Jury awards almost $1 million to Cuero man hit with West Nile virus

Aug. 16, 2012 at 3:16 a.m.

A DeWitt County jury awarded a verdict totaling $980,000 in favor of Billy Nami against Union Pacific Railroad on Thursday.

The jury deliberated about 21/2 hours before returning the verdict.

The jury decided Union Pacific was negligent in failing to warn Nami, of Cuero, about the threat of West Nile virus in Brazoria County, according to a news release from his attorney Michael Sheppard, of Cuero.

Nami was working on the railroad in Brazoria County after Hurricane Ike in 2008 when he was infected with West Nile virus. Nami developed encephalitis and has suffered the after-effects ever since, according to the news release.

The jury attributed 80 percent of the negligence to Union Pacific Railroad and 20 percent to Nami.

Nami was also represented by attorney Marc Zito, of Houston.

Sheppard said they are very grateful for the jury's hard work.

"Mr. Nami feels vindicated by the verdict of the jury (members) and we are grateful to them."



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