Case States Government Did Not Follow Testing Regulations

Between 2005 and 2008, the Equitable Building located in Des Moines, Iowa was renovated in order to undergo its conversion into condominium units. Controversy ensued regarding operations to ensure the abatement of all asbestos in the facility. The developing company, Equitable LP, was eventually brought to trial, and in May of 2009, the civil case resulted in the company having to pay a $500,000 fine - the largest fine ever paid due to a violation of asbestos procedure. The fine was charged due to the belief that Equitable LP neglected to follow the laws which were set in place to regulate the handling of this highly toxic mineral. The legal actions did not end there. In February 2010, charges were brought up against Russell Coco, the company's supervisor, as well as developer Robert J. Knapp. They received indictments on 11 separate counts. They were charged with improperly handling the material and for illegally placing asbestos into landfills and dumpsters during the property’s renovation three years prior in 2007. Counterarguments ensued with the defense attorneys for both the supervisor and the developer stating that the charges were unjust based upon the government’s failure to follow their own instituted asbestos procedures in regards to the asbestos which was removed from the antiquated Equitable Building in 2007. They stated that materials containing asbestos are required to be treated to determine the extent of asbestos within and that this protocol was not followed. Instead, the defense stated that the government used other procedures and tests which were not mandated by law and, thus, did not abide by the strict regulations applied to asbestos handling and removal. Because of these improper tests, the lawyers argued that there was no definitive knowledge as to the amount of asbestos which was present in the materials. Therefore, there was no way for the developer and his supervisor to be aware of whether or not the materials removed were subject to the Clean Air Act regulatory laws. Exposure to asbestos has been determined to be the cause of over 90% of mesothelioma cases. This aggressive cancer attacks the lining of the heart, abdomen, and lungs and is known to be caused by the ingestion or inhalation of the mineral’s fibers which can occur up to 5 decades before the onset of symptoms. Previous: Calretinin Used To Catch Mesothelioma At An Early Stage Next: TomoTherapy Advances in Mesothelioma Treatment