Violators Jailed and Fined After Asbestos Mishandling Raised Community Risk of Mesothelioma

Two asbestos criminals will be jailed and fined $399,000 after being convicted of exposing their workers and the community-at-large to the risk of mesothelioma. Stephanie Laskin and Kristofer Landell were convicted of conspiring to violate Clean Air Act regulations regarding the safe removal, handling, and disposal of the carcinogenic material at a Kingston, New York worksite.

Judge Notes That Community Members Afflicted by Mesothelioma May Pursue Claims

The mesothelioma risk that the pair created came from a former IBM site known as TechCity that they had contracted to clean up. Project manager Landell and asbestos company owner Laskin were sentenced to eight and ten months of jail respectively after what was called a “year-long conspiracy” to violate federal and New York State Department of Labor regulations intended to prevent human exposure to asbestos. Also charged were three others, who cooperated in the investigation into the crime, and were sentenced to three years’ probation. The judge noted that the group may also be ordered to compensate any community members potentially exposed to asbestos or sickened as a result of their crimes.

Co-Defendant Acknowledges Mesothelioma Risk

One of the pair’s co-defendants, Roger Osterhoudt, is the Vice President of Property Management for TechCity, and in his plea agreement he acknowledged that the illegal activity had needlessly exposed the community to an increased risk of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Though the company had been directed to safely remove asbestos from the site, Landell and Laskin allowed and in some cases directed their employees to remove the contaminated materials without taking appropriate containment measures. Additionally, the asbestos was not wetted down to prevent fibers from escaping into the environment, and the illegal work was concealed from the EPA using false paperwork. Required air monitoring was not conducted and a final air clearance report was fabricated. When the crimes were discovered by the New York State Department of Labor, all operations were shut down.

Mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos can come from many sources, including criminal activity. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with this rare and fatal form of cancer and you need assistance, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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