Well, not quite directly. In 2009 on the 6th of April, after a series minor quakes and a shock of 4.1 on the 30th of March, there was an earthquake in Italy. People died. In this case though there had been a meeting of the Italian National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks. The commission included several geophysicists. In the meeting there had been disagreement amongst the scientists, some thought that the minor shocks might have relieved tension and that no more shocks would be forthcoming. Some disagreed. The conclusion "was anything but reassuring".
A press conference was held ostensibly to report the commissions findings, though in fact to counter the publics unease being caused by predictions being generated using an unreliable and unproven technique. The press conference reported that the "seismic situation in L'Aquila was certainly normal" and that there was "no danger".
Saying there is was no danger is the only point that I would find fault with the commission. If they had said "no danger other than what there normally is" I don't think I'd have any problems with their press conference. It doesn't follow though that the scientists who concluded that "It is unlikely that an
earthquake like the one in 1703 could occur in the short term, but the
possibility cannot be totally excluded"* should then be held accountable for the deaths caused by people not leaving their homes (supposedly because they were comforted and reassured by the commission).
I've been told that the idea that these scientists are being prosecuted because they didn't predict the earthquake on the 6th of April is stupid. It's not. The people who are finding fault with the commissions public statements acknowledge that the scientists cannot predict earthquakes. "People aren't stupid," he says. "They know we
can't predict earthquakes." .
So when a commission comes out and says that there is no danger, i.e. that there is no chance of an earthquake then the only sensible interpretation is that there is no danger over and above the normal danger. Yes, the commission could have spelt it out better. To throw your normal precautions to the wind after a lifetime living in the area, because of the commissions statements is an abrogation of responsibility. It requires the assumption that the geophysicists are now capable of forecasting when there isn't going to be an earthquake. Which is the same thing as predicting when they will strike as well. On the assumption that people aren't stupid, if they know that the geophysicists can't predict quakes then the whole argument falls apart.
Which leaves the only reasonable interpretation that I can see being one big blame game that isn't going to help anyone. It might even end up hurting people in the long run by reducing scientists willingness to engage in public assessment of risk.
 John Mutter seismologist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who declined to sign the open letter circulated to support the Italian scientists.