Building Owner Pleads Guilty to Asbestos Crimes

We recently brought you the story of an Ohio building owner who allegedly bypassed a nearly $5,000 asbestos abatement project quote from a legitimate company and instead illegally hired a man to do the job for $35.

In an update to that story, the owner has pled guilty to federal charges of improperly disposing of asbestos, but will likely only be sentenced to probation despite potentially increasing the risk of mesothelioma for those who lived near his property.

Lorne Elbert Jr. pled guilty to the charges earlier this week, citing a desire to avoid a drawn-out legal battle, The Lorain Chronicle-Telegram reported.

Elbert Jr. and his company – Elbert Building Co. Inc. – were initially indicted on EPA charges of illegally removing asbestos from the city’s former Builders Square building that the company owns. They stemmed from a decision made by Elbert in June 2007 to forego working with a licensed asbestos abatement company after receiving a pricing quote of $4,900 for the removal of 800 square feet of asbestos insulation from the building’s boiler room before it was demolished

Elbert informed the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency that his company would use the licensed asbestos contractor for the asbestos abatement project, but instead he hired an unlicensed individual to do the job for a price tag of only $35. State EPA inspections of the site uncovered four drums that contained dry asbestos products, and asbestos particles were also found in the boiler room and the parking lot.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma following asbestos exposure, contact Sokolove Law today to learn more about your legal options regarding a mesothelioma claim.