Asbestos Delays Maine Mill Demolition

The Forster Manufacturing mill in Wilton, Maine, has loomed over Depot Street for more than a year, with demolition having initially been started before being shut down after the detection of asbestos in the building.

The owners of the two private companies responsible for the building, Ryan Byther of Downeast Construction and Adam Mack of Wilton Recycling LLC, have been plagued by legal issues and money problems. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection, however, is fed up with excuses and hopes to use fines to pressure the companies to finish the construction.

Some responders to reports in the Morning Sentinel expressed concern over the state licensing of Ryan Byther, who was recently sentenced to five years in jail with all but six months suspended for stealing $50,000 in connection with his work as a general contractor with the American Legion. He and Mack are also being sued by the asbestos removal company that worked with the contractors to safely dispose of the asbestos.

Prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibers can result in long-term or fatal illnesses such as mesothelioma.

Although the two men initially cooperated with the DEP, the relationship has since deteriorated. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, first discovered the presence of asbestos-containing materials last year and instructed the responsible companies to halt work until it could be properly removed.

The DEP has accused the companies of breaking asbestos removal laws, and OSHA has fined them $154,200 for multiple workplace safety violations.

Construction and demolition are two industries in which workers may come into frequent contact with asbestos or asbestos-containing products. If you or your family members work in this industry and fear that you may have been unlawfully exposed to asbestos, contact Sokolove Law today to learn more about possibly pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit. For legal help, call (800) 581-6358.