A Louisiana jury has issued a $1.2 million verdict on behalf of 16 workers who filed a radiation exposure lawsuit against Exxon Mobile Corp.
The lawsuit was filed by Louisiana employees of Intracoastal Tubular Services (ITCO) who were contracted to clean used oil drilling pipes for Exxon. The plaintiffs claimed that the pipes had naturally occurring radioactive material in them that increased the workers’ risk of developing cancer, according to report by Bloomberg News.
The employees worked on the site near Harvey, Louisiana between 1977 and 1992, and the owner of the property successfully sued Exxon in 2001 for radioactive contamination connected to the pipe cleaning work. Originally, a jury hit Exxon with $1 billion in punitive fees in the 2001 lawsuit, but that was later reduced to $112 million, which Exxon paid with interest after failed attempts at an appeal.
The lawsuit by the 16 workers included allegations that Exxon failed to warn them of radiation danger because the company feared that the property would be reclassified as a hazardous waste site, which could have cost Exxon hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Gretna, Louisiana jury’s decision awarded the plaintiffs between $10,000 and $175,000 each after a five-week trial. None of the workers have been diagnosed with a radiation-related illness. The lawsuits were filed over Exxon allegedly exposing them to increased risk. The company has settled several claims by workers who actually developed cancer or other radiation exposure health problems.
The jury rejected plaintiff requests to issue punitive damages or to force the company to pay $1.3 million for future medical monitoring.