Air district settles lawsuit against property firm

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced Wednesday that it has settled a lawsuit against a property management company for a $125,000 civil penalty.

According to the Air District, the lawsuit is in connection with three apartment complexes that the company owns, one each in San Jose, San Francisco and San Mateo.

The lawsuit alleges that the property company, knowingly failed to hire a certified asbestos abatement contractor to remove and repair ceilings containing asbestos.

Instead of complying with asbestos-handling regulations, the company hired uncertified contractors and in-house maintenance staff who did not take any precautions to prevent the release of asbestos fibers. According to the Air District, this action caused the workers and the apartment residents to be exposed to asbestos.

“Landlords need to know that if they have asbestos in their buildins, they must follow the rules that are in place to ensure the protection of public health,'' Air District Executive Officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement. “If they don't they are going to have to pay a penalty.''

— Bay City News

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