DBJ secured the largest verdict ever in St. Louis County when a jury awarded $48.4 million to an energy company that sued Chicago Title Insurance Co. for negligence. The award was also the largest plaintiff verdict in Missouri that year.
Abengoa Bioenergy planned to build an ethanol plant in Kansas and was required to notify affected residents of its plan. Abengoa hired Chicago Title to identify the residents so they could be notified.
Abengoa alleged Chicago Title provided an incomplete list of residents, allowing opposed residents to challenge the plan. Abengoa had to build in Illinois instead, leading to lost profits, increased labor and construction costs, and other damages.
“If you don’t give notice correctly, then everything afterwards is void,” said lead counsel Grant L. Davis of DBJ.
Chicago Title acknowledged it had made a mistake, but argued it wasn’t negligent and damages were less than $50,000. Instead the jury awarded Abengoa the $48 million damage figure calculated by Michael Lewis, the economics expert retained by DBJ.
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