PORTLAND, Maine — The man accused of workplace manslaughter for a deadly accident in December 2018 faced a judge for the first time on May 20.
Shawn Purvis pleaded not guilty to both manslaughter and workplace manslaughter.
Prosecutors accused Purvis of recklessly causing the death of his half-brother, 30-year-old Alan Loignon.
Loignon fell from a three-story apartment building in Portland while on a job.
Attorneys for the Loignon estate say Purvis Home Improvement was in control of the job site and provided all safety equipment, but didn’t have people use it.
Purvis’ attorney Tom Hallett says this case does not belong in the criminal justice system.
“This is clearly a tragedy. Children lost their father, a wife lost her husband, my client lost his brother,” Hallett said. “I’m very confident that at the end of this we’re going to have a good result unfortunately my client is going to have to go through a trial in this case to get it.”
Over the last seven years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Purvis Home Improvement four times for his roofers not wearing fall protection safety harnesses.
OSHA issued nearly $44,000 in fines against Purvis for violations.
A bail hearing will be scheduled within the next month.
If convicted, Purvis faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.