"Mississippi Judge Tosses $322 Million Asbestos Verdict"

"JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi judge has thrown out a $322 million lawsuit verdict that had been hailed as the largest asbestos award for a single plaintiff in U.S. history.

The case began to unravel last year after defense lawyers asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to remove the presiding judge because he allegedly neglected to disclose that his parents had been involved in similar asbestos litigation against one of the same companies. A specially appointed judge, William Coleman, issued an order vacating the verdict and award on Dec. 27.

The case from Smith County, Miss., involved a lawsuit filed by Thomas Brown, who claimed he had inhaled asbestos dust while mixing drilling mud sold and manufactured by Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. and Union Carbide Corporation."

Holbrook Mohr reports for the Associated Press January 3, 2012.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012