Replay of “Gaines v SHW” – Will it be real-life “To Kill a Mockingbird?”

Could a new trial in “Trellvion Gaines v. The Sherwin-Williams Company” serve as a real-life version of the novel and motion picture “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Under a microscope could be put the trial system in the U.S. South. And some of that, just as in the iconic “To Kill a Mockingbird,” might not be pretty. Those defending Sherwin-Williams have a track record for making their trial proceedings resonate in the national, regional, and local consciousness. Part of that may be the brilliance of the attorneys. Part the ridiculousness of the lead paint litigation, personal injury and public nuisance, that Sherwin-Williams has been hounded with.

On July 20, 2009, the attorneys representing Sherwin-Williams in “Gaines” filed a motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict or, if that isn’t granted, a new trial. By all measures of reasonableness, the jury verdict on behalf of the alleged childhood lead-poisoning victim was excessive. In addition, since product identification has been so embedded into lead-paint litigation, it was neck-snapping that there was no evidence that the alleged paint causing the injury was manufactured by the defendant.

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