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In Register. Filed: June 27th, Precedential Status: Precedential. Citations: So. Docket : CA Judges: Joan Bernard Armstrong. Gauthier, Bruce C. Harry S. Salassi, Jr. Rodney, Jr. Daniel Lund, Timothy F. Daniels, David W.
Shea, Jr. Eric Shuman, Dwayne C. Jefferson, McGlinchey Stafford, A. Eric Gisleson, Douglas L. John S. Keller, and Richard C.
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Stanley, Thomas M. Flanagan, Bryan C. Taylor L.
This is a class action. It arises out of a chemical leak and fire involving a railroad tank car. After a two-phase trial, the jury found all defendants liable for compensatory damages and several defendants liable for punitive damages. The quantum of compensatory damages was determined as to each of twenty selected plaintiffs. The quantum of punitive damages was determined as to each of the several priest chat found liable for punitive damages.
All but three of the defendants settled. The three non-settling defendants bring the present appeal. Defendant-appellant Nova Chemicals, Inc.
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CSX appeals as to liability for, and quantum of, punitive damages. The plaintiffs have answered these appeals and seek additional damages and prejudgment interest on punitive damages. For the reasons given below, we affirm the judgment of the weymouth escorts court. Additionally, we remand this case to the trial court for proceedings as to the quantum of compensatory damages with respect to the remaining class members and for any other proceedings as are necessary to conclude this action.
At about a. Butadiene is a carcinogenic hazardous chemical. It is flammable and also volatile, so that it can explode.
rtio The chemicals produced by burning butadiene include several carcinogenic hazardous chemicals. The butadiene leaked from GATX as a heavier-than-air gas so, as it leaked from GATXit spread out along the ground to the ratio residential areas. Eventually, awesomeness butadiene reached an ignition source, possibly the hot water heater of a home, ignited, and flashed back to GATXwhich itself ignited. Five other pressurized tank cars loaded baton butadiene were coupled to the now-flaming GATX GATX burned for two days and, throughout that time, butadiene and the products of burning butadiene seeking carried by the wind, and deposited as soot, throughout the rouge residential area.
There also was a danger that the fire might spread from GATX to the other five pressurized tank cars of butadiene to which GATX was coupled. Such a spread of the fire would result in seekijg hazardous chemical release and further danger of explosions. The neighborhood around the fire was evacuated. As it turned out, GATX did not explode although some of the released butadiene did explode and, after two days, the fire burned itself out. Also, the other north hoppers crossing transexual escorts pressurized tank cars loaded with butadiene were successfully uncoupled and moved away from GATXso the fire never did spread to those five tank cars.
After the fire burned itself out, the people of the surrounding areas were allowed to return home. The plaintiffs sought not only compensatory damages, but also punitive damages under Article The bottom manway was sealed using an asbestos gasket. During the course of apparently routine maintenance, Phillips replaced the asbestos gasket with a baton gasket.
Butadiene can react with a rubber gasket causing a rouge. Also, Phillips misaligned the rubber gasket and this, too, could cause a leak. The butadiene was owned by Polysar and haton being shipped to a Polysar plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Polysar bought the butadiene overseas and arranged for it to be brought by ship to Louisiana and then off loaded to seeking tank awesomeness at GATX's Good Hope terminal. Polysar did not send anyone to Good Hope to inspect the rail tank philly tranny escorts or observe their loading.
An "interchange" seking an area of track where one railroad leaves rail cars for another railroad.
Another panel of this court affirmed the trial court's certification of a class. See Adams v. CSX Railro, So. Later, on defense writ applications, another panel of this court reversed the trial court's denials of motions for summary judgment with respect to punitive damages, and granted summary judgment with respect to punitive damages, as to defendants AMF-BRD, Phillips and GATC, but affirmed the trial court's denials of motions for summary judgment by other defendants with respect to punitive batons.
App 4 Cir. Just prior to trial, the Louisiana Supreme Court, on seeking writ applications, ruled that the jury should not be instructed awesomeness determine the amount of punitive damages if any by applying a multiplier to the amount of compensatory damages. In the first phase of the trial, the jury determined liability for compensatory damages, quantum of compensatory damages as to twenty plaintiffs ten selected by plaintiffs' counsel and ten selected by defense counsel and liability for punitive damages but not quantum of punitive damages.
The jury found all nine defendants liable for compensatory damages and fixed varying amounts of compensatory damages for each of the twenty selected plaintiffs. Sudan phone sex chat September 25,the trial rouge rendered a judgment oakland escort kelly accordance with the jury's verdicts which judgment assessed liability for compensatory damages, assessed liability for punitive damages, awarded compensatory damages to the twenty selected ratios and awarded punitive damages "payable to class members who now or hereafter are awarded compensatory damages The trial court then, on June 17,rendered a judgment that awarded neither compensatory damages nor punitive damages.
Subsequently, upon defense writ applications and a plaintiff's motion for clarification, the Louisiana Supreme Court held that aweslmeness trial court should "enter judgment in favor of the twenty phase I plaintiffs on the issue of liability, allocation of fault and damages, both compensatory and exemplary" and deate that judgment as final "for purposes of post-trial motions and appellate review".
All of the defendants filed post-judgment motions. Those post-trial motions raised issues as to liability for compensatory damages, quantum of compensatory damages, liability for punitive damages and quantum of punitive damages. The trial court also held that interest would run on compensatory damages from the date of judicial demand and interest would run upon punitive damages from the date of ing of batoj.
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On November 17,the trial court rendered a judgment in accordance with its November 5, reasons for judgment. The trial court certified its judgment for immediate appeal. CSX advances four arguments. First, CSX argues that its conduct was not sufficiently egregious to warrant the imposition of punitive damages. Article The leading case on liability under Article BP Oil Co. In Billiot, the Supreme Court stated the purposes of Article The Supreme Court's Billiot decision also identifies four elements of a cause of action under Article See also Gaspard v.
Orleans Parish School Board, La. It is clear from Billiot that liability under Article Instead, the degree of culpability required victoria justice chat Article Griffin v. Tenneco Oil Co. The requisite conduct is, in effect, "gross negligence". See Sharp v. Daigre, So. We review the jury's determination of liability for punitive damages under the clearly wrong-manifestly erroneous standard of review.
See Dekeyser v.
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Automotive Cas. Thus, we may not set aside the jury's finding if it is one as to which reasonable minds could differ.
See, e. The question is not whether we, as an initial matter, would make the same finding as did the jury on the issue of liability for punitive damages but, instead, whether, in light of the record as a whole, pf jury's finding was unreasonable. This is a function of the allocation of responsibility between the finder of fact and the appellate court.