San Francisco City Attorney, Dennis Herrera, recently filed suit to hold a construction contractor and permit expediter accountable for asbestos exposure in multiple locations throughout the city during renovations.
Henry Karnilowicz is accused of obtaining building and other permits with his contracting license and failing to do the work. Unlicensed contractors illegally performed the renovations on three residential hotels, exposing themselves and residents to dangerous levels of asbestos fibers. Karnilowicz did not inform the workers of any asbestos contamination and did not properly train them to deal with the known carcinogen.
Karnilowicz is also accused of repeatedly ignoring orders from city health officials to introduce safety measures for dealing with asbestos and lead. San Francisco city investigators are looking into over 645 permits that he had obtained since 2011.
This situation is even more mind-boggling than the fact that asbestos is not yet banned in the United States. Strict precautions must be taken when dealing with the substance during remodeling or renovation. Mr. Karnilowicz is currently putting lives at risk by performing subpar work in the City of San Francisco, and we hope justice is served.