A New Jersey grand injury indicted Frank J. Rizzo, 53, Michael Kouvaras, 59, and their company, Deuteron Capital, for using untrained workers, including members of a nearby halfway house, to improperly remove and dispose of asbestos without a license.
According to the indictment, Deuteron Capital was operating as South Street Fill-It Recycling to remove asbestos from a hospital during a demolition project. A report compiled before the demolition showed “expansive asbestos throughout the structures.” Even though the men knew about the asbestos, the state says, they proceeded anyway.
The state investigation found that the workers performing asbestos abatement, including some members of a nearby halfway house, were neither trained nor licensed. Officials said that Rizzo and Kouvaras directed their workers to bury roughly 50 bags worth of asbestos and dump the rest inside to make it look like thieves removed the materials in an attempt to steal copper wire. The workers did not wear protective suits.
Local residents had expressed concern about the clouds of dust constantly surrounding the worksite, as well as the workers’ questionable sanitation practices. Rebecca Eiler, who lives close to the hospital, said she was not surprised when she heard about the allegations.
“You think people are trained to do their jobs and do them properly,” she said. “I’m happy something is being done. It’s almost as if justice is being served.”
When asbestos particles are released in the air, anyone who breathes them in can suffer severe consequences like mesothelioma and asbestosis. If you suspect that a demolition project is proceeding carelessly, or that asbestos exposure lead to your illness, you have a right to seek compensation. Call us today for a free consultation.
Cappolino Dodd Krebs LLP – asbestos lawyers