A liability carrier that lost its bid to refuse to defend claims over a mercury-contaminated day care center must pay its insureds $208,000 in legal fees.

The $208,748 award, ordered July 13 by U.S. District Judge Jerome Simandle, reflects a 35 percent enhancement on a $153,750 lodestar, based largely on the risk that the insureds’ lawyer, who took the coverage case on a contingency basis, would not get paid.

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