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Jury selection begins in trial stemming from workplace death

December 1, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Jury selection got underway Wednesday for the trial of a roofing contractor charged in the death of a worker who fell from a roof because of alleged unsafe working conditions.

The trial of Michael Purvis was initially scheduled for March 2020, but was delayed by the pandemic.

Purvis’ attorney has said that what happened was a “terrible tragedy,” but not a crime.

He was charged after Alan Loignon fell to his death from a roof on Dec. 13, 2018, in Portland. Loignon was Purvis’ half brother, and his family is pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Purvis also faces more than $2 million in fines for OSHA citations. He’s accused of failing to protect workers from falls. Hearings took place in October and November. Purvis contests the citations.