Jury Awards $6.5M in Suit Against 4 Pennsylvania Officials

March 8, 2010

A federal jury is awarding $6.5 million in damages to the one-time operator of an industrial textile plant that accused four Pennsylvania environmental protection officials of improper regulatory conduct.

Jurors concluded that the officials didn’t believe their conduct was proper when they denied permits for the Bethlehem plant until it dealt with an odor it was allegedly emitting.

The decision was filed Thursday in Philadelphia federal court.

The jury found that the permit denial hurt the ability of MFS Inc. to operate or sell its plant, which is closed.

The company says the Environmental Protection Department hadn’t proven that the plant was the source of the odor or that it was a significant public nuisance.

Department spokesman Neil Weaver says the agency disagrees with the finding and intends to appeal.

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