Jury clears Pilkington of arsenic allegation

Federal jurors on Thursday cleared Pilkington North America of allegations that it allowed arsenic waste at the company's glass factory in Naplate to contaminate the surrounding village.

The 10-member jury of women, which began deliberations Wednesday afternoon at Chicago's federal courthouse, returned with a verdict around 6:30 p.m.Thursday to cap a three-week liability trial. In siding with Pilkington, the jurors rejected claims by about 250 Naplate families that the glass company was negligent and had willfully disregarded their health and safety.

Pilkington's lead attorney, Nicholas Kouletsis, declined comment while walking out of the courtroom with his legal team. Stunned plaintiffs lingered.

Attorneys for local home owners had presented documents and expert witnesses in an attempt to prove that tons of arsenic once used in production

at the former Libby Owens Ford plant had saturated local yards, houses and the village water supply. Pilkington mounted a defense that argued the arsenic contamination is far narrower - only in an upper aquifer that's not used by the village and maybe two residential properties, including Ludwig's home, which were developed years ago with "fill" trucked in from the LOF plant.

Shawn Collins, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said his side would file post-trial motions with trial judge James Zagel in hopes of reversing the verdict. He wasn't sure about an appeal to a higher court.

"More than anything else, our hearts go out to these families because they have to deal with the contamination as well as this verdict," he told reporters.

Pilkington bought the Naplate sheet-glass factory in the mid-1980s nearly 20 years after operators stopped using arsenic as a smoothing agent, but the Ohio-based company assumed the previous owner's liabilities. The poisonous waste placed at the riverfront site in LaSalle County has attracted the attention of government environmental regulators.

The class-action lawsuit was filed in February 2003.

600450 Jury clears Pilkington of arsenic allegation glassonweb.com

See more news about:

Others also read

The glass sector has the increasingly widespread requirement of having an unlimited catalogue of parametric shapes and creating new ones in a simple way without being an expert in the field.
Glass Confusion is starting the New Year with Beginning Fused Glass group classes. The three-week course will be held Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Shoaib Akhtar is going to be back on Indian TV screens. He is going to be featured in the new TV ad campaign for Asahi Glass.
Worldwide glass-substrate capacity is expected to continue to grow more than 40% each quarter through 2005, as a result of capacity expansion by existing glass-substrate suppliers and new companies joining the market, according to DisplaySearch.
Western Pennsylvania’s once-thriving glassmaking industry is dwindling, as did the domestic steel industry and for many of the same reasons: competition and cost.
Christmas got a little bluer for the local glass industry this week with the closure of yet another plant.

Add new comment