JACKSON, Miss. -- A divided Mississippi Supreme Court has decided a judge was right to buy the story of asbestos attorneys in a "he said, he said" dispute over a private settlement conference, with a group of resentful dissenters lamenting the long-term effects of the decision.
Illinois Central Railroad Co. and the Pittsburgh asbestos firm Peirce, Raimond & Coulter disagreed about the settlement process set up at a private meeting in Pittsburgh in 2006. The process would have settled 216 claims against the company.
However, the railroad argued that it only agreed to immediately settle all claims except the 25 diagnosed by Bridgeport, W.Va., radiologist Dr. Ray Harron, who has been accused of fabricating lung disease diagnoses. The Peirce firm said ICRR agreed to settle all claims at the meeting.
Holmes County Circuit Court Judge Robert Goza agreed with the Peirce firm, as did the state Supreme Court on Aug. 26.
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