Jury acquits W.R. Grace and execs in Libby, Mont. asbestos case

A high-profile federal environmental prosecution has struck out following charges of prosecutorial misconduct as well as disputes over the quality of the evidence [Montana’s News Station, Van Voris/Bloomberg] Carter Wood and others have been blogging the case at Point of Law, and a joint blog effort of the University of Montana’s law and journalism schools has given the case extensive coverage. See also Kirk Hartley.


  • How can Grace be innocent? Don’t they still have money?


  • Jurors find W.R. Grace execs not guilty in Montana asbestos trial…

    A quick verdict of not guilty in the federal criminal trial of W.R. Grace and five, four, three former executives for conspiring to cover up health damage from asbestos in a Libby, Montana, vermiculite mine. Walter notes the verdict at……


  • Uh, bob . . . what does that have to do with anything?
    See, this is what happens when, as I understood the charges here, the prosecution tries to use ex post facto law to get indictments and go to trial: If I remember, part of the basis for the charges was a section of the 1990 Clean Air Act (or Clean Water Act)–when all of the actions supposedly done by the now-acquitees ended prior to 1989.
    How would you, bob, like to be charged ex post facto with excessive speeding if the interstate speed limit goes back to 55mph–and anyone who drove at the current limit over the last few years (since the lifting of national 55) would be charged with speeding, with the penalty being 30 days per count in jail? That’s what seems to have been attempted here in this trial.
    Thank goodness for a judge who showed skepticism about the evidence, and when shown evidence of prosecutorial misconduct, did something.

  • Hmmmmmmm, Melvin, I sorta think that Bob was either being cynically sarcastic or sarcastically cynical. Under the takes one to know one, Bob’s are that way. Good one, Bob.

  • Ah, but Melvin, all of that is irrelevant under the American system of law, the purpose of which is to transfer money from corporations who have supplied goods and services to individuals who have managed to injure themselves. Here we have clear facts: Grace has money, individuals have been injured, or may have been injured or could have injured themselves. The jury’s finding is a clear miscarriage of justice and I expect a successful appeal.