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Falls contractor sued after whistleblower fired

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Posted at 1:22 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 13:22:55-05

The U.S. Labor Department is suing a Niagara Falls contractor after the company allegedly fired a whistleblower who exposed dangerous conditions.

Between April and June in 2014, Regional Environmental Demolition was involved in an asbestos abatement project on West Utica Street in Buffalo. A laborer who was inside the building found week flooring and in one spot, his foot broke through.

The man told his employer about the hazards, but nothing was done. The U.S. Labor Department says after OSHA contacted Regional Environmental Demolition about an anonymous complaint in June 2014, the laborer was fired.

The U.S. Labor Department is suing the contractor and its officials Charles Van Epps and Enrico Liberale for the worker’s lost wages and compensatory damages, interest, front pay, emotional and financial distress damages and punitive damages. The suit also seeks to have all references about the matter expunged from his personnel records.