The Mississippi State Supreme Court has fined former Smith County Circuit Judge Eddie H. Bowen for failing to disclose a potential conflict of interest in an asbestos injury case against the Union Carbide Corporation.
In May 2011, in a case brought by asbestos victims against Union Carbide Corp., Judge Bowen failed to notify the lawyers for the defendant that the judge’s parents had been previously involved in a similar litigation against Union Carbide Corp. The case before the conflicted Judge Bowen resulted in a $322 million verdict against Union Carbide Corp.
The defendants filed a petition for recusal, which Judge Bowen ignored. The Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance issued a public reprimand against the Judge and assessed costs of $200 against Judge Bowen. The Mississippi Supreme Court found the punishment lacking and further fined the Judge $500 for his violation of the rule of judicial conduct with respect to conflicts of interest.
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