The company hired to tear down an eastern Iowa truck stop now faces a court-ordered $80,000 penalty. The State of Iowa filed a lawsuit against the West Des Moines company and its owner, alleging the company failed to properly deal with asbestos in the old Middle American Truck Stop in Williamsburg.

The truck stop was demolished in May and June of 2012. The state filed the lawsuit in April of this year, charging the company did not inspect for asbestos, but asbestos was found in debris that was buried at the site. The asbestos-laden debris was left in the open air for “several weeks” without a regular dousing of water to keep the asbestos from floating around.

Some of the demolition debris was taken to a landfill, but not identified as containing asbestos. Breathing asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer that attacks the protective linings of organs inside the body.