Former Letcher County teacher files lawsuit claiming asbestos in school caused cancer
By: Angela Reighard,http://www.wkyt.com/
Roger and Evelyn Hall are holding onto each other a little tighter these days.
Roger was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Mesothelioma about one year ago.
He taught history at the old Letcher High School from 1976 to 2003.
“If you wanted to have a decent life, you had to become a doctor, a lawyer, school teacher, so on. So, I figured a school teacher is easy enough,” Roger Hall said.
Hall spent a lot of time in the break room at the high school. It’s now an office at Letcher Elementary. He said he ate lunch there.
“You had no thought that you were limiting your life,” Hall said.
When he found out he had Mesothelioma, he did some research. One thing kept coming up: asbestos.
“When I asked several people I worked with is there asbestos in that school? They said it was loaded with it,” Hall said.
Hall filed a lawsuit against various members of the school district saying asbestos exposure caused his cancer.
As of today, the principal of Letcher Elementary says they are dealing with asbestos.
“We always kind of knew it was here. We just assumed it was being taken care of the way it was supposed to be taken care of,” Letcher Elementary Principal Wendy Rutherford said.
Rutherford said in the seven years she’s worked at Letcher Elementary, the custodians have followed protocol. They clean and wax the tile in order to prevent asbestos exposure.
The hallway in the school was recently sealed. However, some classrooms and the cafeteria still have the old tile.
“It is something I do think we need to address just for the safety of our students and staff and to help with fears any people have,” Rutherford said. “I think it’s a wise call for our board to remove the tile.” Read more