A federal judge in Houston has drastically reduced the $100 million verdict returned in December against BP’s Texas City refinery. The verdict was cut to less than half a million. This dealt the British oil giant a rare and perhaps unexpected legal victory. U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt said the Plaintiffs failed to prove BP was “grossly negligent” in a chemical release at the refinery that sent more than 100 workers to area hospitals on the evening of April 19, 2007. The judge wrote that without “clear and convincing” evidence of gross negligence, the $100 million in punitive damages initially awarded ten workers from that group “must be set aside.” Instead, he awarded those workers a combined $340,660 in actual damages for medical expenses, lost income and mental anguish.
Source: Houston Chronicle
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