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Improper Handling and Removal of Asbestos in New Jersey Results in Indictments

asbestosJune 28, 2012 – A recent investigation by New Jersey state officials has led to multiple indictments against two men and a demolition company that illegally and improperly removed asbestos-containing materials from the site of an old hospital in the process of demolition.  The defendants have been charged with second and third degree offenses that carry prison terms of up to 10 years and fines up to $150,000.  The New Jersey State Grand Jury indictments allege that the defendants intentionally employed prisoners on a work-release program along with other unskilled workers to remove the toxic materials without proper safety equipment, training, or supervision.   The contractors and demolition company also operated without a required state issued license from the New Jersey Department of Labor.

The demolition site, Zurbrugg Memorial Hospital in Riverside, Burlington County, New Jersey, is surrounded by a congested residential neighborhood whose residents voiced their concerns about the dust and debris that was airborne and visibly laying on the ground around their homes.  After several months, the state finally conducted an investigation that led to a warrant being issued.  New Jersey state investigators found asbestos-containing materials on the site, along with 200 plastic garbage bags that contained asbestos debris.  Two more garbage bags filled with asbestos tiles were found buried on the site.

Asbestos Control and Licensing Act in Place to Protect Workers and the Public

The New Jersey Asbestos Control and Licensing Act (ACLA) was established to protect workers and the public from health and safety risks associated with asbestos-containing products.  Under the ACLA, New Jersey issues licenses to asbestos abatement companies and individuals that have fulfilled certification requirements for working with asbestos.  Education, training, and a written test are required for certification.  The defendants in the hospital demolition did not comply with the Act and, as a result, toxic dust was released into the environment from improper handling and disposal methods.

A state investigator at the hospital site discovered that workers there had been instructed to remove asbestos-containing insulation from pipes and boilers so that valuable copper and steel could be recovered.  Because they were not properly trained, the workers released the asbestos fibers into the air as they separated the insulation from the equipment putting themselves and others in the area at risk from direct exposure to the toxin.  Countless other people were subject to second-hand asbestos exposure as the fibers attached to the clothing, hair, and shoes of the workers were carried away.

New Jersey Asbestos Attorneys at Shein Law Work to Seek Justice for Victims of Asbestos Exposure

The asbestos attorneys at Shein Law represent victims of asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.  Our experienced lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for individuals and families of those diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.  We understand the devastating impact that these diseases can have on a family, and we can help you seek the justice that you deserve.  If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos containing materials and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer or other asbestos-related illness, call us at 1-877-SheinLaw (877-743-4652) or contact us online.  We will review the details of your case, advise you on the best way to proceed, and represent you in litigation.

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