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Kansas town loses bid for new trial over pollution

Associated Press - August 24, 2014 9:17 pm

Kansas town loses bid for new trial over pollution

A southeast Kansas town has lost its latest bid to retry a class-action lawsuit claiming BP of North America should do more to clean up industrial pollution from a refinery that closed in 1970.

The Kansas Court of Appeals on Friday rejected the request from residents and officials of Neodesha (nee-OH’-duh-shay), who sued in 2004 for more than $478 million in cleanup costs plus damages.

A jury ruled for BP in 2007, but the trial judge later set the verdict aside, concluding he gave jurors improper instructions. The Kansas Supreme Court reinstated the jury’s verdict in 2012, prompting the plaintiffs to file for a retrial.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the Court of Appeals acknowledged problems with the first trial but said it found no reason for a new one.