This blog has repeatedly called attention to the fact that many old buildings in North Carolina contain large amounts of asbestos-containing products that pose a significant health hazard. Both state and federal regulations specify the methods of removing and disposing of asbestos materials if an older building undergoes renovation. A recent case in another state shows once again that such regulations should not be taken lightly.
A federal grand jury recently indicted two men for allegedly ignoring government regulations and lying to government inspectors when they removed asbestos from an aging public housing complex. The two men are the project’s developer and the project’s construction supervisor.
The indictment alleges that the two men told workers to remove kitchen appliances containing asbestos material and debris and wash them with hoses, letting the debris soak into the ground. The two men also failed to train their employees in the proper techniques for asbestos removal and disposal and did not use such methods to dispose of asbestos-containing materials. The indictment also charges that the two men lied to county inspectors and failed to provide proper notice of removal work. The two defendants were arrested and charged with conspiracy to defraud and violating federal regulations about asbestos removal. Both men pleaded not guilty.
This case once again demonstrates that asbestos still present in the environment and that it poses a significant health hazard. Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses such asbestosis and mesothelioma, an especially lethal form of lung cancer. If a person suffers from mesothelioma or any of the other asbestos-related diseases is received, a consultation with an attorney who is experienced in recovering damages for victims of asbestos-product exposure could help victims estimate of their chances of pursuing damages from the parties who caused the exposure.
Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Two indicted for improper asbestos removal at St. Petersburg’s Urban Style Flats,” Susan Taylor Martin, April 29, 2015