In its latest move to clean up abuse of Mississippi�s legal system, the Mississippi Supreme Court severed a multi-plaintiff asbestos case yesterday, calling the joinder of the 264 claims �a perversion of the judicial system.� HarrisMartin, Miss. Sup. Ct. Severs Asbestos Claims, Calls Case "A Perversion" of System, Aug. 26 (includes link to opinion).
The court took issue with the plaintiffs� apparent failure to provide core information about the workplace exposure claims against the 137 defendants named in the case, such as �when they were exposed, where they were exposed, by whom they were exposed, or even if they were exposed� -- essentially anything that would suggest they had an actual cause of action. The Mississippi Supreme Court recently has tackled other questionable litigation practices in the state, for example, tightening procedures to stop the unwarranted mass consolidation of personal injury claims that won some Mississippi jurisdictions the dubious title of �Judicial Hellholes� from the American Tort Reform Association. See Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc. v. Armond, No. 2003-IA-00398-SCT (Miss. Feb. 19, 2004); Court reverses Propulsid Award, bigclassaction.com, May 13 (discussing two additional Mississippi Supreme Court cases that "build on and expand the joinder limitations expressed in Armond"); ATRA, Bringing Justice to Judicial Hellholes 2003.