The State of Massachusetts
is dropping charges against the only company found criminally negligent in a
of a ceiling in Boston's
infamous "Big Dig" construction project.
Powers Fasteners, a small company in Brewster, NY,
agreed to pay $16 million and remove from the marketplace its "Fast Set" epoxy
that was incorrectly used to attach bolts in the ceiling of one of the tunnels
in the massive construction project.
The agreement erases an involuntary manslaughter charge due
to the death of a woman who was crushed by concrete ceiling panels. The maximum
penalty for that crime is limited to a $1,000 fine. "What we have been
able to achieve today is a far greater result," State Attorney General
Martha Coakley said in a news conference.
A federal investigation found the collapse occurred because
contractors used the wrong grade of adhesive to suspend the tunnel's massive
ceiling panels. The state said Powers provided the adhesive even though it knew
it was not adequate. Powers denied the charge. A report
published in Design News showed the failure also resulted from a fundamental
lack of creep properties of adhesives all along the supply chain, included
state highway engineers and contractors who supervised the project.
"Since the accident,
much has been learned about epoxy creep and the need for proper training in the
selection and installation of adhesive anchors," says Powers Fasteners
President Jeff Powers. "Powers, which recently earned ISO-9000 certification
for its quality control systems, is committed to a continued effort to
implement best quality practices in our industry sector."