The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 5, 1989 - Page 5
Judge rules officers can
be liable for pollution
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - In a prece-
dent-setting decision involving a Schoolcraft
company, a federal judge ruled that corporate
officers can be held liable for pollution even if
they were unaware of it at the time.
Last week's ruling by U.S. District Judge
Richard Enslen is a victory for state and federal
agencies that pursue suspected polluters and a
setback for corporate executives who have
shielded themselves from costly cleanups by
hiding behind corporate veils and bankruptcy
Though the ruling does not impose strict
liability, it does place a greater burden on cor-
porate officials to prevent air, soil and water
The ruling stems from a 1987 lawsuit filed
by state Attorney General Frank Kelley against
ARCO Industries Corp. of Schoolcraft and its
top two executives, Frederick Matthaei and
"This standard will encourage increased re-
sponsibility (for preventing pollution) with in-
creased authority within a corporation," Enslen
wrote. "I take this to be a positive step ... be-
cause it encourages responsible conduct instead
of causing high-level corporate individuals 'not
to see' and to avoid getting involved with
waste disposal at their facilities."
Kelley hailed the ruling as "an important
national judicial precedent" on corporate officer
In the lawsuit against ARCO, Enslen has
already ruled that Matthaei and Ferguson could
be held liable for extensive ground water pollu-
tion in the Schoolcraft area of southwestern
Michigan if found guilty of violating envi-
Company officials are negotiating privately
with state officials in an attempt to resolve the
bitter court fight over widespread pollution that
has contaminated the village's drinking water
with cancer-causing agents.
An operator at the company, which manu-
factures rubber and vinyl parts for the autom-
tive industry, said only Ferguson could com-
ment on the ruling and he was unavailable.
It's believed that Enslen's ruling will trig-
ger legal challenges.
Once upon a time
"Stillwell" practices the art of storytelling yesterday in the Diag.
Wishes can come true
'Services held for drowning vi ctim
'ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) - Few of the
mourners who filed past the open casket of
a woman who drowned in the Straits of
Mackinac were able to hold back the tears
they had held inside for nearly two weeks.
Leslie Ann Pluhar was buried yesterday
'near Sycamore trees at the White Chapel
,Memorial Park in Troy.
"You're here because you cared for
Leslie; she has touched you and made your
lives better," said the Rev. John Corrado
of the Unitarian Church in Grosse Pointe.
Pluhar died Sept. 22 when her 1987
Yugo flipped off the Mackinac Bridge. Her
family sequestered themselves in a St.
Ignace hotel, awaiting positive identifica-
tion of the car and its driver, but choppy
water and stiff winds delayed salvage oper-
ations until Sept. 30.
An autopsy showed that Pluhar, who
was en route to visit her boyfriend in the
Upper Peninsula, suffered severe head and
chest injuries but was alive when her car
slammed into the water.
However, she was probably uncon-
scious as the car sank 150 feet to the bot-
tom of the straits, the autopsy disclosed.
Tests found a low level of alcohol in her
body, but don't believe it played a part in
the accident. No traces of drugs were
Investigators are reconstructing her ac-
cident, and a ruling on possible causes
could be made this week, said Lt. Newton
Jerome of the Michigan State Police post
in St. Ignace.
A House Subcommittee on the Safety
of the Mackinac Bridge planned to inspect.
the site today. Witnesses contend wind
gusts pushed the Yugo off the bridge, but
By Pam Jacoby
In August 1988, doctors said that Kristi, a
young girl with a brain tumor, wouldn't make
it until Christmas of that year.
Kristi's dream was to visit Walt Disney
World in Orlando, Fla. The Make-A-Wish
Foundation of Michigan enabled that wish to
Pictures of Kristi at her chosen destination
showed her in poor health, but after she re-
turned from Florida, her condition improved.
Her brain tumors began to decrease and she had
a more positive outlook.
granted are as big as a trip to San Francisco or
as small as a new pair of tennis shoes.
The size of the wish is not what's impor-
tant, said Loren Alexander, a member of the
Michigan foundation's Board of Directors. It is
important to give the children a more "positive
frame of mind" while they are trying to con-
quer their life threatening diseases, Alexander
While the foundation grants many wishes
and gives people "things to look forward to,"
the people doing the giving are not doctors and
cannot cure the actual disease, Alexander said.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation'started in
1980 in Phoenix, Arizona by granting 15
wishes. As ofY Sept.1, the founaijion had
granted 93 wishes and expected to grant120
wishes by the end of the year.
most experts say that is impossible. Kristi is still living today.
"She was there for others, not only in The Make-A-Wish Foundation allows chil-
their need but also their happiness," dren with various life threatening diseases such
Corrado said at a service earlier yesterday as cancer, leukemia,,or sickle cell anemia to be
at William Sullivan & Son Funeral Home granted one wish of their choice due to various
in Royal Oak. fundraisers and donations. Some of the wishes
tp ENt a.
- Superior hands-on instruction
from 6-time U.S. National
Champion and Olympic medal
ist Han Lee.
- New classes are forming.
- cMwchs 3660 Plaza Cr.
- Do Something Different, Great
Workout, plus Self Defense.
ry f Oe