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$322M verdict for phantom asbestosis

Thomas Brown, who has shortened breath, sued Union Carbide, claiming he came down with asbestosis from exposure to drilling mud, but his own physicians denied it. Nor did he have any evidence of lost wages. Never mind, said a Smith County, Mississippi, jury after some fishy rulings by Judge Eddie Bowen: they compounded a ridiculous $11 million for future medical expense and $11 million for fear of future disease with an even more ridiculous $300 million in punitive damages. Now Union Carbide seeks to throw out the verdict on the grounds that the judge failed to disclose, much less recuse himself over, the fact that the judge's father sued and settled an asbestos case against Union Carbide. Nearly 9% of the adult population of Smith County has filed asbestos claims, but the motion to move the trial out of county was denied. [Fisher @ Forbes; Clarion Ledger; LNL; ILR]

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.