May 7, 2016
A former Camden County lawyer was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison for falsifying defendants' names in asbestos lawsuits for his personal benefit, federal prosecutors said. Arobert C. Tonagbanua, 47, of Sicklerville, pleaded guilty to fraudulently adding defendant names to more than 100 legitimate asbestos lawsuits filed in New York state courts. Tonagbanua, who worked for a Haddonfield law firm, received bonuses and increased compensation, prosecutors said. The fraudulent acts generated more than $1 million in fees, costs, and settlements.
July 3, 2015 |
DEPLORABLE conditions at some of Philadelphia's district schools were alleged yesterday by City Controller Alan Butkovitz, who described them as "not something that happens in a First World country. " Evidence of asbestos in Francis Scott Key Elementary School in South Philadelphia; water damage in Samuel S. Fels High School in Crescentville; cockroaches crawling around restrooms in Central High School in Olney. It's all detailed in a report released during a Controller's Office news conference.
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.