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Indybay Feature
Sat Mar 21 2009 (Updated 04/08/09)
Possible Criminal Charges Against Landlord Page Mill Properties
Sat Mar 21 2009 (Updated 04/08/09)
Page Mill Properties' Negligence May Have Led to Employee Death
Page Mill Properties, the largest landlord of properties in East Palo Alto, may face criminal charges in the death of one of its employees. The victim of what many feel is the investor/landlord's negligence, was decorating trees with Christmas lights at Page Mill's direction when the string of lights came into contact with a high voltage electric line in the winter of 2007. The 24 year-old employee suffered death by electrocution.

Cal/OSHA determined that Page Mill had failed to train the employee to work near electrical lines and let him work near high-voltage lines without correct safety precautions. In late November 2008, after their appeal to the state office was denied, Page Mill paid Cal/OSHA more than $36,000 in penalties. A Page Mill spokesperson refused to disclose the amount the company paid to the family of the victim in a settlement.

Now the San Mateo District Attorney is deciding whether to file criminal charges in the case. Tenant activists are closely following the case, and are communicating with members of the Board of Supervisors of San Mateo County in hopes of encouraging the DA to proceed with criminal charges against the landlord. Activists want the county District Attorney to take the matter seriously, and have expressed concern that Jim Shore, who has worked as a Deputy DA in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and now serves as general counsel to Page Mill, might try to influence his former colleagues on this matter.

Read more | photo Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | EPA-Tenants.org
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