Charges dropped in 'Big Dig' death

Dec. 18, 2008 at 5:31 PM

BOSTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Massachusetts has agreed to drop a manslaughter charge against a company implicated in a death in a Big Dig tunnel in return for $16 million in penalties.

Power Fasteners Inc., of Brewster, N.Y., supplied the epoxy used to hold roof panels in place in the tunnel. Milena Del Valle of Boston was killed in 2006 when a roof panel fell on her car.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley said that Powers has agreed to stop selling the quick-drying epoxy implicated in Del Valle's death, to send warnings about the epoxy to users and to abstain from business with any government agencies through 2012, the Boston Globe reported. She said that Del Valle's husband and daughter had approved the settlement.

"Their plea to me was they did not want this to happen to anyone else," Coakley said. "And we have kept that goal in mind."

Jeffrey Powers, one of the brothers running the company, released a statement saying that he was grateful to the Del Valle family for the sympathy they expressed when one of his brothers was killed in a motorcycle crash and his son was injured by a car.

The Big Dig, which converted a raised expressway through downtown Boston into a sunken highway, was the largest urban construction project in U.S. history.

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