Corn Milling Co. to Pay Nearly $1 Million for 2017 Dust Explosion

Violations were found after the fatal explosion.

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corn milling co to pay almost $1M for violations in explosion deaths
Wisconsin Justice Department has fined Dilion Milling Inc., a corn milling and bioscience company, for the 2017 dust explosion that caused 5 deaths.Image courtesy of JerryX / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Didion Milling Inc. has agreed to pay $940,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging multiple violations at a plant that was the scene of a fatal explosion in 2017, Wisconsin State Justice Department officials announced.

The agency sued Didion Milling, a corn milling and bioscience company, in November 2020 alleging state inspectors discovered 30 violations at the company’s Cambria corn mill in 2019, including emissions, record-keeping, and reporting violations.

Didion spokesperson Scott Rippe didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the settlement to local news KFIZ.

The Justice Department asked the Legislature’s finance committee for permission to accept the settlement. Republicans passed a law in 2018 requiring the department to get the committee’s permission before settling any lawsuit as a way of diminishing Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul’s powers.

Five Didion employees were killed in a grain dust explosion at the mill in May 2017. Last year, a federal grand jury charged the company with fraud and conspiracy in connection with the explosion, alleging the company failed to keep up with cleanings at the plant and falsified records to make it appear as if the cleanings were completed. The company responded to the charges by insisting the explosion was an accident.

The case is set to go to trial in October 2023.

About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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