Colorado Company Guilty In ’03 Death of Honeywell Worker in Louisiana

January 15, 2010

A Colorado company has pleaded guilty in Baton Rouge, La., federal court to negligent endangerment in the 2003 death of Honeywell International plant worker.

Chemical & Metal Industries Inc., of Hudson, Colo., could be fined the greater of $500,000 or twice any gain from the offense or twice all loss from the incident, according to a plea agreement corporate representatives signed with prosecutors.

C&MI also could be placed on probation for five years because of the criminal conviction.

Chief U.S. District Judge Ralph E. Tyson will decide the penalty at a sentencing hearing.

In 2007, Honeywell pleaded guilty to an identical criminal charge.

Tyson fined Honeywell $8 million and ordered the New Jersey firm to pay $2 million in restitution to Delvin Henry’s family, U.S. Attorney David R. Dugas said.

Tyson also ordered Honeywell to pay $750,000 to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Dugas said. The company also had to provide $750,000 in equipment to the Louisiana State Police Hazardous Materials Unit and $500,000 in equipment for the State Police Emergency Operations Center.

Henry, 32, suffered third-degree burns over much of his body in July 2003 after he opened a mislabeled cylinder at Honeywell’s Baton Rouge plant. He died the next day.

C&MI admitted in its plea agreement with Dugas and Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey R. Amundson that it did not analyze the contents of the cylinder before returning it to Honeywell.

Information from: The Advocate,

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