$3B Texas Pollution Case Puts Punitives In Play For Gov't

Law360, New York (November 17, 2014, 8:19 PM EST) -- A Texas county’s unsuccessful quest for a $3 billion penalty against International Paper Inc. for allegedly polluting a river with toxic waste has defense attorneys concerned that the government is showing a new willingness to seek severe punitive damages against companies over sites that have already been remediated.

On Thursday, a Harris County jury found International Paper was not responsible for releasing dioxins into the San Jacinto River from 1973 to 2008. The acquittal followed Waste Management Inc. and McGinnis Industrial Maintenance Corp.’s $29.2 million settlement in the case, and defense attorneys called the county’s prosecution a “disturbing” exploitation of daily...

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