Mass Tort and Repetitive Exposure

Watkins & Eager lawyers have been involved in significant mass tort litigation over thirty-five years representing numerous clients in asbestos, silica, dioxin, pollution, welding, tobacco, pharmaceutical, plant and pipeline explosions, and tire cases in Mississippi and around the country.  Because Mississippi has no state class action rule, Watkins & Eager has successfully worked to defeat de facto classes.  Our lawyers have also been intimately involved in numerous MDL cases serving as lead trial counsel, co-counsel or local counsel, and providing services, including, witness preparation, expert witness selection and preparation, and document and exhibit management.  The allegations in these cases cover a wide spectrum of injuries ranging from respiratory concerns to cancer, neurological disorders, muscular disorders, blood disorders, strokes, liver failure, addiction, cardiac issues, and many others.

We recognize the effect that mass torts have on our clients' business.  We are at the forefront of defense efforts, and have developed significant expertise in managing large volumes of cases from discovery through trial in an efficient, non-duplicative, cost-effective manner.  Our model framework of paralegals, nurses, attorneys and office staff is tailored to the effective administration of individual and mass tort cases.  This approach and our rate structure often mean we can provide services and expertise comparable to regional and national firms at a lower cost to the client.

Since 2010, Watkins & Eager attorneys have tried a dozen mass tort/product liability cases in Arkansas State Courts, Ohio Federal Courts and Mississippi State and Federal Courts. We have extensive experience in retaining and developing trial witnesses, including corporate representatives, a wide variety of medical experts, industrial hygienists, toxicologists, accident specialists and warnings experts, among many others.  We have unique, enduring relationships with top medical experts through our long history of medical malpractice defense.  We also have significant experience with mock trials, data management systems, and trial graphics production.

Watkins & Eager has served as national and regional trial and coordinating counsel on a variety of matters.  Our lawyers pride themselves in working cooperatively with in-house counsel and other firms selected as co-counsel.

Recent News

In December, 2014, Watkins & Eager, PLLC members Walter T. Johnson, Joseph G. Baladi, and Corey D. Hinshaw obtained a defense verdict after two weeks of trial in a respirator product liability case set in Hinds County, Mississippi, Circuit Court. The verdict marks the fourth defense verdict in Mississippi silica litigation since April of 2013 for attorneys Johnson, Baladi, Hinshaw, and their trial team.

Representative cases

Ruth v. A.O. Smith Corp., 615 F. Supp. 2d 648 (N.D. Ohio 2005); Jowers v. Lincoln Elec. Co., 617 F. 3d 346 (C.A. 5th Cir. 2010); Lincoln Electric v. McLemore, 54 So. 3d 833 (Miss. 2010); Nunnally v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 869 So. 2d 373 (Miss. 2004); Hardy v. Bayer, No. 251-01-6900COV, in the County Court of Hinds County, Mississippi, First Judicial District (April 9, 2003; Slaughter v. Bayer, No. 2002-41-CV8 in the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Jones County, Mississippi (December 9, 2003): Kyle vs. Bayer CropScience et al., No. CV 2008-107-3, in the Circuit Court of Woodruff County, Arkansas (March 8, 2010); Gardley-Starks v. Pfizer, Inc., ___ F. Supp. 2d ___, No. 4:10-CV-099-SA-JMV, 2013 WL 139900 (N.D. Miss. Jan. 10, 2013); Lashley v. Pfizer, Inc., 877 F. Supp. 2d 466 (S.D. Miss. 2012); Gaddis v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., 534 F. Supp. 2d 697 (S.D. Miss. 2008); Warner-Lambert Co. v. Potts, 909 So. 2d 1092 (Miss. 2005); and In Re Phenylpropanolamine Prods. Liab. Litig., No. 1407, 2005 WL 6727709 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 16, 2005); Randy Schafer, et al v. Bayer CropScience, et al, Circuit Court CV 2006-413, Circuit Court of Lonoke County (2010); Doyle Sims, et al v. Bayer CropScience, CV 2009-118-3, Circuit Court of Desha County, Arkansas (2010); A.K.W., A Minor, By and Through His Mother, Sheri Stewart v Riddell, Inc., et al, Civil Action No. 1:09cv703 HO-JMR, in the United States District Court Southern District of Mississippi Southern District (October, 2012); Richard Pierce v. 3M Company, et al., Circuit Court of Jones County, Mississippi, Second District, Civil Action No. 2012073-CV7 (March, 2013); Beneficiaries of Lawrence Armstrong, Deceased v. Pangborn Corporation, et al., Circuit Court of Clairborne County, Mississippi Civil Action No. 2011-189 (September, 2013); Bill George Wachter v. American Optical Corporation, et al., Circuit Court of Washington County, Mississippi, Civil Action no. 2012-0038 Cl (November, 2013); Banks v. 3M Company, et. al., Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi, Civ. No. 251-12-201 (December, 2014); Parks v. Allcon, Inc. 161 F. Supp. 2d 646 (M.D.N.C. 2001); Langston v. Panborn, Corp., 2014 3477819. *1 (S.D. Miss. Jan. 31, 2014); Clanton v. 3M Company, et. al., Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi, 251-12-720-CIV

Representative MDL's

Toyota UA MDL; Firestone/Ford Explorer Tire MDL; Welding MDL; Baycol MDL; Genetically Modified Rice MDL; Mirena MDL; PPA MDL; Rezulin MDL; Thimerosal MDL (Co-National Counsel); Trasylol MDL; YAZ/Yasmin MDL; Asbestos MDL; HRT MDL; Reglan/Metoclopramide (consolidated proceedings); Phenylpropanolamine MDL

Practice Leaders

Michael W. Ulmer

Michael W. Ulmer

Phone: 601.965.1948


Joseph G. Baladi

Joseph G. Baladi

Phone: 601.965.1801



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