Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Union Carbide Asbestos Verdict Erased by Mississippi Judge

Don't Miss Out —
Follow us on:

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- A $322 million jury verdict in an asbestos case against Dow Chemical Co.’s Union Carbide unit and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. was overturned by a Mississippi judge.

The companies asked the state Supreme Court to overturn the verdict, saying Smith County Circuit Judge Eddie Bowen had a conflict of interest because his parents had asbestos legal claims, including one against Union Carbide.

The state’s high court removed Bowen from the case last year. His replacement, Special Judge William F. Coleman, said on Dec. 22 that the companies’ request to remove Bowen and vacate the verdict were “well taken and should be granted.”

The May 4, 2011 verdict was the largest ever made to a single asbestos case plaintiff, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. State punitive-damages restrictions would have reduced the verdict by at least $260 million. Coleman’s order doesn’t include information on a new trial. The jury award was the ninth-largest in the U.S. overall in 2011, according to Bloomberg data.

Dow Chemical spokesman Scot Wheeler wasn’t immediately available to comment on the judge’s order. Bowen’s court administrator, Judy Herrington, said he was out of the office and wouldn’t comment on the case.

Plaintiff Thomas Brown claimed he developed asbestosis after being exposed to the toxic fibers while mixing drilling mud on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. He claimed Union Carbide and Chevron Phillips knew asbestos is toxic and didn’t warn him.

The case is Brown v. Phillips Co., 2006-196, Circuit Court, Smith County, Mississippi (Raleigh).

To contact the reporter on this story: Laurence Viele Davidson in Atlanta at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.