Developers Indicted in Brooklyn Asbestos Scheme

Developers Indicted in Brooklyn when Five Brooklyn-area developers are being accused of negligently exposing their workers to asbestos, all in the name of saving some money by avoiding the cost of hiring a federally-licensed abatement professional to do the required removal work.

Developers Indicted in Brooklyn Asbestos Scheme

According to an account in Brooklyn Daily, the developers knowingly exposed employees to the cancer-causing substance at four buildings in the Greenwood Heights neighborhood.

They have been accused of forging documents dated back in 2015, including asbestos assessment reports which would have shown the presence of the toxin.

The four properties in question were all located on Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th and all contained a variety of asbestos products.

“These defendants are accused of greedily taking dangerous shortcuts — bypassing safety measures that are put in place to protect the public from serious and unnecessary health risks —to maximize profits at any cost, including the well-being of employees and prospective tenants,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

“As a result of their alleged lies, workers tasked with demolition work inside the four properties unknowingly filled the air with the cancer-causing material, exposing themselves to a laundry list of harmful side effects,” added Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters.

One of the defendants is Scott Schnall, who was banned in 2017 from practicing his craft within the city limits after another investigation uncovered similar circumstances involving 6 properties within Kings County.

Schnall subsequently sued Kings County, claiming that the ban was in retaliation for his quotes in a New York Times article stating that the Building Department’s review and approval process was “screwed up.”

The county prevailed.

Now, Schnall and the other four developers face a 61-count indictment and up to seven years in prison on the top count of criminal possession of a forged instrument, reports the Brooklyn Daily.

The individuals that will truly be held captive, however, will be those who were exposed to large amounts of asbestos dust at these locations.

Those workers will need to wait decades to find out whether or not they will die a horrible death from asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, which can take 30 to 40 years to appear.

The most they can do at this point is to submit to period lung checks in hopes of catching any disease at any early stage. And, hopefully, by the time they are potentially diagnosed, perhaps more and better treatments will be available to them.