Missouri court overturns $240 million punitive damages verdict from lead poisoning lawsuit

 Friday, June 20, 2014

 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

An appellate court on Tuesday tossed out $240 million in punitive damages awarded to people who said they suffered health problems stemming from a lead smelter in Herculaneum. That sum was part of a $358 million verdict by a St. Louis jury against former owners of the smelter. The suit was filed by 16 plaintiffs who said they suffered from lead poisoning. That award was on top of a confidential settlement reached before the trial with the smelter’s current owners, Doe Run Resources Corp. The 2011 trial, which lasted three months, centered on the plant’s operation from 1986 to 1994 under former owners Texas-based Fluor Corp., Virginia-based A.T. Massey Coal and Missouri-based Doe Run Investment Holdings Co.