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ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

3 of 4 Verdicts Against Fluor Unit Rejected

May 21, 1999| Bloomberg News

Three of four verdicts in an age-discrimination lawsuit against a Fluor Daniel Inc. unit cleaning up radioactive wastes at the former Fernald processing plant in Ohio have been thrown out by an appeals court.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected three of a U.S. District Court jury's findings against Fernald Environmental Restoration Management Corp. and its parent, Irvine-based Fluor Daniel. The appeals judges said the evidence did not support jury conclusions.

The jury had awarded a total of about $3.5 million to four men who lost their Fernald jobs in a 1993 layoff. The appeals court nullified the rulings in favor of Joseph Balnites Sr., William Ponsock and Charles Conover III. The court directed the trial judge, Herman Weber, to recalculate the $1.2-million award to Robert Skalka, which most likely will be reduced.

Skalka, then 54, was the oldest member of his peer group and was laid off despite being rated the most competent, the judges wrote.

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