PORTLAND, Maine — A jury has found that a roofing contractor in Maine is not guilty of workplace manslaughter for the 2018 death of a worker.
The Portland Press Herald reported that the jury reached its verdict Thursday at the Cumberland County Courthouse. Shawn Purvis, owner of Purvis Home Improvement Co. in Scarborough, faced one count of workplace manslaughter, a Class C felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The judge dismissed a second count of manslaughter, a more serious charge, on the last day of the trial, which began Dec. 1.
One of Purvis’ workers, Alan Loignon, 30, fell to his death from a Portland home in December 2018 while climbing down a ladder onto scaffolding without safety gear. That led to a workplace manslaughter charge being filed in 2019.
Purvis faces more than $2 million in fines imposed by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Prosecutors alleged that Purvis for years knowingly violated OSHA safety standards.
Purvis said of the verdict that he felt vindicated and criticized prosecutors who had indicted him on the more serious manslaughter charge. He said his workers are subcontractors who can choose whether to follow safety standards with equipment he provides.