A construction company in Dayton, Ohio has sued a local garden center, claiming that those in charge at the popular garden shop didn’t tell them that the debris they hauled away from the site contained asbestos waste.
According to an article in the Dayton Daily News, Dan Powers Construction is suing the North Dayton Garden Center for $10 million after losing their privileges at several dump sites in the area.
The construction company was banned from using those locations after it was discovered that there was asbestos in the debris they had picked up from the garden center.
Only certain facilities take toxic waste, so Powers’ company is being penalized for dumping asbestos-containing waste in a non-toxic waste facility. The owner says he had no idea the dangerous mineral was present.
“They had started the process of removing the material — the soils from the place — and taking it to the different environmental dumps,” Powers’ attorney, Harrison Green, told the media. “And it was discovered that there was asbestos in there. (Powers) had to take it back, and then they were banned from further business at those dumps.”
The incident happened about two years ago when garden center owners Shirley and Peter Kossoudji hired Powers to dispose of several truckloads of debris.
Powers then subcontracted the job with United Demolition Excavation & Site Management LLC. As such, the subcontractor is also now banned from a number of dump sites because they did not follow proper protocol in regards to dumping dangerous asbestos-containing materials.
The material wasn’t bagged, which is a must with toxic waste. Bags should also be labeled as to what’s contained inside.
Attorney Green says the Kossoudjis certainly knew that there was asbestos in that debris but decided not to tell Powers and the subcontractor.
Now, Green said his client must haul to sites in Xenia and Troy, an additional 15 miles and 3o minutes away, and notes that this extra time spent traveling to and from distant dump sites hurts the construction company’s bottom line, as did the fines his client was charged by the dump sites.
“That’s adversely affected their businesses tremendously because (of) having to travel greater distances, so you can only do so many trips per day when they could do so much more (before),” he added. Had Powers known what was in that debris, everything would have been handled differently, the attorney explained.
Add to that the risk of asbestos exposure by those handling the debris, and you have a scenario that could indeed be deadly for those involved.
There is no indication as to whether or not the trash haulers were wearing protective clothing or masks.
However, had they known about the toxin, they certainly would have taken precautions to prevent inhalation of asbestos dust, which can cause cancer.