Record $48 Million Award in St. Louis

CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) – A St. Louis County jury awarded $48.4 million to an ethanol company against a title company that failed to notify property owners near a site where the ethanol company wanted to build a plant near Wichita. The award, after a 2-week trial, is the largest ever in St. Louis County Court.

     Abengoa Bioenergy wanted to build a plant in Colwich, Kan. Chicago Title was supposed to notify nearby property owners in order to obtain zoning to build it, but seven property owners were left off the notification list.
     After zoning was granted, the property owners found out and sued in 2008. Abengoa was forced to build a more expensive, less profitable plant in Granite City, which was finished 15 months after the first plant was supposed to be completed.
     The award includes the higher cost of building the plant in Granite City, the cost of the 15-month delay and the lower revenue from the plant.

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