DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY v. STEPHENSON

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
02-271
Petitioner 
Dow Chemical Company
Respondent 
Stephenson
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the respondents)
(Argued the cause for the petitioners)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

In 1984 Dow Chemical Co. negotiated a settlement in a class action lawsuit filed by Vietnam War veterans who had been exposed to Agent Orange and subsequently developed various injuries and illnesses. The settlement created a fund that would pay those who developed illnesses up until 1994. Daniel Stephenson, a Vietnam veteran, developed cancer in 1998 and could therefore not collect money from the fund. He sued, saying that he was not adequately represented in the original settlement, which made no provision for injuries that developed after 1994. Therefore, he claimed, he had the right to file a suit of his own. The district court ruled for Dow Chemical; the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed, ruling for Stephenson.

Question 

Does the 1984 Agent Orange settlement preclude plaintiffs, who allege that they were inadequately represented in the prior litigation, from asserting claims?

Conclusion 
Decision: 8 votes for Dow Chemical Company, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision:

Split Vote

An equally divided Court affirmed in part and vacated and remanded in part. In a per curiam opinion, the Court affirmed the judgment of Court of Appeals with respect to Stephenson and vacated and remanded the judgment of Court of Appeals with respect to Isaacson for further consideration in light of Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. v. Henson, 537 U.S. 28 (2002). Justice John Paul Stevens took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

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DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY v. STEPHENSON. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 10 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2002/2002_02_271>.
DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY v. STEPHENSON, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2002/2002_02_271 (last visited September 10, 2014).
"DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY v. STEPHENSON," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 10, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2002/2002_02_271.