A federal jury on Tuesday awarded more than $6.2 million in an age discrimination suit brought by two scientists who said they were fired from their jobs at a Chester County, Pa., chemical manufacturing firm when the company targeted only older workers in layoffs in 2005.

Significantly, the jury concluded that PQ Corp.’s age discrimination was “willful” — a finding that leads to an automatic doubling of each plaintiff’s back pay award. The jury also awarded hefty compensatory damages — $2 million to plaintiff Roman Wypart and $1.5 million to plaintiff Bonnie Marcus — for the emotional damage they suffered as a result of the discrimination.

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