MILWAUKEE, Wis., Feb. 1, 2002 – The Supreme Court of Wisconsin today denied the petition for review of a Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision which overturned the $100 million punitive damage award against Wisconsin Electric (WE) in the company’s appeal against the City of West Allis, Kearney & Trecker Corp., and Giddings & Lewis, Inc.
“We believe the appellate court’s ruling was well-reasoned and legally correct,” said Larry Salustro, senior vice president and general counsel for WE. “We are pleased the Supreme Court has decided it did not need to be reviewed.”
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision, issued September 5, 2001, overturned the trial court’s determinations on punitive damages and sanctions against WE, ordered a new trial on the punitive damages question only, and concluded that the sanctions imposed by the trial court were unjustified. In the original action, plaintiffs alleged that WE had deposited cyanide contaminated wood chips in 1959 at two sites in West Allis, Wis., owned by the plaintiffs. WE did not appeal the jury’s award of clean-up costs.
The Supreme Court decision means the case will be sent back to the trial court for a re-trial on the punitive damage issue.
Wisconsin Electric-Wisconsin Gas, the principal utility subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corp. (NYSE: WEC), serves more than one million electric customers and more than 960,000 natural gas customers throughout Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Visit our company’s Web site at www.WE-WG.com. Learn about Wisconsin Energy Corp. by visiting www.WisconsinEnergy.com