Record Asbestos Verdict Against Chevron Phillips Overturned

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

The case in Smith County, Mississippi, involved a lawsuit by Thomas Brown against Chevron Phillips Chemical of The Woodlands and Dow Chemical’s Union Carbide unit. The plaintiff claimed he inhaled asbestos fibers manufactured by the two companies while mixing drilling mud on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

The case began unraveling for Brown after lawyers for Union Carbide asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to remove Judge Eddie Bowen, who allegedly neglected to disclose his father was involved in similar asbestos litigation.

The Mississippi Supreme Court granted Union Carbide’s request. The new judge, William Coleman, vacated the verdict and award in a December 27th ruling just made public.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...