Amchem Products v. Windsor, 521 U.S. 591, 117 S. Ct. 2231, 138 L.Ed2d 689 (1997)
In this case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, mesothelioma lawyers with Baron & Budd worked, in conjunction with a constitutional law scholar, as lead counsel for the objecting class members. Our attorneys were able to convince the United States Supreme Court to uphold an appellate court decision to dismiss a nationwide class action settlement. The settlement, which involved “future claims” of mesothelioma and asbestos cancer, was thrown out due to inadequate representation of the class members.
Norfolk & Western Ry. Co. v. Ayers, 123 S. Ct. 1210 (2003)
An amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” brief filed by Baron & Budd successfully swayed the U.S. Supreme Court. Through the brief, our law firm contended that a railroad worker stricken with asbestosis should be able to ask the jury – when calculating the award of damages that should be paid by the railroad – to consider the worker’s reasonable fear of contracting an asbestos-related cancer such as mesothelioma.
Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp., 526 U.S. 815, 119 S. Ct. 2295 (1999)
Baron & Budd was able to help preserve the rights of asbestos and mesothelioma claimants by leading the battle to dismiss a class action settlement. The settlement would have substantially limited the rights of claimants in regard to products manufactured by Fibreboard Corporation. The Fibreboard class action settlement, the United States Supreme Court ruled, was in violation of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It was in particular violation of Rule 23’s requirements concerning the certification of a mandatory class action settlement. This case was similar in nature to the Amchem v. Windsor case described above. In addition, the Supreme Court questioned the fairness of the settlement. If it had been allowed to go forward, Fibreboard would have been allowed to settle all asbestos claims – including any claims that were made in the future – for a mere $500,000. The company – at the expense of victims of its products containing asbestos – would have been able to retain nearly all of its net worth.