Maine roofing contractor found not guilty in death of worker

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A jury found that a Maine roofing company was not guilty of manslaughter at work for the death of a worker in 2018.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the jury delivered its verdict Thursday at the Cumberland County Courthouse. Shawn Purvis, owner of Purvis Home Improvement Co. in Scarborough, Maine, has faced a charge of manslaughter in the workplace, a Class C crime that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The judge dismissed a second manslaughter charge, a more serious charge, on the last day of the trial, which began on December 1.

One of Purvis’ workers, Alan Loignon, 30, fell from a house in Portland in December 2018 while climbing a ladder on scaffolding without safety equipment. This led to a complaint of manslaughter in the workplace being filed in 2019.

Purvis faces a more than $ 2 million fine imposed by the federal health and safety agency. Prosecutors alleged that Purvis had knowingly violated OSHA security standards for years.

Purvis said the verdict was confirmed and criticized prosecutors who had charged him with manslaughter on the more serious charges. He said his workers are subcontractors who could choose whether to follow safety standards with the equipment he provided.

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