Surveillance video caught Dewey Morgan, the plaintiff in the next-scheduled welding MDL trial, getting on and driving a tractor, carrying groceries and doing vigorous yard work. Which was surprising, because Morgan had claimed that fumes from welding had completely disabled him with neurological injuries such that he couldn't do those things, and because Dr. Paul Nausieda had supposedly diagnosed him (as well as approximately 75% of the other plaintiffs in the multi-district litigation) with these disabling injuries. Defendants' suspicions had been raised by a May 2005 police report describing Morgan wrestling his 25-year-old son to the ground. A fire medic who had visited the Morgan residents on several occasions in response to domestic disturbances testified that Morgan had never used a cane or walker. (Morgan had asked for 16-hour-per-day attendant care and structural modifications for his home.) In a deposition, Morgan admitted lying. Nevertheless, he will take his case to a jury.
Plaintiffs had previously said Morgan's claims of welding injury are "representative of hundreds, even thousands, of similarly situated plaintiffs." The defendants have asked for sanctions and judicial scrutiny into the other diagnoses by Nausieda.
In other welding litigation news, an Illinois jury rejected Missourian Steve Boren's claims (Nov. 21) that welding caused his Parkinson's Disease. Defendants have won two out of three cases in Madison County, but, that's little deterrence in the world of lottery litigation when the third verdict is for seven figures. (Steve Horrell, "Jury rejects claims made by welder", Edwardsville Intelligencer, Dec. 5; Ann Knef, "Madison County jury rules for defense in weld rod trial", Madison County Record, Dec. 1).