A jury in Jefferson County, Ky., returned a $50.5 million verdict, including $25 million in punitive damages, against Kosmos Cement Co. and other defendants over the death of a contractor in 2016, reported the Louisville Courier Journal.
The widow of Richard “Joey” Snyder and his three children sued Kosmos, CEMEX (then majority owner of Kosmos), Huelsman & Sweeney Construction Co., and Lone Star Industries. Snyder, who worked for Huelsman, died on Aug. 9, 2016, from multiple injuries related to a mechanical failure of a steel cable-driven pully system at the Louisville facility.
A pretrial memo said the pully system’s manufacturer, PEBCO, alerted Kosmos about “non-functioning safety features” but Kosmos failed to correct them.
“We are pleased with the verdict and think it fairly recognizes Joey’s value as a husband, father and provider that this family lost as a result of CEMEX and Kosmos’s unsafe plant,” said Chad Gardner, a lawyer for the family. “We hope the $25 million punitive damages award will result in improving plants safety and conditions for all cement plant workers.”
Kosmos Cement is now owned by Eagle Materials.