LIBBY (May 10, 2009) — The environmental criminal inquiry into the most sprawling industrial disaster in U.S. history ended in the failed prosecution of a company charged with poisoning a small Montana town. Some residents of the town say no judgeâ€™s gavel can close their case, that death may be the only end to their [...]
Â A memo circulated among W.R. Grace employees outlining various ways to obstruct a possible government study on worker safety clashed with company policy and went against established ground rules, said former W.R. Grace executive vice president Elwood â€śChipâ€ť Wood.
Under a direct examination conducted by W.R. Grace attorney David Bernick, Wood countered nearly every aspect of [...]
According to government witness Richard Lemen, asbestos exposure posed an imminent risk to the residents of Libby, Mont. Because the mineral’s needle-like fibers build in a personâ€™s lungs over time, Lemen said that the more asbestos one inhales over time, the more they are pushed toward disease, thus exposure poses an imminent threat.
â€śAsbestos related disease [...]
Kathleen Kennedy, an epidemiologist who served on a federal research team looking at occupational vermiculite exposure, said that her agencyâ€™s requests to undertake a study at the Graceâ€™s Libby facilities met initial resistance followed by attempts to completely cancel the study.
Kennedy worked for NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a part [...]
Former W.R. Grace employee Bruce Williams, who appeared in court today under a writ of immunity with the U.S. attorneyâ€™s office preventing him from being charged with any crimes, said that during his time at Grace they complied with government regulations and updated their products to remain that way. When he started as a manager [...]
After learning that NIOSH intended to conduct a study on worker asbestos exposure at their Libby, Mont., facilities, W.R. Grace officials scrambled to delay the agency’s efforts, said former employee Robert Locke. Locke said there was a general consensus at Grace that such a study would adversely affect the chemical company.
“We did not know [...]
Dr. Julie Yang said that during her time as a chemist at W.R. Grace, she was moved to request the so-called “Hamster study” after learning about tremolite asbestos from numerous scientific journals, colleagues and her own testing.
Judge Donald Molloy kicked off the post-lunch proceedings by stating that he would allow the much-contested government exhibit 144A. [...]
Â Â Judge Donald Molloy returned from lunch with some important news for the courtroom.
“We have an issue,” he said. “ThreeÂ jurors have the flu… [it] seems to be making its way through the jury room.”
Concerned over their ability to remain focused and attentive, Molloy asked the jurors how they were holding up. “If you do not [...]
Defense attorney Thomas Frongillo continued his cross examination of Dr. Aubrey Miller on Thursday morning, trying to establish just how much the government knew about the dangers of asbestos exposure in Libby, Mont. Using passages from Andrew Schneiderâ€™s book, “An Air That Kills,” Frongillo questioned Miller on his knowledge of several government reports published in [...]