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Chicago Jury Awards $120M In Oil Refinery Class-Action Case

Posted on Nov 22, 2005

Jury Awards $120M In Oil Refinery Class-Action Case Chemical Release Sickened Residents, Students POSTED: 7:52 pm CST November 21, 2005 CHICAGO -- A verdict totaling $120.1 million was reached Monday for plaintiffs in consolidated class-action lawsuits against a now-defunct oil refinery in Blue Island. A jury awarded funds to two of three classes that sued Clark Refining and Marketing, since renamed Premcor. One successful class sued based on a chemical accident in 1994 that made numerous high school students ill, and another class was contained in a nuisance complaint against the refinery by neighbors, according to a clerk for Circuit Court Judge Cheryl A. Starks, who presided over the civil trial that ended Monday, and plaintiff attorney Mary Ann Pohl. Most Popular On NBC5.com Click Here To See What's Hot The class for the high school students received $100,000, while the class of neighbors alleging the nuisance received $80 million in compensatory damages and $40 million in punitive damages, the clerk said. A third class, which was suing for family expenses to pay medical bills, did not receive any money in the verdict, Pohl said. In October 1994, a chemical release from the refinery required 48 students from Eisenhower High School in Blue Island to be hospitalized, according to a news report. Premcor shut down the refinery in 2001, according to a news report. Attorney John Berghoff, representing Clark Refining, was not immediately available for comment.

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