Asbestos Hampers Small Business Owner
Asbestos contamination has left a shoe retailer in upstate New York out a one-month old store and facing debt.
After borrowing tens of thousands of dollars, Jesse Deitchman opened Sneaker World, a retail shoe store, in August 2012, in the village of Liberty, N.Y., according to a recent story in The River Reporter, a local newspaper. Unfortunately for Deitchman, the store had to close one month later, after the New York Department of Labor (DOL) discovered that Sneaker World’s basement was contaminated by asbestos. As his shoes were stored in boxes with holes in them, Deitchman also had to destroy his inventory.
And, as it turned out, Deitchman’s insurance policy doesn’t cover asbestos contamination. One local legislator noted: “It’s unfortunate because here’s a gentleman who has the wherewithal to start a store…and there’s no way to ease the pain.”
Asbestos was once heavily used for construction through the United States. This was because of asbestos’ high tensile strength, durability, low cost, and fire-resistant qualities. Eventually, many health studies linked asbestos to serious diseases, including mesothelioma and asbestosis. Starting in the 1970s, asbestos was phased out of general use.