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Indictments Issued Following 2012 Offshore Incident Alleging Safety Sacrificed For Speed

Earlier today, a federal grand jury indicted two companies and three individuals following a 2012 offshore incident that killed three workers.  The charges range from involuntary manslaughter to charges involving violation of federal safety practices under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Clean Water Act.  At the time of the incident, the well had been “shut...

Oil Refinery Owner’s Convictions Related To Uncovered Equalization Tanks Reversed By Fifth Circuit

Yesterday, the Fifth Circuit reversed a petroleum company’s criminal convictions under the Clean Air Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”).  The reversal vacated fines of $2 million under the Clean Air Act and $15,000 for each violation of the MBTA. In an unannounced inspection of a Texas refinery in 2012, state environmental inspectors discovered 130,000...

Mining Executive’s Request For More Detailed Indictment Denied

On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia denied a renewed motion for a bill of particulars from the coal executive facing federal criminal conspiracy charges arising from a fatal 2010 mine explosion.  The defense renewed the motion after additional charges were added to the indictment alleging that the executive engaged in a conspiracy to falsify...

New York City Targeting Safety Violations And Corruption In the Construction Industry

New York City is targeting corruption and fraud in the construction industry.  On Wednesday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the New York City Department of Investigation (“DOI”), the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Office of the Inspector General, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Office of the Inspector General, and the Business Integrity...

Indictments In West Virginia Water Contamination Case Reminder Of Potential Criminal Consequences

Six owners, managers, and employees of the company that owned the West Virginia storage facility that leaked chemicals into the Elk River and contaminated the Charleston area’s water supply in January 2014 were charged criminally yesterday with violations of the Clean Water Act.  The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia indicted four individuals for failing to...

California Unfair Competition Law Cannot Create Additional Liability For Workplace Safety Issues

Following a catastrophic workplace incident at a plastics manufacturing plant that resulted in the death of two workers, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued a number of citations to the plant owner for alleged safety violations.  The local district attorney, however, in addition to filing criminal charges against the plant’s manager and maintenance...

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