Mobile Register

The widow of a man killed in an explosion at the Louisiana Land & Exploration Co.'s Mobile Refinery in 1986 was awarded $1 million in a jury verdict on Wednesday.

The Mobile County Circuit Court jury deliberated for almost two hours before awarding the verdict to Sharon Fleece, the widow of Robert Fleece. The jury verdict was against Campbell Piping Contractors Inc.

The jury found in favor of Worldwide Construction Services, another company that had been sued in connection with the explosion.

The trial before Judge Robert Kendall lasted three days.

Fleece was one of three people killed in the explosion, which critically injured two other people. The explosion occurred on May 28, 1986.

Lawsuits involving the other four victims were settled out of court.

Steve Olen, one of Mrs. Fleece's two attorneys, said his evidence showed "there was a defective piece of pipe" that caused the explosion. He said the issue at trial was "who put it there," Campbell or Worldwide.

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