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Beveridge & Diamond’s 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices focus on environmental and natural resource law, litigation and dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations. 

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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.