Home Renovations in Massachusetts Lead to Asbestos Lawsuit
A Massachusetts man is being sued by state Attorney General Martha Coakley for improperly removing asbestos materials from three homes he was renovating, violating the Massachusetts Clean Air Act in the process .
On three separate occasions between September 2009 and April 2011, Ronald Oliviera arranged for the renovation of three different multi-family homes in New Bedford, two of which he currently owns and rents out to tenants. During the renovation projects, contractors hired by Oliveira allegedly caused asbestos fibers from asbestos shingles to be released into the air.
At another renovation site, Oliveira allegedly told contractors to cover the asbestos shingles with new vinyl siding and drill through shingles to install heating vents, which also released asbestos fibers into the air as a result.
For renovations at the third renovation, contractors recklessly tossed asbestos shingles to the ground from the third floor of the building while installing vinyl siding and stripping wooden molding from the exterior.
“Asbestos removal must be done properly in order to prevent exposure to asbestos fibers, which can create serious health risks,” Coakley said.
“The scattering of asbestos debris in a residential neighborhood presents an unacceptable public health hazard to residents and workers,” added Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. “Contractors who do not remove and dispose of asbestos properly will face enforcement and significant penalties.”
The lawsuit seeks civil penalties up to $25,000 per day for each violation of the Massachusetts Clean Air Act.