Contractor charged in worker deaths
The case is believed to be the first criminal prosecution in the country involving the electrocution deaths of high-voltage transmission tower linemen.
The defendants, L.E. Myers Co. and MYR Group, Inc., were charged in a four-count indictment by a federal grand jury. The indictment alleges that Myers and MYR willfully violated numerous federal workplace regulations in the deaths of an apprentice lineman and a journeyman lineman who were working on high-voltage transmission towers - each carrying three phase lines energized at 345,000 volts - in Mount Prospect in 1999 and in Plainfield in 2000.
Myers and MYR each face two counts of violating OSHA safety regulations - one count stemming from each death.
Myers is an electrical contractor employing over 1,000 workers nationwide and is a wholly owned subsidiary of MYR, a holding company that has approximately 4,000 employees and owns several other electrical contracting companies including Harlan Electric Co., Sturgeon Electric Co., Hawkeye Construction, Inc., and Great Southwestern Construction, Inc.