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Company Gets Maximum Fine for Chemical Dumping That Led to Death

January 4, 1995

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ A company was fined the maximum $1.5 million for illegally dumping chemicals that killed two 9-year-olds playing in a trash bin.

Durex Industries Inc., which makes print rollers, pleaded guilty last year to knowingly endangering others by illegally disposing of hazardous chemicals.

Neither Daniel Scott Perez nor Anthony Neil Storman were breathing when they were found in the trash bin behind the plant in June 1992. Perez died within an hour; Storman died that night.

Autopsies determined that they died from inhaling toxic fumes from toluene, a solvent.

U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich also put Durex on probation for five years and ordered it to implement an environmental compliance program.

Prosecutors said the company ignored environmental regulations and routinely disposed of chemical-laden waste in the trash bin.

Plant manager William Whitman and his brother, shop foreman Duane Whitman, were to begin serving 27-month prison sentences today for illegally disposing of the solvent.

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