The US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky launched an asbestos lawsuit against the owner of S & S Salvage LLC after employees of the salvage company were found to be engaged in the demolition of a former Goodyear tire plant without breathing apparatuses or respirators. Insulation materials believed to contain asbestos were also not properly wetted down, in violation of the Clean Air Act.
Timothy J. Smith pled guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Air Act and was sentenced to 90 days in jail by Magistrate Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl, followed by two years’ probation.
Given the carcinogenic properties of asbestos and the potential for asbestos cancer and Mesothelioma, asbestos abatement is taken seriously and enforced when violations are found.
According to court documents, a local inspector noted that a crew working for S & S Salvage was seen in the throes of demolishing the former tire plant located in Madisonville, Kentucky. The work, it has been reported, was taking place in violation of a rule that requires the submission of written notice ten days prior to the commencement of demolition on any structure containing asbestos.
On two previous occasions, the defendant had been cited for not providing proper advance notice before commencing demolition projects. Those enforcements were conducted by the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection.
With regard to the 2014 incident which eventually landed the salvage company owner in jail, the inspector returned a month later to witness the work continuing. Boilers were dismantled and asbestos-laden insulation was being removed and tossed into dumpsters. The insulation was not dampened down as is required – nor were salvage workers wearing any kind of breathing apparatus to protect them.
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The asbestos lawsuit is United States of America v Timothy J. Smith, Case No: 4:16-mj-00010, in US District Court Western District of Kentucky, Owensboro.
In recent years a host of plaintiffs have come forward with asbestos claims following alleged exposure to asbestos in plants, industrial environments and the ship building industry in an era where asbestos was more commonly used, without benefit from a wide-ranging understanding of the carcinogenic properties of asbestos.
It takes mesothelioma, asbestosis and other forms of asbestos cancer 30 years or more to emerge, in most cases.