State High Court Removes ‘Automatic Hellhole’ Judge from Asbestos Case in Mississippi
Mississippi’s supreme court yesterday issued a unanimous order that removes a biased trial judge from further involvement with a record-setting asbestos case — a case we reported earlier this year as automatic grounds for designation as a Judicial Hellhole.
Smith County Circuit Court Judge Eddie H. Bowen failed to disclose before trial that both of his his parents had previously settled asbestos claims with one of the defendant companies, and that one of his father’s two asbestos lawsuits is still pending. He then went about conducting an astoundingly unfair trial that resulted in a verdict comprising $22 million in compesnatory damages and a whopping $300 million in punitive damages for a single plaintiff.
According to Law360.com, the high court ordered Judge Bowen to recuse himself from any further proceedings and stayed the case until another judge is appointed to preside.
A spokesman for one of the defendant companies said: “This $322 million verdict . . . was outrageous and completely unsupported by the facts and applicable law. We look forward to this case being remanded to the trial court for further proceedings before a new judge.”