May 7, 2011 in Nation/World

Man wins $322 million in asbestos case

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. – A jury has awarded $322 million to a Mississippi man who claimed he inhaled asbestos dust while mixing drilling mud sold and manufactured by Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. and Union Carbide Corp.

Allen Hossley, an attorney who represented Thomas C. Brown, said Friday he believed the verdict was the largest awarded in a single plaintiff’s asbestos case.

The jury awarded $300 million in punitive damages and $22 million in actual damages. The verdict was handed down Wednesday after more than two weeks of testimony.

The jury found the companies liable for defectively designing their product and failing to provide an adequate warning to workers, Hossley said.

Brown, 48, has asbestosis and requires oxygen 24 hours a day, Hossley said.

“At the age of 16, he went into the oil field and for a period from 1979 to the mid-’80s mixed asbestos drilling additive, and then 30 years later had this diagnosis,” Hossley said.

Hossley said the drilling mud was sold by Chevron Phillips Chemical and manufactured by Union Carbide.

Attorney Alex Cosculluela said Chevron Phillips Chemical will appeal.

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