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Company, safety director indicted for asbestos crimes

Charges include conspiracy, obstruction, negligent endangerment

Posted March 16, 2017

On March 7, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against a now-defunct foundry and its owners and operators for alleged conspiracy, obstruction of a federal investigation, making false statements, violating the Clean Air Act, and negligent endangerment. The jury also charged the corporate safety and environmental director and two other company employees with crimes.

According to the indictment, in 2012, foundry workers were ordered to assist in the refurbishing of a heat-treat oven which contained dangerous amounts of chrysotile asbestos. Neither the corporation nor its managers used proper asbestos abatement procedures. Workers were not provided with adequate safety equipment and they were not told that the material they were removing contained asbestos.

In addition, the contaminated material was sent to a landfill, exposing trash collectors to the asbestos.

The defendants are also accused of trying to hide evidence from state and federal investigators who were looking into the case.

If convicted, the individual defendants face maximum penalties ranging from 11 to 41 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. The corporation faces millions of dollars in criminal penalties.

The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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