The jury returned a defense verdict on the retrial of a case that had involved the largest single victim’s asbestos award in U.S. history. In May of last year the first jury returned a $322 million verdict in favor of Thomas Brown. This man, who worked his entire adult life in the Gulf Coast drilling business as a “roughneck,” claimed he developed asbestos and that it was caused by inhaling raw asbestos powder he used to mix with drilling mud as part of his job. The verdict in the first trial, consisting of $22 million in compensatory damages and $300 million in punitive damages, was against Union Carbide and Chevron Conoco Phillips.
On the appeal by Union Carbide, the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed the verdict, throwing it out completely, and removed the trial judge, saying he had failed to disclose on the record that his parents were involved in similar litigation. The Supreme Court in the decision, also moved the trial of the lawsuit from Smith County to Jones County, where a new jury heard the case and returned a Defense verdict. This was a strange turn of events, but one that definitely worked out well for Union Carbide.
Source: Lawyers USA Online
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