Few may have noticed the warning signs for the presence of asbestos on the doors of the building that used to house the Ukrainian Research Institute across the street from Pound Hall. But now, some have noticed symptoms of asbestos contamination. At first, it was shortness of breath, but there are fears that full-fledged mesothelioma has struck members of the law school community.
“I don’t know how it could have happened,” said one of the construction crew managers. “We have taken every precaution known to man. We put up signs and a fence. We assumed law students knew how to read and were too lazy to climb over a fence. Perhaps we need to rethink that assumption for future projects. Apparently some were curious and snuck in. I cannot imagine why.”
Students exhibiting symptoms disagreed, “I didn’t go near that building. I simply walked from my dorm in Wyeth to class three days per week,” explained a 3L in between bouts of a hacking cough.
The epidemic has lead to an overflow of students, both sick and simply concerned, in the health offices in Pound Hall. “Students run in here if they sneeze weird,” said the nurse on duty, “they are worried sick about this. I haven’t seen anything like this since the rumors that the Polish table slipped Polonium into the Hark food.”
In response to the asbestos exposure, students have filed a class action against the Ukrainian Institute, the construction company, the school, messenger pigeons, and anyone else they could land service of process on. Professor Burbank agreed to represent the students and used the case as a study for his Complex Litigation class to demonstrate how relevant asbestos litigation is in today’s world.
In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has been spotted taking surveys near the Institute, although some speculate that that might only be related to the recent classification of Story Hall as a dry cleaning fluid-related Super Fund site.
The Ukrainian Institute did not seem to be concerned by the charges. “Ve survived Chernobyl,” said a spokesperson with a heavy Ukrainian accent, “ve kan survive zis too. No one is going to even grow a second head. You Amerikans and your silly law suits. Back in our country, ve ate asbestos for breakfast and for dinner too if ve ran out of potatoes.”