United States of America v. W.R. Grace

597 F. Supp. 2d 1157 (2009)

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United States of America v. W.R. Grace

United States District Court for the District of Montana
597 F. Supp. 2d 1157 (2009)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

W.R. Grace and its executives (collectively, W.R. Grace) (defendants) were charged with the crime of knowing endangerment for releasing a hazardous pollutant into the air in Libby, Montana, resulting in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm to another. The court granted W.R. Grace’s motion under Federal Rule of Evidence 615 (Rule 615) to exclude lay witnesses from the proceedings. The government (plaintiff) moved to accord rights to victim witnesses pursuant to the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA), arguing that some of its witnesses were victims of the charged crimes and entitled to exercise their rights to be present during court proceedings. Government witnesses Melvin and Lerah Parker (the Parkers), who were identified as victims in the indictment, moved to assert rights pursuant to the CVRA. The indictment alleged that W.R. Grace committed the crime of knowing endangerment by selling property to the Parkers knowing that the property was contaminated. The indictment did not allege that anyone in Libby, Montana, was harmed as a result of the hazardous air pollutants released by W.R. Grace.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Molloy, J.)

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