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Missouri Jury Awards Worker $28 Million in Occupational Exposure Suit

Following a two-week trial, a Missouri jury awarded a worker $28 million in damages after finding an employer negligently and fraudulently concealed the dangers of exposure to certain molds, microbes, and bacteria that allegedly caused a debilitating respiratory injury. Berger v. Copeland Compressor Corp., No. 10LA-CC00089 (Mo. Cir. Ct. Nov. 12, 2013).   The jury award consisted of $5 million in actual damages and $23 million in punitive damages.

Plaintiff, a worker at Defendant’s plant, allegedly contracted hypersensitivity pneumonitis following exposure to molds, microbes, and bacteria in the fluids used by the plant to cool tools and surfaces. Plaintiff alleged this condition caused permanent significantly reduced lung function. Plaintiff sued Defendants alleging negligence, strict liability, and fraudulent concealment. Defendants have said they plan to appeal if they are unable to obtain relief via post-trial motions.

© 2021 Beveridge & Diamond PC National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 42
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About this Author

Lindsey K. Selba Environmental Litigation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Baltimore, MD
Associate

Lindsey Selba is a responsive and thoughtful team player who maintains a general environmental, litigation, and regulatory practice in addition to a pro bono practice.

Her work at the firm has focused primarily on Clean Air Act (CAA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suit litigation. In one matter, she successfully represented a client against citizen complaints of regulatory deviations and nuisance. Lindsey collaborated with technical personnel to demonstrate substantial compliance and developed a factual record to support a motion for summary...

410-230-1325
Daniel M. Krainin Environmental Litigation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond New York, NY
Principal

Dan deploys more than two decades of environmental litigation experience to resolve clients’ legal and business challenges.

Primarily focused on environmental and toxic tort litigation, Dan helps clients successfully resolve groundwater contamination, hazardous waste site remediation, natural resource damages, permit defense and product-related matters. He enjoys using his skills as a litigator to help clients solve environmental problems.

Among his many wins, Dan successfully led a team that defeated an emergency challenge to a permit that Dan’s client needed to continue its...

212-702 5417
Mackenzie S. Schoonmaker Environmental Litigation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond New York, NY
Principal

Mackenzie’s practice includes both litigation and regulatory matters arising under FIFRA, the Clean Water Act, and related environmental laws.

She is passionate about conserving air, water, wildlife, and land for future generations, and enjoys helping clients navigate and enforce the detailed framework of environmental law because she believes compliance is key to preventing adverse impacts to the environment.

Mackenzie is a co-chair of Beveridge & Diamond’s Industrial Hemp & Cannabis industry team. She advises clients, and regularly writes and presents, on federal...

212-702-5415
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