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Legal Lasso: RPI Coating Pleaded Guilty

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COMPILED BY LAW WEEK COLORADO’S NEWS STAFF

RPI COATING INC. PLEADED GUILTY on Monday in Colorado federal court to five misdemeanor counts of violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, regulations resulting in the 2007 deaths of five of its employees at Xcel Energy’s Cabin Creek hydroelectric plant in Georgetown. The California-based company paid a total $1,275,000 in compensation to the next of kin of the five workers who died in a fire inside a penstock, or tunnel, as well as to four workers who survived the accident. Another $275,000 was paid to the victims’ lawyers in civil lawsuits against RPI, and $100,000 to OSHA. RPI agreed to a five-year probation during which it must not violate state or federal laws or OSHA regulations. If it violates the terms of probation, RPI would be subject to $2.5 million in fines as well as further criminal prosecution.
Individual criminal charges against RPI executives were dismissed. Read a copy of the plea agreement here.

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