John Arthur Eaves, Jr. (born September 6, 1966) is a personal injury lawyer who was the unsuccessful Democratic Party nominee in the 2007 general election for Governor of Mississippi.
John Arthur Eaves, Jr. began practicing law in 1991 after receiving his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Mississippi. As a trial lawyer, he has represented thousands of Mississippians in legal cases involving asbestos, pharmaceutical drugs, nursing home care, and complaints involving insurance companies.
Eaves also has been involved in several international cases. One concerned an incident in Cavalese, Italy, where a U.S. Marine plane severed a cable car line at a ski resort in northern Italy, killing 20 people; Eaves represented five German families and a Polish family. He also represented the nation of Ukraine against U.S. tobacco companies, suing for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Ongoing cases include Eaves' representation of U.S. soldiers with claims of suffering from complications as a result of the initial Gulf War, and of American nationals in Kenya against Osama bin Laden, several Islamic organizations, and the government of Sudan for the 1998 American embassy bombings in Nairobi and Kenya.
Sanchez v. USA, No.:1:07-cv-01573-RMC
On September 5, 2007, the Eaves Law Firm filed suit against the United States Navy on behalf of 7,125 American citizens who live on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in the case Sanchez v. USA. In the suit the Eaves Law Firm is helping the people of Vieques recover for the harm done to them as a result of contamination caused by over sixty years of Naval live fire training on the Island. In 2001 President Bush announced the Navy would end live fire exercises on the Island in 2003. At that time Bush stated, "There's been some harm done to people in the past. These are our friends and neighbors, and they don't want us there."
On February 11, 2005, two years after the Navy ceased operations, the United States Environmental Protection Agency listed the former Naval facility as a CERCLA Superfund site due to the widespread contamination left by the Navy. Scientific studies have discovered a link between the widespread contamination, which resulted from heavy metals, toxins, and other contaminates which bioaccumulated over the years, and a significantly higher rate of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, low birth rate, and infant mortality on the Island.
Some of those for whom the suit seeks to recover damages include the family of Milivy Adams. Milivy Adams was only two years old when her first tumor was removed from her head, however, there were other tumors on her kidney, left hand, left leg, and shoulders. Milivy Adams died of her lymphoma at the age of five. Eaves has stated the goal of the suit as following, "We want them to have enough money so each family can decide the best way to protect themselves. The Navy stated that it would honor its commitment to repair the injury to the health of the people—as long as we proved our case. And we’re going to continue working to make sure that they honor their commitment.”
2007 Gubernatorial Election
John Arthur Eaves, Jr., a born-again, pro-life trial lawyer won the Democratic primary on August 7, 2007 defeating challengers William Compton, Fred Smith and Louis Fondren. On Tuesday, November 6, 2007, Eaves lost the general election against incumbent Haley Barbour, winning 42 percent of the vote.
On the Issues
John Arthur Eaves, Jr., campaigned against "money changers" i.e. big insurance, big oil and big tobacco. Eaves believed the "money changers" were keeping Mississippians from receiving good jobs, good benefits and good education.
Eaves also advocated voluntary student prayer in the classroom, cutting the grocery tax, covering every juvenile in the state with health care and an end to abortion. On Katrina, Eaves criticized Barbour for not doing enough for the 7,000 Mississippians who are still living in FEMA trailers.
Eaves also expressed concerns regarding the state's growing Latino population. When Governor Haley Barbour stated that "We have a lot of Spanish people that are here and I don't know what we would have done without them on the coast," Eaves responded: "I know where we’d be. We could have record employment instead of the highest unemployment in the South." Because Barbour's statement applied to both undocumented immigrants and Latinos living in the country legally under H2B work visas, some commentators viewed Eaves' remarks as racist.