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Contractor’s defense in fatal fall: Victim was a subcontractor, not an employee

A Maine contractor who was indicted on manslaughter charges after the death of an employee – his own half-brother – maintains that he is not culpable because his workers are not his employees and he cannot compel them to use fall protection. Shawn D. Purvis, owner of Purvis Home Improvement Co. in Saco, pleaded not guilty to the charges in April. Purvis – whose company motto is, “Don’t be nervous. Call Purvis,” told news sources that 30-year-old Alan Loignon was actually self-employed when he fell to his death in December from the roof of a three-story house.

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