Tennessee company found guilty of asbestos contamination

February 2nd, 2012

A federal jury has found a Tennessee company and three demolition workers guilty of violating the Clean Air Act when its employees demolished a building contaminated with asbestos. Don Fillers, James Mathis and David Wood could serve up to five years in prison for the violations.

The men, along with Filler’s company, Watkins Street Project LLC, demolished an old textile building without properly removing the asbestos insulation. Witnesses in the trial said a cloud of asbestos fibers littered two city blocks. Filler faces up to an additional 20 years in prison for obstruction of justice charges related to the demolition.

Companies are required to adhere to strict asbestos removal policies when demolishing buildings. Exposure to asbestos—which was used heavily in construction from the 1950s until the 1970s—has been directly linked to severe diseases, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.

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