Miss. High Court Upsets Worker's $8M Win In Silica Case

By Juan Carlos Rodriguez (July 19, 2012, 8:11 PM EDT) -- The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a $7.6 million verdict for a shipbuilder who alleged his lung cancer and silicosis were caused by Mississippi Valley Silica Co., and ordered a new trial in the case, saying the jury had been improperly instructed.

Robert Eastman claimed MVS — the company that supplied sand to his employer, Marathon LeTourneau — failed to warn him of the dangers posed by sandblasting.

He sued MVS under Mississippi's product liability statute, alleging that MVS' product was defective for failure to contain adequate warnings or instructions. MVS asserted several defenses, including a sophisticated-user doctrine which said...

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