[See Updated Post: $6.5 Million Miscarriage of Justice Corrected, Part 2]
Yesterday, federal judge Slomsky for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rightly overturned a $6.5 million jury verdict in the MFS, Inc case against employees of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The jury verdict was shocking, a miscarriage of justice, and ruined my February 17th, 2010 when I was Secretary of DEP.
Of course, for the DEP employees who were found personally liable for doing their jobs of enforcing air pollution rules, the verdict was deeply disturbing. The case also sent a chill through the ranks of DEP, with many employees understandably worried about the implications of this case for enforcement duties.
And within days of the verdict, not too surprisingly, some companies and individuals who did not like DEP enforcement started to threaten "MFS" suits. A new club had been created, and it was quickly picked up and swung.
The huge award received major press coverage around the state, including front page coverage in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Now unfortunately there has been little or no press coverage of the Judge overturning the jury verdict.
Congratulations to Susan Shinkman DEP's excellent General Counsel that quarterbacked the post-trial motions. Most of all congratulations and a BIG THANK YOU to Mike Bedrin and the other employees who were put through the wringer for serving the public and protecting our health.
More on this important case later.