Investigations conducted by three prominent news sources in 2003 revealed wide-scale safety problems at a nationwide cast-iron pipe manufacturer. The New York Times, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and PBS each reported serious safety violations at foundries owned by Alabama-based McWane Inc. According to reports, nearly 5,000 injuries have been reported at McWane plants since 1995, including nine deaths and hundreds of safety and health violations. One-hundred and fifty safety hazards were reported at the company's Tyler, Texas foundry alone. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed several McWane plants as health violators.
McWane directors and managers are accused of falsifying injury records and destroying incriminating documents describing safety violations. Employees were often fired if they threatened to complain about safety hazards at worksites. Thousands of gallons of contaminated wastewater were also allegedly illegally dumped into local rivers and creeks.
In May 2004, a federal grand jury issued a 25-count indictment alleging McWane consistently dumps waste illegally and violates numerous environmental regulations at its Birmingham facility. The indictment was the second against the pipe maker in six months. In December 2003, managers of the company's New Jersey foundry were indicted over alleged violations of workplace safety laws.
McWane denies the allegations insisting it has spent millions of dollars in recent years improving safety programs.
If you are an employee of McWane Inc., it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
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