October 20, 2014 |
Joe Amento, a lifelong resident of Ambler, was 53 when he died of a rare cancer with one main cause - exposure to asbestos. He was fine at Christmas 2002. In January, a pain in his side kept him awake at night. He was found to have the disease in March. Before August, he was gone. He left a wife, two children, and a community that to this day wrestles with the uncertain legacy of the huge asbestos factories that once brought the town jobs and prosperity, then sickness and death.
July 25, 2014 |
STUDENTS HAVE BEEN removed from a Fishtown school amid concerns over asbestos removal, a district spokesman confirmed yesterday. Students attending summer classes were told Wednesday not to report to Penn Treaty School, on Thompson Street near Berks, spokesman Fernando Gallard said. At least 40 students were moved to the nearby Adaire School, at Palmer and Thompson streets, where they will continue to take classes, sources said. Gallard said the action was taken in response to allegations by Jerry Roseman, an expert in occupational health and safety for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers' Health & Welfare Fund.
March 17, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA A Philadelphia judge has awarded $75,000 in damages to a city police officer who sued, claiming superiors retaliated against him after he complained of shoddy asbestos removal at the Police Athletic League center he managed. Thursday's award by Common Pleas Court Judge John Milton Younge followed a Feb. 27 verdict by a trial jury in the whistle-blower suit by Officer Paul Zenak against the Police Department and city. Younge ordered that Zenak, 44, a 23-year veteran officer, be returned to his job as manager of the PAL center at Wissinoming United Methodist Church, 4419 Comly St., and reimbursed $75,000 for 2711/2 days of leave he used after suing and $411 in medical expenses.
March 14, 2014 |
A COMMON PLEAS jury has awarded $7.25 million to the estate and family of a man who was exposed to asbestos when he worked at the old Philadelphia Naval Shipyard more than 40 years ago and later died of cancer. Edward Merwitz, of Langhorne, Bucks County, was diagnosed with mesothelioma - a cancer in the lining surrounding the lungs - in January 2010. He died six months later at age 62. On Wednesday, a jury "found liability among a variety of companies that sell electrical wires, pumps and motors, which are not your typical suppliers of asbestos," according to partner Lawrence R. Cohan of the Center City firm Anapol Schwartz, who represented the Merwitz family.
March 5, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA A Philadelphia jury has found in favor of a police officer who sued the city, claiming that his superiors retaliated against him when he complained of shoddy asbestos removal at a Police Athletic League center he managed. The 12-member Common Pleas Court jury reached its unanimous verdict Thursday in a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by Officer Paul Zenak against the Police Department and city. Zenak's lawyer, Aaron J. Freiwald, said Monday that the jury determined that Zenak, 44, a 23-year veteran, should be returned as manager of the PAL center at Wissinoming United Methodist Church, reimbursed for 16 months of paid leave he used since filing suit, and reimbursed for medical and legal costs.
February 1, 2014 |
Two men pleaded guilty Thursday to unlawfully removing asbestos from the former Zurbrugg Memorial Hospital in Riverside, operating without a license, and putting untrained workers at risk. Frank J. Rizzo, 55, of Parlin, N.J., pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy before Superior Court Judge James W. Palmer Jr. in Burlington County, according to the state Attorney General's Office. The state will recommend three years in prison. Michael Kouvaras, 61, of Maplewood, N.J., pleaded guilty to third-degree violation of the Asbestos Control and Licensing Act. The state will recommend that he be sentenced to 364 days in jail as a condition for probation.
January 27, 2014 |
WEST DEPTFORD Demolition crews blew up a 65-year-old refinery building in West Deptford on Saturday, startling South Jersey residents who heard the explosions. Some residents took their curiosity and alarm to social-media sites, seeking answers to "What was that?" Heavy demolition began at 9 a.m., said Jeff Shields, a spokesman for Sunoco, which owns the "fractionator" building. The structures were soon leveled, he said, and the work presented no danger to residents. "You had some blasts that destabilized the structure, and then they collapsed on themselves," he said.
January 26, 2014 |
WEST DEPTFORD A West Deptford oil refinery intertwined with local politics will bid goodbye to one of its main edifices early Saturday. That's when Sunoco Logistics will implode the Eagle Point refinery's 65-year-old "fractionator" - the heaviest refining unit at the site, towering an estimated 200 feet. The "controlled implosion" will last about two minutes and also demolish a tower and chimney, West Deptford officials said. A rusty-looking dome, the fractionator - referred to in the industry as a "cat cracker," and used to convert crude oil into other fuels - was built in 1949, according to Sunoco.
July 21, 2013 |
IN A COMPLETE about-face, the Nutter administration released scores of documents yesterday related to the deadly Center City building collapse that claimed six lives last month. Email exchanges among city officials, the Salvation Army thrift store and the property manager and reports from the Department of Health and the Department of Licenses and Inspection were all posted to the city's website. Despite requests for access to those documents by various media outlets, the administration had refused to make any of it public until now. City Solicitor Shelley Smith said shortly after the four-story building on 22nd and Market streets collapsed onto a neighboring thrift store that the District Attorney's Office had asked that the documents not be released because it could compromise the grand-jury investigation.