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There is no disputing the safety concerns commonly associated with some careers. If you are an over-the-road truck driver, steelworker or farmer, you likely understand the risks associated with your line of work.

Educators, on the other hand, do not expect to deal with hazardous conditions in the workplace. However, one woman who dedicated herself to teaching young children now suffers from mesothelioma due to her exposure to asbestos in her beloved elementary school.

A building in disrepair may increase your health risks

It is typical for a teacher to take pride in his or her classroom. They might decorate it to provide a pleasant atmosphere or arrange it to allow individual break spaces for students with special needs.

When seemingly minor damage takes place, or the room becomes dusty, you clean it up as best you can before students arrive. However, when a school’s building materials include asbestos, you can easily inhale fibers that can get lodged in your lungs. Over time, these may cause cancer.

Asbestos may have affected the teacher through the 90-year-old school’s:

  • Peeling paint
  • Damaged asbestos
  • Leaking pipes

Sadly, around 3,000 Americans receive a mesothelioma diagnosis each year. From there, life expectancy may not extend beyond one year.

Liability is of the utmost importance

Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis is devastating – not only for the individual battling the illness but also for their loved ones. Naturally, no amount of money can heal cancer. Though, in some circumstances, recovering compensation is a means of holding someone responsible for their actions, or lack thereof.

In this teacher’s case, the school district allegedly knew about the presence of asbestos. And despite understanding the scope of disrepair, in some cases, it took the district years to repair crumbling, toxic building materials.

If you have mesothelioma, there is a chance you have legal options. An employer who knew about the presence of asbestos in your working environment – but did nothing to protect you from exposure to the carcinogen – may be held accountable.