BOSTON — A consent judgment entered into a Suffolk Superior Court settles Worcester's allegations against two Massachusetts companies charged with allowing illegal asbestos work during renovation of two multifamily homes.
According to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, Capstone General Contracting and its owners and managers, Charbel Najem and Christine Najem, along with their subcontractor, Simulis Plumbing and Heating, Inc., will pay up to $195,000 as part of the settlement.
The lawsuit filed by the Attorney General's Office alleges Capstone allowed Simulis employees to illegally cut and remove asbestos-containing heating pipes from one of the homes. Capstone and Simulis employees then discarded the pipe's asbestos insulation and disposed of it in the home's basement and back yard, the Attorney General's Office said.
“State regulations establish specific work practices to protect workers and the public from the risks associated with asbestos exposure,” said Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Commissioner Martin Suuberg in a statement. “Significant penalties, such as in this case, serve to deter other contractors from skirting the regulations and risking the public health.”
The Attorney General's Office also alleges the Najems hired a worker to illegally smash and remove asbestos-containing siding on a second house prior to the installation of new windows.
According to the settlement, $25,000 of the settlement funds may be suspended if the companies complete additional asbestos training as well as submit asbestos surveys from their construction projects over the next two years to MassDEP.