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May 10th, 2011

Automatic ‘Hellhole’

By virtue of a single verdict, rural Smith County, Mississippi has vaulted itself into contention for being named a Judicial Hellhole.

According to local newspaper The Laurel Leader Call, the “jury has awarded a 48-year-old Brookhaven man the single largest plaintiff’s asbestos verdict in United States history.

“In a case against Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) and Union Carbide Corporation, Thomas ‘Tony’ Brown Jr., was awarded $322 million dollars for future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.”

No one begrudges Mr. Brown or any other truly sickened asbestos plaintiff fair and just compensation.  But a verdict this gigantic, for one plaintiff, stinks of backwoods justice and will certainly earn the judge and the county some unwelcomed attention in the next Judicial Hellholes report.

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