JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline) - Earlier this month, the Mississippi Supreme Court allowed a silicosis plaintiff to add several new defendants after he had settled with the original four.

On Feb. 2, the court permitted the first amended complaint of Charles Larry McGraw, who had settled with four sand suppliers on Oct. 19, 2009, after opening arguments in his trial. Three months later, he added his wife as a plaintiff and five new defendants.

The defendants wanted the amended complaint dismissed because, they said, the original parties settled prior to his motion for leave to amend.

"(W)e find that the trial court did comply with Rule 15 when it allowed McGraw to file his First Amended Complaint, because McGraw filed his motion before all of the original parties were dismissed with prejudice," Justice David Chandler wrote.

McGraw finalized his settlement with two of the four original defendants on Oct. 27, 2009, but filed his motion to amend the complaint before any of the original defendants were dismissed with prejudice. Also, his allegations were consistent with those he made in his original complaint, the court ruled.

However, the court struck McGraw's second amended complaint, which added Dependable Abrasives as a sixth new defendant.

The court ruled that McGraw needed to seek permission from the court to file the second amended complaint.

The trial judge who allowed both complaints was Lamar Pickard of the Claiborne County Circuit Court.

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