We’ve previously discussed in length the dangers of asbestos. The US Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of the material in 1989 when they linked it to lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. There are no safe levels of exposure to airborne asbestos, which can lead to lifelong breathing issues and even death.
Three men knew the dangers of asbestos and yet decided to go ahead with the demolition of a building containing the deadly material – and now they’re paying the price. The men will be splitting over seven years of prison time between them and will see their company fined $30,000. They will also be paying nearly $28,000 for ‘restitution to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Chattanooga Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Board for expenditures associated with the emergency response and clean-up.’
The charges come from August of 2004 when the men brought down a textile mill in Chattanooga. Their company demolished the building without the proper oversight to protect against asbestos exposure and even hired day laborers that included homeless and untrained workers to ‘improperly remove asbestos-containing materials without following federal regulations.’ The dangerous dust from the salvage floated into nearby properties in East Chattanooga including homes and a day care. After an investigation was launched into the illegal demolition, the men also lied to authorities and falsified documents.
The charges they faced included conspiracy and violating the Clean Air Act as well as obstructing justice. Prosecutors believed greed to be the biggest motivator as the men schemed to cut corners and find the cheapest and quickest way to bring the building down without regard for public safety. Prosecutors hope the prison sentences will send a message that ‘those individuals who choose to place profit over compliance with our nation’s environmental laws will be vigorously prosecuted and brought to justice.’
Injury Accident Lawyers in Chattanooga, TN
If you or someone you love has suffered an asbestos-related illness in Chattanooga, you may be entitled to compensation. But to file a suit, you’ll want help from injury attorneys experienced in handling asbestos exposure claims.
The Insiders at the McMahan Law Firm fight for asbestos exposure victims in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Tullahoma, Jasper, and throughout Southern Tennessee. Exposure doesn’t just happen while at work, you can be exposed to this deadly material simply by the negligence of another person or persons.
Don’t wait. If you think you’ve suffered an illness from asbestos, contact the Insiders at the McMahan Law Firm and let them get started on your case today with a free legal consultation.
Source. News Channel 9, ‘http://www.newschannel9.com/news/top-stories/stories/3-sentenced-prison-violating-clean-air-act-2580.shtml?wap=0,’ October 1, 2012.
Source. Times Free Press, ‘http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/oct/02/chattanooga-asbestos-polluters-sentenced-to-prison/,’ Pam Sohn & Todd South, October 2, 2012.
Source. Justice.gov, ‘http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/October/12-enrd-1188.html,’ October 1, 2012.