DuPont asbestos retrial continued indefinitely 'so justice can and will be done'

David Yates Jan. 24, 2011, 7:29am


The Reaud, Morgan & Quinn law firm recently obtained a continuance in an asbestos lawsuit against DuPont De Nemours "so justice can and will be done."

Over the past several years, the Southeast Texas Record has reported on the asbestos litigation filed by plaintiff Caryl Richardson on behalf of her deceased father and refinery worker, Willis Whisnant Jr.

DuPont won a jury verdict in early 2008. However, Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, tossed out the jury's decision and granted plaintiff's attorney Glen Morgan's motion for a new trial without any explanation for the ruling.

Court records show a new trial against DuPont was slated to begin April 5, but was continued at the request of Dupont and placed on the December docket.

According to a signed order filed Nov. 11, Judge Floyd granted the plaintiff's motion for continuance, indeterminately putting the case on hold.

The order does not move the case to a later docket, nor does Floyd give a reason for continuing the case.

Morgan filed the motion Sept. 27, arguing that "this continuance is not sought for purposes of delay but so that justice can and will be done," the motion states.

The motion further contends the case is not ready for trial in light of a 17-month-old Texas Supreme Court ruling.

Following two appeals and numerous hearings, in July 2009 the Texas Supreme Court ordered Judge Floyd to disclose his reasons for granting the new trial, court records show.

As of Jan. 24, the judge has yet to give his reasons.

Court records show that Whisnant, a former subcontractor for DuPont, died from mesothelioma in his late 70s.

Judge Floyd signed a final judgment on April 17, 2008.

Following the no negligence verdict, plaintiff's attorney Morgan filed a motion for a new trial, arguing the evidence did not support the jury's verdict.

He also accused the Southeast Texas Record of jury tampering and of being agents of DuPont, court papers say.

Floyd granted the motion in a May 28, 2008, order, but offered no explanation for his decision.

Case No. E179-183

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