Jury: Hyundai Owes $240M in Punitive Damages - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Jury: Hyundai Owes $240M in Punitive Damages

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POLSON, Mont. (AP) - A Montana jury has ordered Hyundai to pay $240 million in punitive damages after finding that a manufacturing defect in a Hyundai vehicle caused a crash that killed two Missoula cousins in July 2011.

Lake County jurors late Tuesday awarded actual damages of $1 million to each parent and $500,000 to each sibling of 19-year-old Trevor Olson and 14-year-old Tanner Olson, who died in the head-on crash. Jurors also ruled Trevor Olson's estate should receive $2.6 million for lost earnings.

It's unclear if the punitive damages will stand. Montana has a $10 million cap on such damages, but that's being challenged after a District Court judge in Butte ruled it wasn't high enough to deter future wrongdoing by wealthy companies.

A Hyundai spokesman said Wednesday he would contact the company's legal department before commenting.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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