Jury Unanimously Rejects Plaintiff’s Claims

Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Washington DC, August 5, 2009 – John Beisner, partner in the Washington office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and attorney for several current and former welding consumable manufacturers, today issued the following statement regarding the defense verdict in the Belcher case, which was returned today in the Circuit Court of Mason County, West Virginia:

“We are extremely pleased with the unanimous verdict in this case and are gratified that this West Virginia jury has joined the majority of juries around the country that have already heard and rejected similar claims. Today’s decision, which was returned after less than two hours of deliberation, confirms, yet again, that these cases are entirely without merit. The defendants have always worked to ensure the health and safety of welders and have been unfairly targeted in these baseless lawsuits.

“Along with numerous defense verdicts like the one returned today, this overall litigation has seen the dismissals of thousands of cases. The total number of pending welding fume cases has dropped by more than one half since January 2006. In the multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) in Cleveland, the plaintiffs recently dismissed more than two thirds of the cases they had certified as ready for trial.

“The welding consumable manufacturers are confident they will ultimately prevail in these cases, and will continue to try those cases not dismissed on other grounds.”

David Kaufman and Patrick McDowell of Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC, John Bissell and Patrick Waites of Strong Pipkin Bissell & Ledyard, L.L.P., and Edward W. Rugeley, III of Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC represented the defendants in this case.

For additional information about this litigation, please go to

Brandy Bergman / Lesley Bogdanow
Sard Verbinnen & Co



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