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Worcester Plumber Convicted Of Child Endangerment In Illegal Asbestos Removal

WORCESTER (CBS) - A Worcester-area plumber has been found guilty of child endangerment for having a teenage worker remove asbestos insulation without proper precautions.

Prosecutors said 43-year-old Daniel Watterson violated a number of environmental and labor regulations when he told the teen to get rid of two old boilers covered in asbestos at a home in Worcester in 2008.

The teen was not certified, was not wearing protective clothing and had no respirator or protective equipment during the job. Prosecutors say the boy also failed to wet the asbestos before removing it from the boiler and pipes, so it wouldn't spread through the air.  Instead, he ripped the insulation and chipped it with putty knives.

The asbestos-covered boilers were then smashed up with a sledgehammer and thrown in a regular trash dumpster.

This is the first use of the child endangerment statute in an asbestos case, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley's office.

Watterson was also found guilty on three charges of violating the Massachusetts Clean Air Act for failure to file notices of asbestos removal with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, improper removal of asbestos-containing material, and improper disposal of asbestos-containing materials.

Watterson operates under the business names "The Clog Specialist," "Dan the Heating Man," and "DW Plumbing & Heating."

His sentencing is set for July 3.

Watterson will also be sentenced that day for a 2013 conviction for larceny over $250 of a victim over sixty years of age and larceny over $250 by false pretenses.


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