Oral argument – Miss.S.Ct. – Tuesday, Nov., 18, 2014

Dependable Abrasives v. Richard Pierce – this is a silica case.  Pierce was a sandblaster for 16 years and has been diagnosed with silicosis.  He  filed suit against various manufacturers/ suppliers of silica-containing blasting sand and manufacturers of respirators designed to protect the wearer. Before trial, all defendants were dismissed other than Dependable Abrasives and one respirator defendant American Optical.  A four day trial was had after which a jury found for the defendants 11-1.  The trial judge, Billy Joe Landrum, granted Pierce’s motion for a new trial on the issue of failure to warn as to Dependable Abrasives.  Dependable Abrasives petitioned the Miss.S.Ct. for an interlocutory appeal which the Court granted.

Dependable’s defense was that it never sold any of its sand to Pierce’s employers (in which case, there was no duty to warn Pierce or his employers). Pierce argues that “Despite the complete failure of the language on the sand bags to tell the sandblaster of the harm he faced, and that an expert testified it failed to be a warning at all, the jury determined  that there was no failure to warn.”

Argument is set for 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014

Dependable Abrasive’s brief

Pierce’s brief

Dependable’s reply brief

Here’s the site where you can watch it live or at any time thereafter. Justices Waller, Kitchens and Coleman are hearing the case.

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