“I had the opportunity to work with Matthew Clendenin of the Bronson Firm on a recent project. I found Matt and his firm to be knowledgeable, professional, and a pleasure to work with. I would not hesitate to recommend the Bronson Firm for personal injury law matters.”
“I was really in a pickle and needed help when I was referred to Matt Clindenin. He is a God send. He is professional, knowledgeable, timely, and kind. I highly recommend him to anyone in need of legal help. You will not be disappointed.”
We successfully obtained a multi-million dollar judgment for clients harmed by lead poisoning emitted by a lead smelter. During the last century and into the 2000s, a lead smelter in Herculaneum, Missouri operated a facility which processes concentrated lead ore into alloy to use in manufacturing. At this time, the Clean Air Act and other federal laws prescribed limits for how much pollution the smelters could lawfully allow into the air. These laws were established to protect the communities surrounding the smelter from breathing excessively high levels of known toxic substances like the ones that existed in the pollution. Yet the lead smelter in Herculaneum knowingly violated these federal emission requirements and poisoned a lot of people in the community, especially the children who played outside and put things in their mouths. Lead toxicity causes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), aggression, impulsiveness, learning disabilities, depression, anxiety, and psychopathy. This may be attributable to the fact that lead exposure impairs the part of the brain that regulates behavior and mood. The Herculaneum smelter knowingly allowed their facility to produce chemical pollution above the standards set in place by the federal government. Following a three-month trial, we demonstrated that this lead smelter acted negligently regarding the toxic levels of lead emitted by their plant, and their negligence caused irreparable injury to our clients. Furthermore, the jury determined that because the conduct of the defendants was so outrageous--- in allowing children to be knowingly exposed to lead--- that the jury awarded $320 Million in punitive damages.
A symbolic verdict is one where the amount of the verdict speaks to the harm that was caused, and the importance of the safety rule that was violated. For example, in a case Steve Bronson tried in 2009 where a drunk driver killed a man and seriously injured his pregnant fiancé, the defendant had very little money and very little insurance. There was no way a substantial verdict would be paid. However, a trial of the case allowed the community to hear the evidence, and the horror that drunk driving inflicts upon communities. The jury returned a verdict in the amount of $89,000,000, which was meant by the jury to speak to the community with one voice: "Do not get behind the wheel after drinking." The verdict quickly caused the mayor of a neighboring large community to require prosecutors and police to enforce drunk driving statutes to the fullest extent of the law.