Juror No. 2 claimed that Juror No. 1 had threatened her with a "fork" and later vowed to "cut" her.
Juror No. 2 told the judge that "I feel I'm not safe" as a result of taunts by the eight other members of the jury.
Counsel for Exxon agreed to excuse Juror No. 2 but also moved to strike Juror No. 1. The district court did let Juror No. 2 go but kept No. 1.
The jury awarded $104.69 million to the City of New York for Exxon's role in causing methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) to enter water wells in Queens. Exxon argued on appeal that the district court should have excused Juror No. 1 also.
The Second Circuit affirmed. The panel pointed out that only Juror No. 2 showed any sign of fearing Juror No. 1. It held:
With this established, we easily conclude that the relief Exxon sought — removal of Juror No. 1 — would have done nothing to change the outcome of the case; it would simply have left an eight- rather than nine-person verdict.
In re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether ("MTBE") Products Liability Litig., No. 10-4135-cv, slip op. at 106 (2d Cir. July 26, 2013).