December 18, 2008 | Dave Janney

The cost of failure…….

NY Times

Settlement for Company Charged in Big-Dig Death

Published: December 17, 2008

BOSTON — The only company charged with manslaughter after a woman died in a Big Dig tunnel collapse in 2006 has agreed to pay the state and city $16 million in exchange for the charge being dropped.

The company, Powers Fasteners Inc., supplied the epoxy blamed in the collapse that killed the woman, Milena Del Valle, in July 2006 as she was going to the airport.

Attorney General Martha Coakley said that with the settlement, the state was “closing out most of the civil and criminal matters” stemming from the tunnel collapse. So far, the state has negotiated about $600 million in settlements related to flaws in the project.

Powers Fasteners was criminally charged last year after the National Transportation Safety Board found it had provided “inadequate and misleading” information about the epoxy used to anchor the tunnel’s concrete ceiling. It agreed a year ago to pay $6 million Ms. Del Valle’s family, which has reached settlements totaling $28 million from various other companies involved in the Big Dig construction.

In addition to paying the state and city $16 million, Powers Fasteners, a family-owned company in Brewster, N.Y., has agreed to stop production and sales of the epoxy used in the tunnel, recall it and put out warnings about it. That epoxy, a fast-set type, was inappropriately used on heavy concrete ceiling panels, investigators found, saying it should have been limited to wall panels.

The company, which has 240 employees, has also agreed not to sell other adhesive anchors unless an “accredited lab” approves them. The indictment can be reinstated within three years if the company does not comply.

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