- Illegal Asbestos Removal Procedures in Tennessee Place Workers at Risk for Mesothelioma
- March 23, 2015
- Law Firm: Waters Kraus LLP - Dallas Office
- Those responsible for exposing salvage workers to old asbestos materials at the former Liberty Fibers Plant in Hamblen County, Tennessee have been sentenced. As a result of the workers’ exposure to the toxic substance, experts testified in federal court, the men are at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases.
Workers Instructed to Rip Out Asbestos Insulation from Building Without Wearing Proper Protective Respiratory Equipment
Five managers and owners of the site were sentenced to prison and the judge further ordered that restitution be paid. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Superfund will receive $10.3 million - the reported cost of cleaning up the asbestos-contaminated site.
A&E Salvage bought the plant after it went into bankruptcy with a plan to salvage metals remaining on the site. The problem was that the plant was literally covered with asbestos insulation. For several years, the defendants chose to ignore the Clean Air Act’s standards for removing, bagging and disposing of asbestos. The defendants used untrained workers whom they instructed to remove the asbestos without complying with applicable safety standards. In addition, the defendants failed to provide their workers with the protective equipment required to prevent inhalation of deadly asbestos fibers.
The EPA takes a hard line on asbestos removal procedures because there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma, an always fatal disease that kills approximately 3,000 Americans each year.