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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 Overlawyered.

W.R. Grace has issued a statement from Fred Festa, Chairman, President and CEO. Excerpt:

We at Grace are gratified by today's verdict and thank the men and women of the jury who were open to hearing the facts. We always believed that Grace and its former executives had acted properly and that a jury would come to the same conclusion when confronted with the evidence.

AP story, "Jury acquits W.R. Grace, 3 execs in asbestos case." And from The Missoulian, "UPDATE ON W.R. GRACE VERDICT: Libby reacts to news of not guilty verdicts":

"This is the longest trial that I have been involved in," said U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of the 35-day trial that began in February. "It is I think truly a reflection of how we are supposed to govern ourselves. Ultimately it is the people of the community who have to make a decision. This is a case in which very few people who know all of the evidence, and you do. We appreciate your service."

The defense repeatedly claimed prosecutorial misconduct, and the prosecution asked for dismissal of charges against two of the original defendants, admitting they lacked evidence to make the case.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.