Stuart H. Smith

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Stuart H. Smith
Born (1960-09-15) September 15, 1960 (age 58)
Occupationattorney;

Stuart H. Smith (born September 15, 1960) is a practicing plaintiff attorney licensed in Louisiana. He is a founding partner of the New Orleans-based law firm SmithStag, LLC.[1] Smith has practiced law for nearly 25 years, litigating against oil companies and other energy-related corporations for damages associated with radioactive oilfield waste.

Biography[edit]

Smith dropped out of school at 15, earning his GED years later. He went on to earn his B.S. from Louisiana State University and his J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 1986.

Smith pledged 1.5 million to Loyola's Law School in 2008 [2] and they renamed their law clinic the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice.[3]

Legal career[edit]

In 1992, Smith litigated against Chevron. Street v. Chevron pitted the family owners of a pipe-yard located in rural southeastern Mississippi against a multinational oil conglomerate.[4] Allegedly, for years, Chevron had sent radioactive oilfield pipe to Street, Inc., for cleaning –– without informing the owners that the pipe contained radioactive material.[5] Investigators from the Mississippi Division of Radiological Health found radiation from radium on the Street property 500 times the natural level.[6] Chevron ultimately settled the case for an undisclosed amount of money in what remains one of the longest-running jury trials in Mississippi history.[7]

In 1994, Smith teamed with Andrew Sacks to form Sacks & Smith, a New Orleans-based plaintiff law firm. Smith and Michael Stag began working together in 1997 and later established the firm SmithStag, focusing on plaintiff-oriented, environmental and toxic tort cases.[8]

In 2001, Smith was lead counsel in an oilfield radiation case that resulted in a verdict of $1.056 billion against ExxonMobil for contaminating private property it leased from the Grefer family in Harvey, Louisiana.[9] ExxonMobil appealed the verdict, securing a reduction in the punitive award, but was still ordered to pay hundreds of millions in damages.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Smith Stag attorney profiles
  2. ^ http://www.loyno.edu/news/story/2008/7/21/1524 Local environmental attorney Stuart Smith pledges $1.25 million gift to Loyola’s College of Law
  3. ^ About the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice
  4. ^ Schneider, Keith (December 24, 1990). “2 Suits 2 Suits on Radium Cleanup Test Oil Industry’s Liability”. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/24/us/2-suits-on-radium-cleanup-test-oil-industry-s-liability.html?pagewanted=1
  5. ^ Schneider, Keith (December 24, 1990). The New York Times.
  6. ^ Schneider, Keith (December 24, 1990). The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Street Inc. vs. Chevron" (Winter 1993). The NORM Report, p.8
  8. ^ About SmithStag law firm
  9. ^ Digges, Diana (January 7, 2002). “Billion-Dollar Blockbuster Against Oil Industry: Retired Judge Claims Exxon Mobil Contaminated His Land With Radioactive Waste”. Lawyers Weekly USA, p.1

References[edit]

Cox, James (1993). “Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials in the Oilfield: Changing the NORM”. Tulane Law Review 67(4), 1197-1230.

Digges, Diana (January 7, 2002). “Billion-Dollar Blockbuster Against Oil Industry: Retired Judge Claims Exxon Mobil Contaminated His Land With Radioactive Waste”. Lawyers Weekly USA, pp. 1–4.

Schneider, Keith (December 24, 1990). “2 Suits 2 Suits on Radium Cleanup Test Oil Industry’s Liability”. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/24/us/2-suits-on-radium-cleanup-test-oil-industry-s-liability.html?pagewanted=1

Schneider, Keith (December 3, 1990). “Radiation Danger Found in Oilfields Across the Nation”. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/03/us/radiation-danger-found-in-oilfields-across-the-nation.html?pagewanted=all

Schneider, Keith (December 26, 1990). “U.S. Wrestles With Gap in Radiation Exposure Rules”. The New York Times, p. A1.

"Street Inc. vs. Chevron." (Winter 1993). The NORM Report, p. 8.