Footwear retailer Brown Shoe Co has been ordered to pay more than $1 million by a Colorado jury for environmental contamination at one of its plants.

The St Louis-based company, which operates the Famous Footwear and Naturalizer retail chains, was found to be 44 per cent responsible for the contamination of a Denver manufacturing site that bordered on houses.

Plaintiffs in the case, the residents of several neighbourhoods in the plant's vicinity, had originally asked for $381m in punitive damages in exchange for allegedly lowered property values, annoyance and discomfort.

However, the jury entered a verdict against the company of only $1,006,918.

The Colorado Department of Transportation was found to be 45 per cent responsible for the charges, although it was not named in the lawsuit.