A jury awarded a former trucker from Oroville, CA, $1. 4 million after he was permanently disabled by exposure to a toxic chemical fertilizer.
His lawyer says 67-year-old Raymond Kean needs a lung transplant after he was sprayed with the liquid ammonia fertilizer he was pumping from his tanker truck in 2005.
According to the Chico Enterprise-Record, Kean’s employer, B.C. Leaseco, was accused of removing flapper-type safety valves from the pumping hose on his truck and on 10 other trucks so they would pump faster.
A finding by the jury that B.C Leaseco had acted with “malice, oppression or fraud” leaves the trucking firm open to potential punitive damages when the trial resumes in January 2009.
The Enterprise-Record reported that Kean was a 30-year veteran trucker.