The plaintiff’s lawyers in the Smith County asbestos drilling mud verdict first reported in this post have issued a press release. You can view the press release here.

The case was Brown v. Union Carbide and Connoco Phillips. Drilling mud is used on oil rigs to push down the drill pipe and force oil to the surface. The plaintiff was a 48–year old who was diagnosed with asbestosis and requires oxygen 24/7.

The jury apportioned fault at 50% per defendant—there were two defendants.

The defendants were CP Chem and Union Carbide. CP Chem was represented by Alex Coscullela of Adams and Reese in Houston, Jeff Trotter with Adams and Reese in Jackson, Robert Johnson of Natchez and David Garner of Raleigh. 

Union Carbide was represented by Michael Terry with Hartline Dacus in Corpus Christi and Marcy Croft with Forman Perry in Jackson.

Defense lawyers from other firms complained to me about the comment in my last post about large defense firms not letting young partners first chair big trials. They are trying to spin it as an insult of Ms. Croft. My comment was on the how the system usually works, not Ms. Croft’s legal abilities. I do not know Ms. Croft, but she has a reputation in the Jackson legal community as a good and serious lawyer.

Plaintiff’s counsel represents 600 plaintiffs on other similar cases pending in Mississippi.

There is also a rumor that plaintiff’s counsel went in Char in Jackson last night, had the band play Queen’s “We are the Champions” and ran around the place "taking a victory lap" giving everyone high fives. Really?    

  • pinebelt

    Gene did voir dire, closing. Eddie was the Judge. Defendants let corporate attorney do most. David did voir dire for defendants and was basically local counsel for appearances only. I can assure you that Gene was not at Char period. As always he was at the office working that night. May be wrong but believe that punatives are limited to 40 million(20 each defendant). $50,000 in future medical so Eddie will probably grant a remittitur on actual’s.

  • Anderson

    I don’t know which would display worse taste, the song or the venue. Char has gone doooooown under its new chef. I can grill better steak at home.

  • RG

    i hope the plaintiff’s lawyers didn’t do that but it wouldn’t surprise me. i doubt a group from texas gives a rip about how their actions reflect on those of us who live and practice here.

  • Ian

    I am curious as to whether the Defendants attempted to remove based on improper joinder before trial. Does anyone know?

  • Anonymous

    There were several Mississippi defendants who settled or were eventually dismissed. However, these cases were filed many years ago, so the removal deadline long expired. They were also filed under the old venue statute and no cap on noneconomic damages. Not sure about which punitive damages statute applied.

  • Blowery

    Having worked on the defense side of asbestos and other mass tort cases for several years, I can verify that jubilant victory celebrations are not confined to the plaintiffs side. I can recall one such party after getting a zero liabilty jury verdict for our client from the CDC in New Orleans. That party spanned the French Quarter from one end to the other. We even had tee-shirts made with a picture of the trial team on the front and “What Asbestos Problem” on the back. That was a good 15 years ago (but I still have the tee shirt)!