Workers from Purvis Home Improvement were back on the job at a home on Munjoy Hill in Portland the day after a worker died in a fall from the roof in December 2018. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Saco roofing contractor Shawn D. Purvis owes $1.6 million in penalties after a federal administrative judge affirmed all of the safety citations against him by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration following the death of a worker and a subsequent investigation.

In December 2018, Alan Loignon died after falling from the third-story roof of a building where Purvis’ business was doing work in Portland. OSHA found that Loignon, Purvis’ half brother, was not wearing a federally required safety harness. Purvis was charged with workplace manslaughter, but a jury ultimately found him not guilty.

Shawn Purvis stands in court in May 2019 during his arraignment on charges in the death of a worker who fell from the roof of a house on Munjoy Hill in December 2018. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

Investigators responded to two more complaints, later that month and in May 2019, to discover that roofers at Purvis’ worksites in Old Orchard Beach and Springvale also were not wearing fall protection gear. Purvis previously had been cited for violating safety standards for fall protection.

OSHA cited Purvis, operating as Purvis Home Improvement Co., for a total of 20 safety violations. Judge Carol A. Baumerich with OSHA’s review commission ruled last month that OSHA had rightfully cited Purvis, although she decreased the total of the civil fines against him from $1,792,726 to $1,572,340.

At the core of the case, Baumerich evaluated Purvis’ assertion that the roofers were independent contractors, not his employees, and as a result did not qualify for OSHA protections. The same argument was made in his criminal trial.

“Because the OSH Act places little importance on the organizational nature of an employer, it is appropriate to pierce the corporate veil to achieve the purpose of the OSH Act,” Baumerich wrote in her ruling. “Purvis did not consistently observe the corporate form; instead, the lines were blurred, and the corporation was an extension of the individual rather than a separate entity.”


In a phone interview Wednesday, Purvis maintained that OSHA’s investigations and Baumerich’s rulings are “not based on facts.”

“I want to press charges against the judge, because everything she said is a lie,” Purvis. “They turned the judge against me.”

He plans to appeal the ruling, he added.

“We’re going to appeal it and win,” Purvis said. “We got told out the gate that we weren’t going to win because the judge has to side with OSHA and we would have to appeal.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.