Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | May 11, 2009

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says U.S. DOJ loses criminal case against WR Grace for exposing Town of Libby, Montana to deadly friable asbestos fibers.

A jury near Libby, Montana has recently acquitted W.R. Grace & Company and three of its former executives of knowingly exposing mine workers and Libby residents to asbestos. After deliberating one full day, jurors returned not guilty verdicts in the W.R. Grace & Co. trial on Friday, May 8, 2009. 

The jury’s verdict of not guilty ended the largest environmental crimes prosecution in United States history.

Federal prosecutors initially accused W.R. Grace and its executives of exposing Libby’s 100,000 residents to asbestos while operating a vermiculite mine, resulting in more than 200 deaths and nearly 2,000 illnesses.

The government’s indictment alleged that W.R. Grace conspired to “knowingly release” asbestos and tried to hide the dangers of inhaling asbestos fibers from employees and nearby residents.

The indictment also said W.R. Grace tried to “defraud the United States and others by impairing, impeding, and frustrating” the EPA’s investigation of the site in 1999. In all, the 10-count indictment included charges of wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

Apprently, the jury did not find the government’s case compelling after deliberating for one day on the charges.


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