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Posts tagged as “trial”

Judge ends Arkema trial with no convictions

August 25, until September 2, 2017 Hurricane Harvey brought a historic deluge, flooding knocked out power and refrigeration units were lost. Organic peroxides blazed after all cooling methods failed.As warned by company executives at a press briefing at Crosby Volunteer Fire Department Station Two in Newport, trailers containing chemicals that become volatile at normal temperatures explode outside a warehouse at Arkema Chemical Crosby. About 200 locals were evacuated and 21 first responders were treated at local hospitals.

By Lewis Spearman

HOUSTON – On October 1, Arkema SA and executives were acquitted of criminal charges related to events that followed Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Arkema executives were charged with the crime of felony assault related to failure to provide adequate emergency response information related to first responders entering into a location with toxic fumes. The company was earlier similarly indicted for failure to assess risks.

Although the acquittal bears directly on the responsibility of the company it does not necessarily end the lawsuits related to the incidents.

The same judge found that prosecutors had committed unintentional misconduct.

A 2018 US Chemical Safety Board final report indicated that Arkema had not considered flooding a “credible risk” although it is within the flooding plain and that agency urged better preparation for extreme weather.

Arkema trial: Prosecutor drops assault charges

HOUSTON – The Arkema trail is on hold currently due to COVID-19 but resumes on September 21, already prosecutors have submitted for and State Judge Belinda Hill accepted on Monday to drop assault charges in the release of toxic fumes affecting to two deputies.

The prosecution admitted that charges against three company executive may have been based on a lie in relation to reckless behavior charges.

“Prosecutors always have a duty to seek justice; in this case, a prosecutor felt that there was enough evidence for a criminal charge, but that he could not prove that charge beyond a reasonable doubt at this time, so he requested it be dismissed,” Dave Schiller, Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Richard Rowe and Leslie Comardelle (the former plant manager) are still charged with reckless emission of air contaminants. Possible consequences for those charges could be $1 million dollar fine for Arkema and five years for the decision makers.

The defense argues that prosecutors are still withholding exculpatory evidence, illegally.