Denver man ordered to pay $435,000 in fines related to asbestos violation

A Denver, Colorado man has been ordered to pay $435,000 in restitution and serve six months home detection for illegally storing asbestos-contaminated waste at a Denver Public Storage facility.

KMGH-TV, the ABC affiliate in Denver, reported that James Robert Soyars Jr., violated the Clean Air Act when he directed his workers to store the waste at the storage facility during 2005 and 2006. Soyars, a certified asbestos abatement supervisor, owns Talon Environmental in Denver.

He pled guilty last October to two felony counts for the asbestos violation.


Asbestos fibers that become airborne are a health danger to anyone in the vicinity, and are linked to lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis. That connection to the hazardous mineral has been the focus of many asbestos settlements and mesothelioma lawsuits in recent years.

According to the news station, Soyars’ company was hired to remove asbestos from renovated buildings in Aurora, Greeley and Colorado Springs, all in Colorado. When the hazardous material was transported to the storage facility, it was placed in bags and transported in vehicles that had no labelling that indicated they contained asbestos.


Troy, New York seeks more bidders to redevelop former City Hall site

After receiving only three proposals to redevelop the former City Hall site, the city of Troy, New York, will keep the bidding open to draw more companies to the project, the Albany Times Union reported.

The city has $3.9 million available to redevelop the 2.1-acre property. Situated at the city’s Monument Square on the Hudson River, city officials envision a mixed-use development of housing, retail and commercial space.

One roadblock to the plans is an ongoing issue regarding asbestos removal during demolition of the site. The state Department of Labor has issued three violation notices to the city for failing to complete asbestos removal before proceeding with demolition of the building, the newspaper reported.

Asbestos fibers that become airborne are a health danger to anyone in the vicinity, and are linked to diseases such as malignant mesothelioma. The hazardous mineral has been the focus of many asbestos settlements and mesothelioma lawsuits in recent years.

One of the three bidders, Judge Development, indicated its readiness to develop a $30 million to $40 million project on the property. "We don’t want to see any delay," developer Sam Judge told the Times Union, "The city has gone through the motions and has managed to get three legitimate and respected developers to respond."


UK family wins mesothelioma lawsuit for mother

The family of a UK auxiliary nurse in Aylsham, England, has won a mesothelioma settlement from health executives at the hospital she and her first husband once worked for, reports the Eastern Daily Press.

Legally, the case was a minefield, as there was reportedly no proof that 79-year-old Betty Farrow had ever been occupationally exposed to asbestos at St. Michael’s Hospital. Instead, it was widely believed that she inhaled the deadly fibers from washing her husband’s clothes.

Farrow’s husband worked in the boiler rooms of the basement at the same hospital, where he allegedly became covered in asbestos dust. When Farrow shook out his clothes before putting them in the wash, she was exposed to the material.

According to the family’s asbestos lawyer, the case settled for a "significant" amount of money, but an exact figure was not reported by the news source. Farrow’s daughter, Sue Empson, told reporters that she was glad the battle was over and that "it [had] nothing to do with money but what is right."

A death inquiry involving Farrow concluded the woman had died of mesothelioma, a rare and untreatable form of cancer.


Quarry site in Australia threatens residents with asbestos exposure

Doctors in Australia are worried about residents living near a basalt quarry that will soon operate on land contaminated with asbestos, reports the Central Western Daily.

Dr. Sarah McCracken lives across the street from the site, but she isn’t the only one concerned about the neighborhood development – many residents are worried too, but they aren’t as knowledgeable about the deadly fibers as her.

According to McCracken, the North South Wales Department of Planning labeled the project as "negligible" and "low risk" in a report that approved the quarry. An air monitoring program will keep asbestos levels below .01 fibers per millilitre of air. New sources say that the department has placed 74 other conditions to protect nearby residents.

"There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos," McCracken said. "Diseases related to asbestos are deadly. You die gasping for every last breath."

She added that the level designated by the department is not enough to protect people from developing cancers such as mesothelioma.

Many people who suffer from mesothelioma file asbestos lawsuits seeking compensation from the parties responsible for exposing them to the deadly mineral.


Australian employees allegedly disposed of asbestos improperly

Several employees from Territory Alliance are under fire after Australian authorities discovered that the company disposed of asbestos improperly, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

A new housing development required the demolition of standing houses that were irreparable, which went smoothly until West Arnhem Shire officials questioned asbestos safety. The Northern Territory has confirmed that the material was not handled according to regulations.

According to the news source, asbestos in the old homes was dumped at a nearby waste site, but the deadly fibers can’t be disposed of anywhere like non-hazardous materials.

The Federal Government’s Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program, run by Territory Alliance, said that the contaminated areas were secured and that workers were already fixing the problem.

Already, two senior officials have been fired from the group in charge of the project, but Worksafe Northern Territory is still investigating the crime.

The deadly material is a known carcinogen, causing mesothelioma, a rare and untreatable form of cancer. Many people who suffer from the disease contact asbestos lawyers to ask about filing a lawsuit against the parties that exposed them to the dangerous fibers.


