Politics
5:30 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Nixon vetoes legal shield for old lead mines

Credit Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that would have shielded a Missouri lead mining company from punitive damages in some contamination lawsuits.

Nixon said he rejected the bill Friday because it would have carved out an exception for a particular industry and applied retroactively to lawsuits already filed.

The measure would have protected Doe Run Resources Corp. from punitive damages in lead-illness lawsuits if a judge determines it's making "good faith" efforts to clean up contaminated mining sites. It would not have capped legal awards for other categories of damages such as medical costs or lost wages.

Doe Run said the veto "creates uncertainty for the future of our operations" and its remediation work at the old mines. It expressed hope that lawmakers will override the veto.