Union Carbide Judge Removed From $322 Million-Verdict Case

Quoted from http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-06/union-carbide-judge-removed-from-322-million-verdict-case.html

Union Carbide Judge Removed From $322 Million-Verdict Case

October 06, 2011, 8:47 PM EDT

By Andrew Harris


Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) — The Mississippi Supreme Court granted a request by Dow Chemical Co.’s Union Carbide unit to disqualify the judge who presided over an asbestos trial that ended with a $322 million verdict against the company.

Union Carbide argued that state Circuit Court Judge Eddie Bowen shouldn’t have presided over the trial that ended on May 4 because his father suffered from asbestosis, a disease caused by the mineral that sickened plaintiff Thomas Brown. The company claimed the defense was denied a fair trial.

The court yesterday ordered Bowen removed and stopped all action on the case until a new judge is appointed, without addressing the status of the verdict.

“We find that a reasonable person, knowing all of the circumstances, would harbor doubts about Judge Bowen’s impartiality in this particular case,” the court said.

Bowen’s father filed two asbestos lawsuits, one of which is still pending, and both his parents had settled a claim with Union Carbide and other defendants based on a diagnosis of asbestosis, according to the court’s ruling, which cited an independent probe by the Dow Chemical unit.

[Article continues at original source]

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