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DEFENDANTS WIN MULTI-PLAINTIFF WELDING FUME TRIAL IN LOUISIANA STATE COURT

Jury Returns Unanimous Defense Verdicts After
One Hour of Deliberations

New Orleans, LA and Washington, DC, March 7, 2008 – John Beisner, attorney for several current and former welding rod manufacturers, today issued the following statement regarding the unanimous defense verdicts in the four-plaintiff Andre/Barras trial, which was returned today after a six-week trial in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, Louisiana:

“We are gratified that this Louisiana jury has joined the many others around the country that have rejected these baseless claims. In finding that welding fumes did not cause these plaintiffs’ alleged ailments and that these manufacturers’ warnings properly protected welders, this jury has vindicated companies that worked hard to do the right thing and protect welders.

“These verdicts add to the numerous other defense verdicts that have been returned in typically pro-plaintiff jurisdictions like Madison County, Illinois, Galveston County, Texas and Brazoria County, Texas. Jurors have now found for defendants in 20 of the last 23 plaintiffs’ cases tried in this litigation.

“More telling than the cases the plaintiffs have tried, is the rate at which they are dismissing claims. The number of total pending cases has dropped by one-half in the last year and by two-thirds over the last two years. Just this week, plaintiffs dismissed more than 200 cases.

“This litigation was manufactured by lawyers who bankrolled five-minute neurological screenings and filed thousands of cases on behalf of welders who had nothing wrong with them. Now that they are being required to substantiate those claims, they are dismissing cases rather than take them to trial. Plaintiffs have also been forced to dismiss several cases that they had selected for trial due to fraud.

“Welding consumable manufacturers have always worked to ensure the health and safety of welders and have been unfairly targeted in these lawsuits. Until the plaintiffs decide to withdraw their remaining claims, these companies will continue to defend themselves vigorously against these baseless suits.”

Rick Sarver of Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver, LLC. and Steve Quattlebaum of Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Burrow PLLC represented the defendants in this case.

For additional information about this litigation, please go to www.weldinginfonetwork.com.

Contacts:
Brandy Bergman / Lesley Bogdanow
Sard Verbinnen & Co
212-687-8080

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