While headlines often tout substantial monetary awards for injured workers, the intricacies of such compensation might remain shrouded in mystery. Behind every high-stakes verdict lies a meticulous process of presenting compelling evidence to substantiate the array of damages claimed. In a recent case involving workers at a Firestone Polymers plant, the multifaceted nature of damages is unveiled, shedding light on the need for robust legal representation to navigate the diverse categories of compensation.
Workers at Firestone Polymers plant near CITGO Petroleum Company’s refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, were exposed to higher than permitted sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide levels. Eight individuals who worked at Firestone filed a lawsuit against CITGO. At trial, the court held the employees’ exposure to the higher than permitted levels of sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide caused their injuries, including headaches, coughs, eye and sinus irritation, and sore throats. The trial court awarded damages based on the workers’ injuries over three years. Although CITGO agreed it was liable, it appealed the damages awarded to the injured workers.
On appeal, CITGO argued the trial court’s award of damages for fear of future injury was duplicative of the mental anguish damages. CITGO also argued there was insufficient evidence to support the fear of future injury and medical expense damages awarded to the workers.