A DeKalb County jury has awarded $16.5 million to the family of a Bhutanese refugee killed in a van accident, blaming the maker of a tire on the van and the driver carrying 14 people to work at a Perry chicken plant.

The trial over the death of 50-year-old Kharka Chhetri is the first of 12 cases stemming from the tire blowout that plaintiffs’ lawyers say caused the van to strike the median guardrail and flip.

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