Missouri Legislature Truckles to Lead Miner

     JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – The Missouri Legislature passed a law limiting lawsuit awards to people who claim injuries from Doe Run’s lead mine tailings in St. Francois County.
     The law states that Doe Run Resources Corp., which owns the old mining sites, should pay no more that $2.5 million in punitive damages for each such lawsuit.
     The company will be exempted from punitive damages if it is determined that Doe Run is making a good-faith effort to clean up the sites.
     Doe Run operates a lead smelter in Jefferson County and mining operations in Reynolds County. It took its concerns to the Legislature after a St. Louis jury awarded $320 million in punitive damages against Fluor Corp. in 2011, for lead pollution in Jefferson County.
     Doe Run claimed that big punitive damage awards would force it out of business and cost Missouri jobs.
     The Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys opposed the bill.
     St. Louis lawyer Maurice Graham told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the bill is special legislation, which is prohibited by the Missouri Constitution.

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