Health and Safety officials in the UK enforce asbestos safety

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) fined a construction firm after a man fell through the roof of a garage, potentially disrupting asbestos.

Grimsby demolition company H. Cope & Sons allegedly did not supervise the workers on site and failed to notice that its employees were breaking up asbestos fibers in cement that held up garage roofs.

HSE Inspector Dave Bradley called the tragedy "totally avoidable… to allow demolition work on structures containing asbestos cement without the provision of any welfare facilities is completely unacceptable."

"Buckets in the back of a van – as was evident in this case – do not constitute welfare facilities," he added.

The unnamed employee who fell through the roof reportedly needed several corrective surgeries and still suffers from physical pain.

According to the HSE report, H. Cope & Sons knew the basic equipment such as scaffolding and dust control materials needed for the project but failed to provide it to their employees. The company must now pay £12,000 after pleading guilty to the charges.

In addition, the HSE fined a Rotherham Council-owned organization for allowing one of its workers to be exposed to approximately "50 times the legal limit of asbestos," according to the Dinnington Today.


Software firm chosen for state of Illinois asbestos abatement program

GL Solutions, a software developer based in Bend, Oregon, has been contracted by the state of Illinois to monitor its asbestos abatement program, according to the Bend Bulletin.

The state Department of Public Health currently uses the company’s regulatory software, GL Suite, for managing swimming pools, plumbing wells and other state programs.

However, the latest contract with GL Solutions is its first that involves asbestos management. It is also the largest and most complex installation that the software company has had with the state, GL’s marketing specialist Brian Bennett, told the newspaper.

Asbestos exposure is linked to diseases that include lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, and is the focus of many asbestos settlements and mesothelioma lawsuits that have been filed in recent years. Asbestos abatement frequently precedes demolitions and major renovations to prevent its fibers from becoming airborne.

The software firm, which recently doubled its workforce from 40 workers to 75 employees, has been awarded a $50,000 loan from the Deschutes County job creation fund. It has also won recent contracts with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the state home builder licensing board in Alabama.


Conference will focus on trends in asbestos litigation nationwide

A California conference on current and emerging trends in asbestos litigation is planned for legal and insurance professionals in early March.

The Cutting-Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation Conference is set for March 3 and 4 in Beverly Hills with a host of workshops for both plaintiff and defense attorneys.

"Outstanding speakers and panelists will deliver information for both sides of the trial bar, further bolstering litigators’ abilities to better anticipate and resolve issues on disputed matters," according to a news release from Perrin Conferences, which is organizing the conference.

Asbestos exposure is linked to diseases that include lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, and is the focus of many asbestos settlements and mesothelioma lawsuits that have been filed in recent years.
 

Conference panels will include jurors who recently served during a large asbestos case in California, updates on asbestos court actions nationwide, the effects of asbestos bankruptcy on all parties in a legal action and a session on issues faced by in-house counsel on asbestos claims.

The session, Judicial Roundtable: A View From the Bench, will include judges from Delaware, California, Illinois, Texas, New York, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.


Woman claims asbestos exposure caused husband’s death

Recently-widowed Ohio resident Anita Palmieri blames 32 companies for her husband’s death in a lawsuit that claims the defendants are responsible for his asbestos exposure.

Carmine Palmieri Sr., who allegedly worked as a brick-layer and tile-setter between 1952 and 1980, was later diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away from the disease, according to the St. Clair Record. His wife claims the 32 defendants named in the suit failed to exercise reasonable care for her husband’s safety, and exposed him to asbestos, which allegedly caused his lung disease.

As a result of Palmieri’s asbestos-related condition, he incurred substantial medical costs, suffered mentally and physically and was unable to work, thus losing earnings. Anita Palmieri suffered from loss of support and society with her husband after his death and incurred funeral and burial costs. She is represented by an asbestos lawyer and seeks hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages from the defendants.

Work in the construction industry may carry a higher risk of asbestos exposure than certain other occupations. Those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease may benefit from contacting a mesothelioma law firm to determine if they are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and the pain and suffering that an asbestos-related disease brings its victims. 


Florida flyover project remains a year behind schedule because of asbestos findings

The construction of an overpass as part of a major flyover project in Fort Myers, Florida, remains a year behind schedule as a result of an asbestos cleanup at the site.

For two years, employees of an asbestos contractor have worked alongside construction workers to sift through dirt displaced by the project. In that time, they have found 22 cubic feet of asbestos.

WZVN-HD, the ABC affiliate in Fort Myers, reported that the Posen construction firm has promised the Lee County Department of Transportation that the overpass will be finished by April 31.
 

Meanwhile, the asbestos contractor AMRC is trying to sift through the remaining 10,000 cubic yards of dirt within the next six weeks. "We’re going to push hard to get it done," company spokesman Jack Snider told the news station.
 

The state Department of Environmental Protection also told WZVN that the construction firm is close to exceeding the legal limit for asbestos, which is 35 cubic feet. Fines could be levied if the company exceeds the limit.

Asbestos exposure is linked to diseases that include lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, and is the focus of many asbestos settlements and mesothelioma lawsuits that have been filed in recent years.