Judge tosses refinery leak lawsuit

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Published: March 17,2010

Tags: BP, energy, lawsuit, oil and gas

HOUSTON — A $100-million jury award against BP, PLC, over a 2007 refinery leak at its Texas City plant has been rejected.

A federal judge in Houston on Tuesday set aside the punitive judgment of $10 million apiece for 10 contract workers who said they were injured.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt agreed with the jury’s finding that London-based BP was responsible for the leak, but found no intent to cause harm.

Actual damages awarded per worker range from about $6,000 to more than $244,000

The release happened at the same refinery where a 2005 explosion killed 15 people and injured 170.

BP spokesman Scott Dean said the company agrees with the judge’s decision to set aside punitive damages.

Attorney Tony Buzbee, representing workers, says he will ask the judge to reconsider before a formal appeal is filed.

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