Who's Responsible for Workers’ Asbestos Exposure During Tenant Construction?
A shopping center leases space to a shoe store. The lease requires the tenant to install a new heating and air-conditioning system in the space. It also makes the tenant solely responsible for compliance with “all laws” in connection with the work. The tenant hires an HVAC contractor to do the work. The owner knows that the ceiling tiles contain asbestos but fails to notify either the tenant or contractor. Result: The contractor’s workers are exposed to asbestos and develop a form of cancer known as asbestositis.