The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the convictions and sentencing of a New Jersey pipe manufacturer and four managers for multiple violations of environmental and worker safety laws. United States v. Maury, No. 09-2305 (3d Cir. 9/17/12).
A jury convicted Atlantic States Iron Pipe Co. and four of its managers in April 2006 of conspiracy to pollute the air and the Delaware River, and substantive violations of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. United States v. Atl. States Cast Iron Pipe Co., No. 03-852 (D.N.J. 8/02/07). The defendants were also convicted of exposing employees to dangerous conditions at the company’s Phillipsburg, New Jersey, facility and a violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, as well as of impeding federal regulatory and criminal investigations.
In April 2009, the company was sentenced to pay an $8-million fine, and the four managers were sentenced to serve prison sentences ranging from six months to 70 months. The appeal included a litany of arguments related to pre-trial discovery, the district court’s handling of the trial, jury instructions, and sentencing. Finding no error in the district court’s handling of the case and no merit to the appellants’ arguments, the appeals court commented on the lower court’s “fine handling of these extraordinarily complicated proceedings.”