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Judge tosses historic $322M asbestos verdict

SMITH COUNTY — 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 for the plaintiff after defense lawyers asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to remove the original judge because he allegedly neglected to disclose his parents were involved in similar asbestos litigation.

The case from Smith County involved a lawsuit filed by Thomas Brown, who claimed he inhaled asbestos dust while mixing drilling mud used in oil and gas exploration and manufactured by Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. and Union Carbide.

The Mississippi Supreme Court granted Union Carbide’s request to remove Judge Eddie Bowen. Special Judge William Coleman vacated the verdict and award in a Dec. 27 ruling.

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