TSA workers awarded millions after jury finds RI Airport Corp. negligent in 2015 carbon monoxide incident

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Though his clients Carolyn Scire and Daniel Traficante were awarded millions stemming from being injured in a carbon monoxide incident at T.F. Green Airport, Attorney Jeff Mega said they would “take back their health in a second.”

“They would give back the entire thing, plus some, to be back to how they were June 30, 2015, the day before this happened,” Mega said.

A jury on Wednesday found the R.I. Airport Corporation was negligent on July 1, 2015 when carbon monoxide entered the office of the two Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) workers near a Southwest Airlines gate at T.F. Green.

Scire and Traficante, along with his wife, Sharon, alleged in a civil lawsuit the two workers suffered permanent, life-altering brain injuries from the carbon monoxide exposure.

According to Mega, both Scire and Traficante have similar deficits, which impact their speech, cognition and overall ability to function.

During the month-long trial, Mega said his team brought forth several expert witnesses, including a neuro-psychiatrist who specializes in CO cases, a neuro-radiologist and a toxicologist. According to Mega, Traficante and Scire were also present for much of the trial.

Mega told 12 News Traficante and Scire think the jury “got it right” as far as RIAC’s role in the incident goes, and “are glad after six years there’s some accountability.”

RIAC’s trial counsel, Todd White, of Adler Pollock & Sheehan, provided a statement to 12 News following the conclusion of the trial:

The health and safety of everyone at the airport is our client’s top priority.  Regardless of our vigorous defense that RIAC was not liable we feel for the plaintiffs and their ailments.  We are disappointed with the verdict relative to RIAC’s liability for negligence, which we disputed at trial, and we are working with them to consider our legal options moving forward.  As the evidence showed, this was an isolated incident involving federal employees, in a workplace leased by the federal government, with an HVAC system of their design. We know that RIAC will continue to make health and safety a priority at the airport for all who visit or work in the facility.

The verdict amounts to a total of $46 million with interest, according to Mega.

Scire and Traficante were awarded $42 million dollars for bodily injury, plus past, present and future pain and suffering.

Traficante’s wife Sharon was awarded nearly $4.4 million for “loss of consortium, society, companionship and affection for her husband, Daniel Traficante.”

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