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Mesothelioma News

Brookdale Spa Owner Sentenced for Asbestos Violations

Santa Cruz, California – The proprietor of Brookdale Inn & Spa in Brookdale (CA) has been sentenced recently to a year in federal prison for allegedly committing insurance fraud and for failing to disclose the injury of a worker and some other charges.

Sanjiv Kakkar admitted guilty to the charges and also to the misdemeanor failure to keep compensation coverage of workers in May. Kakkar is 52 years old. Kakkar has paid restitution of around $52000 and in excess of $10000 in penalties, said Kelly Walker, the prosecutor of Santa Cruz County.

Walker say they saw frequently employees put at high risk doing hard work without any recourse if they’re injured.

The case began nearly 4 years back as an employee of Brookdale Inn & Spa reported an occupational injury to the Office of the Santa Cruz County Dist. Attorney. The employee said Kakkar was not ready to pay his medical bill as required by law, according to Walker.

One of the forensic accountants from the state Insurance Department was called by the prosecutors and it was determined that wages at Kakkar’s spa were underreported. The accountant also found that insurance premiums were significantly underpaid, Walker said.

Further investigations conducted by other government agencies found a number of health & safety, building, tax code and labor code violations, Walker said.

Dangerous asbestos fibers were emitted into one of the dining rooms a few days prior to a Valentine banquet in 2011 with almost 150 senior citizens, according to prosecutors. Kakkar was asked to cancel that banquet. However, he neglected the order, prosecutors say. None of the citizens took part in the banquet was sickened.

Kakkar admitted guilty in last May to a misdemeanor count of violation of health & safety code for illegally operating his dining facility.

Kakkar and Neelam Kakkar – Sanjiv Kakkar’s wife – acquired the Brookdale Lodge located at 11570 Hwy 9 in year 2007 and changed its name. The building was constructed in 1890s. The historic structure has hosted President Herbert Hoover and Marilyn Monroe at its peak prominence.

Asbestos is a known cancer-causing substance. Though it doesn’t pose any health threat as long as remains stable, undisturbed and undamaged, asbestos can be deadly if its fibers become airborne (which occurs when the material is disturbed). Those who inhale asbestos fibers could contract fatal diseases such as lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma.