The following article about the Harran settlement comes from Nature
Chemist reaches agreement with prosecutors over lab death
Researchers express hope that UCLA case spurs safety improvements.
20 June 2014
The first academic chemist ever to face criminal charges in a United States lab accident, Patrick Harran, has reached a deferred prosecution agreement with law enforcement officials, likely avoiding a public trial and possible jail time.
The charges against Harran stem from the 2009 death of 23-year-old Sheharbano (?Sheri?) Sangji, who died after a chemical fire while working in Harran?s lab at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Harran was charged by the Los Angeles district attorney in 2011 with three felony counts of ?willful violation of an occupational health and safety standard causing the death of an employee.? A fourth felony count was added in May 2013.
According to the terms of the agreement, approved today by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli, Harran will pay US$10,000 to the burn unit where Sangji was treated; develop lab safety training tools as part of an organic chemistry class that he will teach for five years to underprivileged high school students; speak to incoming UCLA students about the importance of lab safety; and conduct 800 hours of non-teaching community service at a hospital.
(comments by a variety of CH&S professionals edited for length)
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