The sign outside the Cumberland County Courthouse as seen in this March 20, 2018, BDN file photo.

A Saco-based contractor has been indicted on the rare charge of workplace manslaughter after a man working for him fell from a roof and died.

The indictment from the Maine Attorney General’s office says that while Alan Loignon was working as a roofer at a house in Portland he was not wearing federally-required fall protection.

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The contractor, Shawn Purvis, told the Portland Press Herald that since Loignon was a contractor, not an employee, he couldn’t force him to use the gear. Purvis’ company has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on several occasions for safety violations.

The case is one of only a few times prosecutors in Maine have sought charges under the workplace manslaughter statute, which carries a maximum of five years and a $5,000 fine.

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Purvis is also charged with manslaughter — if he’s convicted of that charge, he could face as much as 30 years and a $50,000 fine.

A court date has not yet been set.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

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