The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a default judgment that led to a nearly $4 million award for a man who was seriously injured while unloading logs at a Frenchtown pulp mill in 2008.
As part of Smurfit-Stone Container Corp.’s 2009 bankruptcy case, the company agreed to accept a complaint from Allen Ginn of Bonner in exchange for limiting the amount of potential damages. However, the company did not meet a reply deadline.
District Judge John Larson entered a default ruling in 2012, saying Smurfit-Stone was liable for Ginn’s injuries, which included a brain injury and fractures to his back and pelvis. In January 2014, a Missoula County jury awarded Ginn and his wife $3.97 million for lost earnings, future care and other damages.
Smurfit-Stone appealed, but the justices ruled Tuesday that Smurfit-Stone willfully defaulted by ignoring the complaint.
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