- Jim Ferraro
Justice for the Families
The results of our third and final appeal in Delaware came in shortly after the Florida Supreme Court reinstated the Castillo decision. Unfortunately, the Delaware trial court ruled against us on select scientific issues (that severely hurt those cases) prior to the Florida Supreme Court decision. In fact, during the two-and-a-half-year wait after all arguments at the Supreme Court, the Delaware trial court judge asked us repeatedly when the Florida Supreme Court was going to hand down their decision. Of, course, we didn’t have an answer for that.
Even though the third appeal in Delaware severely hampered the position of the 29 Scottish families, I knew once and for all I had finally come of age in the eyes of DuPont. Normally, DuPont would take a very harsh stance, but after 10 years of litigation on the Castillo case, the company had developed an odd respect for me. It knew, without a doubt, that I wouldn’t stop until these cases were 100% toast.
Although he fully understood this about me, Bill Gordon, DuPont’s head of litigation, gave me a call anyway. He was trying to feel me out, hoping I would pull the plug on the cases after we lost two of our scientists. Of course, he knew that would never happen, but he had to try.
“Do you have any idea what your plans are for the Scottish families?” he asked, wishing I’d say, “Game, set, and match.”
“I guess you and I will be doing business for another five years,” I said, letting him know I wasn’t going anywhere.
“Maybe there’s a way we can work this out,” he said.
The Scottish families ultimately settled with DuPont for millions of dollars—hardly the hundreds of millions I had hoped for, but enough money to allow each family to move on with their lives.
This was the end of my personal saga with DuPont.
Ten years and over $1 million in costs later, we were able to get the Castillos and the Scottish families paid, recoup our costs from DuPont, and finally earn some fees. By this time, however, I was making crazy amounts of money and was no longer seen as a neophyte in this arena.
I started getting a lot of inquiries from people all over the world. Today we represent a broader base of clients, such as tax-whistleblowers, a variety of environmental cases, tobacco cases, and a whole host of other catastrophic litigation.
I am proud to say that with the publication of Blindsided, the book on which these blogs are based, we have the largest inventory of asbestos and tax-whistleblower cases in the country. It certainly pays the bills. I still never count the money we win until the check comes in and clears, however.
In my next post, I recount some gratifying personal and professional dealings.