Texas Jury Awards Nearly $1M to West Nile Victim

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

CUERO, Texas - A Texas jury has awarded nearly $1 million to a Union Pacific worker who sued the railroad giant after claiming he was infected with West Nile virus while on the job.

A DeWitt County jury on Thursday found Union Pacific partially liable for Billy Nami contracting the virus in 2008. His attorney, Michael Sheppard, says Nami had been sent to work in a grassy, swampy area swarming with bugs along the Texas coast after Hurricane Ike.

Sheppard says Nami was never warned about the presence of West Nile and wasn't given repellant. Sheppard says the jury assigned 80 percent of the negligence to Union Pacific.

The jury awarded the 62-year-old Nami $980,000 in damages.

Union Pacific spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza did not immediately comment on the verdict.

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