Howard, et al. v. Union Carbide Corporation

Class Action as a Device to Extort Excessive Damages

U.S. Chamber's Position: 

NCLC urged the Louisiana Supreme Court to vacate the excessive damages awarded to a class of Louisiana residents who were exposed to a chemical that was inadvertently released after a tropical storm. In its brief, NCLC argued that the judgment encourages the use of large classes as a tool to influence trial outcomes. Noting that Union Carbide took the proper steps to contain the release of the chemical, NCLC warned that the trial court's judgment invites frivolous lawsuits to Louisiana and unfairly punishes a company that acted responsibly.

Case Outcome: 

This Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed the lower court's ruling.

Procedural History: 

Amicus brief filed 5/19/10. Decided 10/19/10.