Company sues garden center owners for $10 million in asbestos dispute

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Company sues garden center owners for $10 million in asbestos dispute

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A local company has sued the North Dayton Garden Center owners, alleging they did not disclose that asbestos was included in debris the company hauled from the old garden center site. FILE

A local construction company has sued the owners of the North Dayton Garden Center, alleging that neither they nor the new owners of the location described in the suit disclosed that asbestos was included in debris the company hauled away from the site of the business a half-century ago.

The attorney for Dan Powers Construction has asked for $10 million in damages, alleging that Powers’ business is now banned from multiple dump sites. The suit has nothing to do with the current North Dayton Center location.

“They had started the process of removing the material — the soils from the place — and taking it to the different environmental dumps,” attorney Harrison Green said of the location Troy Street. “And it was discovered that there was asbestos in there. (Powers) had to take it back, and then they were banned from further business at those dumps.”

The suit filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court names Shirley and Peter Kossoudji, Kossoudji Enterprises, EZ Transport LLC and various John and Jane Does as defendants.

The complaint says that in May 2015, the Kossoudji family hired Powers to dispose of truckloads of debris from the site at 1927 Troy St. in Dayton. Powers then subcontracted with United Demolition Excavation & Site Management LLC.

Kossoudji family attorney Matthew Sorg said his clients didn’t sign any contract with Dan Powers Construction or Mured Shakhpndarov, who owns EZ Transport LLC. Sorg said Shakhpndarov was buying the property and he contracted to have debris hauled away. Sorg said another party previously had ground up asbestos from an old greenhouse.

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“Unbeknownst to Dan Powers or Dan Powers Construction, the debris contained hazardous asbestos,” the suit alleges. “Defendants Peter Kossoudji and/or E Z Transport failed to inform Dan Powers or Dan Powers Construction of this fact.”

The construction business and its subcontractor have been banned from dumping at Steve Rauch Inc. and Vance Environmental Ltd. because they did not follow protocol.

“Asbestos has to treated in certain way, bagged, you can’t allow it to just come in,” Green said. “It wasn’t properly handled and then they were forbidden, no matter what, returning to those sites.”

Green said his client can haul to sites in Xenia and Troy, but that hurts the bottom line, as did the fines his client was charged by the dump sites.

“That’s adversely affected their businesses tremendously because (of) having to travel greater distances so you can only do so many trips per day when they could do so much more (before),” he said.

Sorg said his clients won on summary judgment a similar suit brought by United Demolition against the Kossoudjis. Green asked for punitive and exemplary damages of $10 million, plus attorney fees and court costs.

Green said the Kossoudji family knew of the asbestos and if his client knew about it, “it would have been handled totally differently.”

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