to find a lawyer and sue the Servpro franchise out of business. This is theoretically a country where our justice system gives at least half a shit about working conditions and the risks that his company took which could some day kill my brother were certainly criminally negligent.

Surely they can find some lawyer who will take the case for a percentage of the award from a successful suit. As much as I want my brother and the men who work with him to be compensated for what they did to him, I want the company to either be run out of business or at the very least to think twice before they ever cut corners that can cost people’s lives again.

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