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Montgomery McCracken Achieves a Not Guilty Verdict for Client in a Federal Clean Air Act Prosecution

June 28, 2022


PHILADELPHIA, PA – On June 22, 2022, a team of Montgomery McCracken (“MMWR”) attorneys, achieved a not guilty verdict on all charges in a federal Clean Air Act prosecution in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The indictment alleged that MMWR clients, M & J Excavation, Inc. (“M&J”), and one of its principals, John Sidari, Jr., disturbed regulated asbestos containing materials in connection with pre-asbestos abatement work that they were performing on a 175,000 square-foot former weaving mill in Berwick, Pennsylvania.

The Berwick Area School District (“BASD”) had previously purchased the mill in 2014 and initiated a project to demolish the facility and construct a new elementary school building. M&J was brought on as a subcontractor to demolish the facility by LOBAR, Inc., a general construction company, as well as to perform excavation and site preparation work for the construction of the new school building.

The case was originally filed against LOBAR, Inc., LOBAR’s onsite superintendent, Dennis Charles, and M&J and Sidari, along with First Capital Insulation, Inc. (“FCI”), one of its principals, Francis Richard Yingling, Jr., and the FCI foreman on site, Ty Barnett. FCI was brought on as a subcontractor by LOBAR to perform the asbestos abatement work on site. FCI, Yingling, and Barnett all pleaded guilty in connection with improper asbestos abatement work onsite, which occurred after M&J completed its work in advance of asbestos abatement. Prior to trial, LOBAR pleaded guilty to one count of the indictment while M&J, Sidari and Charles went to trial. All three were found not guilty on the seventh day of trial after the jury returned its verdict in just under an hour of deliberations. The jury verdict resulted in a complete vindication for MMWR’s clients after a lengthy investigation and seven years after the pre-abatement work that was the subject of the indictment.

The MMWR team was led by attorneys Keir Bradford-Grey, Lathrop B. Nelson, and Joseph P. McCool.

About Montgomery McCracken

Montgomery McCracken is a full-service law firm with offices in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware. The firm represents leading businesses, multinational corporations, nonprofit organizations and individuals across a wide range of industries in complex litigation matters, significant corporate transactions and challenging disputes. For more information about Montgomery McCracken or its practice areas, please visit us online at www.mmwr.com or on Twitter at @MMWR_Law.