Massachusetts Developer Indicted After Demolition Risks Mesothelioma for Thousands in Fall River

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The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has issued 104 indictments to a developer it fears raised the risk of malignant mesothelioma to thousands. The company is accused of illegally demolishing a former elementary school, spreading asbestos dust to a large neighborhood and exposing its own workers to the carcinogenic material at the same time.
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Developers Accused of Falsifying Reports About Substance Linked to Mesothelioma

Asbestos is a known carcinogen that has been linked to malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and other serious and fatal diseases. According to the indictment, the accused knowingly ignored regulations and laws regarding its handling, risking the health of its own workers as well as adults, children, and senior citizens. The indictments named Eric Resendes and his company, Spindle City Homes, as well as the owners of Diversified Roofing Systems and the company itself. All charges were violations of the Massachusetts Clean Air Act.

According to the AG’s office, the investigation began after a neighbor reported their concerns about the growing risk of mesothelioma from the asbestos that was spreading through the area after Resendes and Spindle City Homes had purchased the former Healy Elementary School and contracted with Diversified Roofing as demolition contractors. The company was not a licensed asbestos contractor as required by law, and safe work practices required by the Clean Air Act were ignored. In response to the complaint, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection ordered the owners to stop their demolition work at the site, but the order was ignored. Following completion of the work, the company left asbestos-containing material behind.
Workers Put at Risk of Malignant Mesothelioma

The asbestos disturbed by the work raises the risk of malignant mesothelioma and other diseases for both employees and those in the vicinity. The demolition workers were tasked with crushing the asbestos and lead within the building, mixing it with other debris and spreading it throughout the site, including the bordering sidewalk. There are 18,000 people living within one mile of the site, as well as five schools, one nursing home, and six daycares.

The Attorney General’s office noted that the clean-up required to protect residents from malignant mesothelioma will cost the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency close to $2 million to clean up the site.

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