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The Nation

June 16, 1989

A federal court jury hearing a mock trial in Cincinnati said it would award neighbors of a Department of Energy plant $136 million in damages from the former operator of the facility, which processes uranium used in producing nuclear weapons. The jury, in a non-binding verdict intended to encourage a settlement, ruled that National Lead of Ohio Inc. operated the Feed Materials Production Center at Fernald in a way that lowered property values and caused emotional distress to neighbors. The company, which operated the plant under contract for the government from 1951 through 1985, and its parent company, National Lead Industries Inc., are defendants in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 14,000 people. The Energy Department estimates that 383,000 pounds of radioactive dust have been released from faulty filters since the plant opened.

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