Jury aquits W.R. Grace & Co. of criminal charges

10 May 2009 by under Events, Legal, News

, Montana, residents were devastated Friday afternoon when a jury returned a judgment aquiting W.R. Grace & Co. of criminal charges regarding its asbestos mining facility in the town. The case began in 2005 when a federal grand jury handed down an unprecedented indictment, alleging a 30-year conspiracy to defraud the government and knowingly endanger the residents of . The indictment alleged Grace company officials knew they were exposing workers and residents of the nearby town to asbestos fibers, and that they knew the exposure posed a dangerous health risk to those workers and residents. Grace denied the claims, saying they were diligent in efforts to protect workers and to meet government regulations for managing the substance.

Asbestos exposure causes serious disease, including asbestosis, a severe scarring of the lungs that worsens with time and impairs the ability of its victims to breathe, and mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and, more rarely, the stomach and heart.

According to the report in The Missoulian, statistics compiled by the Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD), located in Libby, indicate that to date 227 community members have died from asbestos disease, and there are more than 1,800 active cases resulting from exposure to the deadly fiber. The newspaper notes that “the study also attributes scores of deaths to non-occupational asbestos exposures, and finds that 77 people who never worked at Grace’s mine in Libby have died of asbestos disease since 1998.”

David Uhlmann, who is former chief of the Justice Department’s environmental crimes section, who was instrumental in developing much of the early indictment against Grace, said the Government’s case against Grace was severely limited by the court, which did not allow much of the evidence to be presented to the jury. This included some of the most incriminating internal memos, he said.

The Post quotes Uhlmann as saying, “The verdict is a fair reflection of the evidence that jurors were allowed to hear. But the question that hangs over this case is what would have happened if the government were allowed to present all of the evidence that it had amassed in this multi-year investigation.”

According to a report in The Washington Post, in a court filing the government acknowledged it “has committed discovery violations in this case,” which led to many rulings excluding its evidence and weakening its case against Grace.

The Missoulian reported the reaction of two Libby residents familiar to our readers – , who was perhaps the first to raise the outcry about the dangers of deadly asbestos in the town, said the company has “gotten away with murder.” And the paper quotes our friend Mike Crill, who worked in the asbestos mine and has lost family members to asbestos related disease and suffers himself from asbestos disease.

The Missoulian says Mike cried upon hearing the verdict. The paper quotes him: “What did they die for? What am I dying for?” Crill sobbed. “They are guilty of killing us.”

2 Responses to “Jury aquits W.R. Grace & Co. of criminal charges”

  1. mike crill

    The EPA Toxicity report that has taken over 10 years for the death town of Libby Mt states: The AIR is safe….THIS IS A DEADLY LIE… NOTHING is safe in Libby Mt to anything that breathes. Further in this report it states: All yards must be watered prior to mowing/landscaping/gardening/WTF is this crap. WHAT EPA ment and should of said was…Water all yards prior to putting all children on them. How this murderous EPA/ Govt/State of Montana,etc can publicly state anything is safe in Libby is like putting a gun to evryones head because no one and nothing will ever be safe in this town left to die from the air that kills.EPA and OSHA in the early 70s, tested Libby Tremolite on rats and the rats died from Mesothelioma.Now, I have no idea how many Tremoliteasbestos fibers it took to kill those rats with Meso…EVERYONE/children breath more in one day.530 million Tremolite asbestos fibers found in one gram of tree bark.One gram is the size of the tip of your little finger. THAT ONE GRAM…530 MILLION Tremolite asbestos fibers…WILL KILL ALL OF LIBBY, over and over. BUT just think…how many deadly Tremolite asbestos fibers are in that ONE TREE. EPA says the air is safe. ALL EPA has done is knowingly kill/poison more and more innocent people/families/children by selling Libby Mt as safe.Since 1999, I have continued to tell all who will listen to stay away from Libby and NO children left behind.Nothing has changed and with over $370 MILLION stolen/wasted and 10 years of so called clean up…EPA HAS created MORE of a exposure and contamination since they came to Libby in 1999 and began selling Libby as safe.These bastards knowingly kill people/families/children…since the early 70s. Then from 1979 to 2002, a study done called Meso in Montana, counted Meso deaths of people who live next to a rail road route OUT of Libby Mt. The Mine produced and the Rail way took it all over this country and Canada and today, the latency is reality and entire generations of families are sick and dying and dead.Today…in Libby Mt. OVER 3000 people are being treated for asbestosis. And this does not count ALL the children and grandchildren of those 3000 plus, who also are walking dead and await diagoses…They killed three generations of my family and just think, EPA could of and should of told us when they found out.They are just as guilty as WR Grace for killing us…and STILL getting away with it.Like livin in the twilight zone I swear.

  2. mike crill

    still a asbestos town and still killing men, woman and children July 16, 2014…WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!