Myrtle Beach Contractor Will Serve 6 Years in Prison for Asbestos Leak
A Little River resident has been convicted for allowing cancer-causing asbestos to leak onto the beach while his company renovated a condominium tower nearby.
David Braswell, who owns Cool Cote LLC, will spend 6 months in prison for violating the Clean Air and Water Act. Braswell faces three years’ probation following his release from prison on the asbestos leak charges, and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine this week during a sentencing hearing in Florence, SC.
Braswell’s company began renovations on the Regency Towers Myrtle Beach in 2009, which included replacing the siding.
Braswell initially faced a maximum 5-year prison stay, and $250,000 in fines, as part of a plea agreement in which he admitted to one of the felony charges. Originally, he was charged with 7 violations of the Clean Air and Water Act, and two felony charges for making false statements to federal agents about pollution during an investigation.
The company is now defunct, so charges against Cool Cote LLC will be dropped.
“The workers for Cool Cote Inc. were not provided with respiratory protection, nor were the residents of Regency Towers informed of the danger and provided personal or environmental protection,” the indictment states.
“Today’s sentence should serve notice that EPA and its partner agencies remain committed to protecting communities through tough enforcement of the nation’s environmental laws,” said Maureen O’Mara, special agent in charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in South Carolina.
“Our office will continue to prioritize the environmental work we do with both federal and state agencies, to ensure these cases are brought to the forefront,” Nettles said in a prepared statement.
“The defendant was hired to renovate a beach-front condominium building which he knew contained asbestos in the exterior surface coating,” said Maureen O’Mara, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in South Carolina. “Instead of removing the asbestos containing material legally and safely, he directed workers to pressure wash the material in violation of the work practice standards and as a result, contaminated a local beach and adjacent properties. Today’s sentence should serve notice that EPA and its partner agencies remain committed to protecting communities through tough enforcement of the nation’s environmental laws.”
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Asbestos Lawsuits
Asbestos was not banned until the 1970s, however many believe that the producers of asbestos knew the hazards of the product and neglected to share this information with their employees.
Mesothelioma usually does not show up for several years. Workers from the mid-1900s are only now showing symptoms of this deadly and fatal illness. Although mesothelioma treatment options are available to the public, most patients only have a few months to live once they learn they have the disease.
Mesothelioma is a rare, but fatal cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. While many individuals come into contact with asbestos through the environment, employees who previously worked with the material have the greatest chance of developing this disease.
If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos, or if you or a loved one have developed mesothelioma, the Strom Law Firm, LLC can help. Unfortunately, a mesothelioma lawsuit cannot bring a loved one back, however, it can provide the financial stability your family needs and hold the company liable for their mistake. 803.252.4800