Stephen Susman still hasn’t made any money on a contingency case in which he and co-counsel Tom Melsheimer of Fish & Richards obtained one of this year’s largest verdicts in Texas. But on Friday, the charismatic name partner of Susman Godfrey took a step closer to collecting. A judge in Dallas County state district court upheld a July jury verdict totaling more than $182.5 million in damages and interest against NL Industries and its officers.

The case concerns a deal negotiated 11 years ago by the plaintiffs — Efficasey Environmental, Highland Environmental Management and Industrial Recovery Capital Holdings Company — to invest in an NL subsidiary that was created to clean up NL’s massive environmental liabilities. The plaintiffs had an option to sell back their stock to NL after seven years. But when it came time to sell it back, the plaintiffs alleged, NL had stripped the subsidiary of its assets in an effort to value the stock below what it was really worth.

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