TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Big Dig Glue Maker Charged With Manslaughter

Today's New York Times reports that the glue maker responsible for the collapse of the Big Dig Tunnel in Boston has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.  Falling ceiling panels killed a woman driving through the tunnel on her way to the airport.  The Times reports:

Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts attorney general, said the charges stem from the fact that Powers [the glue manufacturer], based in Brewster, N.Y., produced two kinds of epoxy — standard set and fast set. The standard-set one would have been adequate for the ceiling, she said, but fast-set epoxy was incapable of suspending such heavy panels for a long time.

Ms. Coakley said that Powers “blurred the distinction” between the two epoxies, and that the fast-set one was used for that section of the tunnel, even though the company’s testing indicated it was inappropriate for such a job.

The charges are reminiscent of the British Corporate Manslaugher statute (discussed in a prior post).

(Thanks to Tony Sebok for the tip).

- SBS 


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