Schmitt Law Firm, LLC - Kansas City personal injury attorneys

What to do after buying a house with asbestos

Asbestos is a common material that contractors used in building construction for several decades. It was primarily used throughout the 1930s, '40s and '50s. Asbestos is typically found in painting products that contractors used until 1977. 

Researchers have linked asbestos to several significant health problems, such as mesothelioma, so homeowners should stay away from it at all costs. However, it is not uncommon for people to buy a house and discover later the house contains asbestos. There are steps to take to ensure this does not happen and recover damages in case it does. 

Always conduct a test before buying a building

People searching for a new house to buy should conduct a thorough examination beforehand. This is particularly important for buildings made prior to 1977. If a person hears the construction of a building took place during the above time period, then he or she should ask to see an asbestos report. In the event the seller has not yet performed an inspection, then the seller should conduct one. There may be legal loopholes a seller can use to get around doing one. In this case, the prospective buyer should pay to have one performed. It is a small investment to have complete peace of mind. In the event professionals discover asbestos in the building, then the buyer knows to pass on the offer or wait until the seller remedies the problem. 

Determine liability

If a homeowner discovers asbestos in a building after the purchase, then it is up to the homeowner to prove the seller was unaware of the issue. The law requires sellers to disclose all information about a building. However, if the seller did not know, then it would be unreasonable to assume that person would be capable of disclosing the presence of asbestos. In the event the seller is liable, then the homeowner may be able to sue for damages, including those related to medical expenses. 

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Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.