A jury yesterday awarded nearly $7.8 million to the family of a jockey killed at Parx Racing after a race horse - spooked by roaming chickens - threw, dragged and kicked him.
Mario Calderon, 55, of Croydon, Bucks County, died after suffering 11 broken ribs and a bleed on his brain in the May 2010 mishap at the racetrack formerly known as Philadelphia Park, according to his attorney Michael A. Trunk.
A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury deliberated about six hours before announcing its verdict late yesterday afternoon. The verdict included $5 million in punitive damages. A Parx spokeswoman couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
The lawsuit claimed that Parx created an unsafe work environment by letting chickens roam free on the racetrack, even though a jockey previously had been injured when a chicken frightened his horse. The chickens had been brought there many years earlier by horse owners and trainers.