BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — A Montana jury has awarded $36.5 million in damages to an Oregon man who suffers from lung disease because of exposure to asbestos while working at a vermiculite mine in Libby.
The jury on Friday awarded Ralph Hutt $6.5 million in compensatory damages and $30 million in punitive damages.
Hutt was one of more than 880 plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against W.R. Grace & Co.’s workers compensation insurance provider, Maryland Casualty Company.
A judge overseeing a special asbestos claims court in Montana chose Hutt’s case as the lead case to settle complex legal questions fur future cases.
Zurich Insurance, which acquired Maryland Casualty, declined to comment.