Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pan Am Railway Loses its Court Appeal

At $500,000, it was touted as the largest corporate criminal fine in state history.
And so it came as no surprise that Pan Am Railways and its subsidiaries, Springfield Terminal Railway, Boston & Maine Corp. and Maine Central Railroad, would try to appeal a precedent-setting case that unfolded in Ayer.
But that attempt was derailed following Tuesday's ruling handed down by the Appeals Court, affirming the convictions on all counts.
Each rail subsidiary was fined $125,000 for its share in the Aug. 8, 2006, diesel-fuel spill from a freight locomotive in Ayer. The companies were collectively found guilty for not reporting the spill in a timely manner as required by MassDEP regulations, but also for an active attempt to cover up the spill.
As part of their sentencing on March 30, 2009, the corporations were also placed on three years probation. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Fahey also ordered that there would be no bonuses greater than $100,000 awarded to executives at any company in a 12-month period until the criminal fines were paid to the state. The fines were paid into escrow jointly held by Pan Am and the attorney general's office pending the outcome of the appeals.
"We are pleased the Appeals Court supported our position that corporations must be held accountable for violating Massachusetts' environmental laws," Attorney General Martha Coakley told Nashoba Publishing.......  READ WHOLE ARTICLE: Pan Am Railway loses its appeal - Nashoba Publishing Online

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