A wrongful-death suit that spent 22 years meandering up and down the Texas and U.S. court systems in Dickensian fashion finally ended with a $12.7 million verdict in Houston Feb. 28 that could balloon to $35 million with interest.

But the jury’s decision is unlikely to mean an end to legal maneuverings in the memorably named Chick Kam Choo, et al. v. Exxon Corp., et al., with defendant Exxon expected to appeal any judgment that finds it liable for the 1977 death of a Singapore shipworker. On another front, the potential of a multimillion-dollar attorney’s fee in the suit intensifies an ongoing fee dispute between Houston plaintiffs lawyers John O’Quinn and Benton Musslewhite.

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