Injured plant worker is awarded $28 million

11/25/2013 11:56 AM

11/27/2013 11:09 PM

A plant worker in Lebanon, Mo., has been awarded $28 million after a jury found an air conditioner compressor manufacturer responsible for causing a serious respiratory injury.

The jury verdict, reached last week in Laclede County, Mo., requires Copeland Scroll Compressors LLC to pay Philip Berger $23 million in punitive damages and $5 million in actual damages. Berger was represented by the Independence law firm of Humphrey, Farrington & McClain.

The worker contracted a lung inflammation after allegedly being exposed to mold, microbes and bacteria found in the fluids that the plant used to cool cutting tools and workplace surfaces, the law firm said.

Copeland is owned by Emerson Climate Technologies of St. Louis County. Copeland’s lawyer, Joseph Orlet, said that the plant is a “very safe work environment” and that management follows safety standards. Emerson plans to appeal.

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