When a federal jury returned a verdict against two Mississippi plaintiffs lawyers on March 8, finding that they had committed fraud against Illinois Central Railroad, it was the culmination of the railroad’s seven-year battle to fight back against abusive asbestos claims. It also may have been the first civil trial in which attorneys were nailed for fraud in bringing these claims.

The jury found that attorneys William Guy and Thomas Brock of McComb, Miss., lied when they denied knowing that their clients had previously settled asbestos claims that should have barred them from filing against the railroad. The clients were also defendants in the case, but the jurors held them blameless for settling with Illinois Central for a total of $210,000.