A federal appeals court has thrown out a jury verdict and a $926 million award to thousands of Colorado homeowners in a lawsuit involving plutonium contamination from a now-defunct nuclear weapons plant.
A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled Friday that homeowners failed to prove their properties were damaged or they suffered bodily injury from plutonium that blew onto their properties from Rocky Flats northwest of Denver.
The panel ruled that the jury reached its verdict in February 2006 on faulty instructions that incorrectly stated the law. The judges wrote that the presence of plutonium on properties south of Rocky Flats, which closed in 1989 for safety and environmental reasons, at best shows only a risk, not actual damage.