Perhaps the public has become desensitized to the enormity of some jury verdicts. Had Monday’s $117 million award against Phillips Chemical been rendered last year it would have ranked as the nation’s twelfth largest verdict. This for a case in which the jury found Phillips neither intentionally nor knowingly caused injury.
Realistically, one cannot build a plant in which no accidents will occur. So we are left with two choices: Don’t make the product or build a plant as safely as we can and fairly compensate victims of accidents. The vast majority of the Phillips award--$110 million in punitive damages—had nothing to do with compensating the family.
Cora Sue Mach