Dow, Boeing ordered to pay $926 million for nuke pollution
A federal judge ordered Dow Chemical and Boeing to pay a total of $926 million for nuclear pollution at the now-closed Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant near Denver, following a jury trial that ended in 2006. The class-action suit against the companies began 18 years ago and involves some 12,000 area homeowners seeking compensation for property damages and health risks from plutonium contamination. Dow ran the nuclear weapons facility for the U.S. Energy Department from 1953 to 1975; Rockwell International, which Boeing bought in 1996, took over management from 1975 until 1989 when it closed. The judge in the class-action case ordered Dow to fork over $653 million and Rockwell $508 million for compensatory damages, but then capped the amount to actually be collected at $725 million. Dow was also ordered to pay exemplary damages of $111 million and Rockwell $89 million. However, the judge then stayed his own ruling, so none of the money will be paid until after the companies exhaust their appeals. And even then, both Dow and Boeing maintain that it’s ultimately the DOE that will have to pay since they were just contractors.