Like the asbestos companies that ignored safety in the past, construction companies that are careless in their handling of the carcinogenic material create a present-day risk of malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases for their employees and others. In Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey has taken an aggressive position against those who flout asbestos-handling laws, and this week she filed suit against a construction company and its president.
Mesothelioma Fears Raised After Company Mishandled Asbestos
According to Healey’s lawsuit, GTA Co., Inc. and its president, Gregory T. Antonelli, conducted illegal work on asbestos water mains in the towns of Everett and Braintree, exposing their own employees and residents to the risk of malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Additional companies named in the suit are accused of transporting and illegally storing the carcinogenic material, creating risk for the communities through which they traveled.
The lawsuit indicates that the companies demolished asbestos-contaminated municipal water pipes without the appropriate precautions needed to prevent the airborne fibers that can lead to mesothelioma. Attorney General Healey claims the companies violated the state’s Clean Air Act, saying, “We allege that these defendants put the health of the public and their workers at risk by conducting illegal and unsafe asbestos work in the middle of city streets, including in environmental justice communities that already bear disproportionate environmental risks. We will hold accountable people and companies who violate the laws intended to protect the public from this dangerous material.”
Improperly Stored Asbestos Creates Airborne Fibers That Can be Inhaled
The risk of mesothelioma was called to the Attorney General’s attention by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The agency indicated that the carcinogenic debris from the project had been left on the ground and in open dumpsters, then crushed and buried along city streets. The lawsuit further accuses the construction company of violating the state’s False Claims Act by misrepresenting its compliance with environmental requirements and asbestos handling rules.
According to MassDEP Deputy Commissioner Gary Moran, “When asbestos is improperly handled, fibers can be released into the air, potentially resulting in health impacts to workers and the general public. MassDEP strictly regulates the handling, removal, and disposal of asbestos, and provides technical assistance to parties engaged in asbestos abatement, in order to protect the public health. Those who cut corners to save money will be penalized and learn that it is more cost-effective to do it right from the beginning.”
If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos, you need information about malignant mesothelioma and other diseases. For assistance, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.