Jury: Sacramento County Owes Miners $105 Million

A federal jury has ordered Sacramento County to pay more than $105 million to gravel miners who alleged the county shut their operation down to favor a larger mining corporation. The staggering decision was handed down Tuesday after a day and a half of deliberations.

The jury awarded gravel miner Jay Schneider $30 million in compensatory damages. Miners Joseph and Yvette Hardesty were ordered to receive $75 million. The three individuals ran a joint mining operation together.

In addition to the compensation, three county employees—a resources manager, a former senior planner, and the former chairman of the Board of Supervisors—have been ordered to pay punitive damages amounting to a combined $1,775,000.

The county’s attorney, Gregory P. O’Dea, says he will appeal.