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May 2, 2013 11:11 AM by Associated Press

Juror: Landmark EEOC verdict in Iowa sends message

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A juror says she hoped to send a message by supporting a $240 million verdict in favor of 32 mentally disabled men who were abused by a Texas company.

Robin Griebel of Davenport told The Associated Press that the former employees of Henry's Turkey Service "had their lives taken away from them" while they lived in deplorable conditions at a rural Iowa bunkhouse and worked at a turkey processing plant.

She says the eight-member jury wanted to let the men know "there are people out there that do care" about them. She says jurors also wanted to tell the public and employers that in the future, "this just cannot happen again."

The federal jury returned the verdict Wednesday. It is the largest ever obtained by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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