PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The former operator of the Port of Portland’s container terminal has rejected a judge’s reduced $19 million award of damages against the longshore workers’ union after a federal jury in November found the union sabotaged shipping traffic and caused productivity to plummet.
ICTSI Oregon has decided instead to go back to trial solely to determine an appropriate amount, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
“In so doing, ICTSI Oregon, Inc. preserves all rights, claims and defenses,’’ one of its attorneys, Michael Garone, wrote to the court.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has asked U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon to put the matter on hold, as it challenges the jury finding that it was liable for damages and should pay any damage amount to the former terminal operator.
The Philippine-owned ICTSI Oregon, which signed a 25-year lease in 2010 to operate Terminal 6, left the port in March 2017, idled by the labor strife it says the national longshore union and the local chapter encouraged. The company argued at trial that the union engaged in unlawful labor practices over nearly five years and caused tens of millions of dollars in losses to its business.
The jury awarded $93.6 million in damages to ICTSI Oregon. Last month, however, Simon reduced the jury award to $19,061,248, finding the evidence at trial didn’t support the jury’s larger award that the union argued was excessive and would lead to its bankruptcy.
The judge then gave ICTSI Oregon two weeks to either accept the lower amount or he said a new trial would be held solely on the damages amount.