New Orleans Asbestos Case Points Finger at Dozens of Companies

09/20/2010 // Chicago, IL, USA // Cooney & Conway // Mesothelioma lawyers: Cooney & Conway

A judge in Louisiana’s Orleans Parish Civil Court heard motions August 20 in an asbestos case that’s pitting more than three dozen manufacturers against a local woman battling mesothelioma, a nearly always fatal cancer of the protective lining covering many of the body’s organs.

Nadyne Lavigne of St. Tammany Parish says she contracted the disease from asbestos fibers carried home on her husband’s clothes, electrician and co-plaintiff Ray Lavigne. The couple alleges that 39 companies manufactured products containing the cancer-causing material and that some of them perpetrated fraud and conspiracy to cover up the presence of asbestos.

Mesothelioma lawyers say the case is among a growing number of secondary exposure cases, where the victim did not actually work with or around asbestos, but lived with someone who did and was exposed through the asbestos that person brought home, in most cases on their clothing.

Asbestos fibers like those Nadyne says she was exposed to are particularly dangerous because they can be easily inhaled into the lungs, triggering mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other asbestos-related diseases years and even decades later.

Asbestos fibers can be released into the air during any sort of work that dislodges the material, such as demolition or renovation work or, indeed, any kind of work where asbestos-containing parts and materials are used or manipulated.

Over the years, a wide variety of regulations have been created to control and minimize the dangers of asbestos handling. But these rules are often circumvented or ignored, resulting in mesothelioma cases, deaths, and lawsuits. The disease itself has no cure, and the prognosis for those suffering from it is typically grim.

While researchers still struggle to better understand and battle the highly aggressive cancer, mesothelioma lawyers have fared better, often obtaining large even multimillion-dollar jury awards and settlements against those who negligently exposed others to asbestos or failed to warn them of the cancer-causing material’s presence.

In the August 20 proceedings, Judge Sidney Cates IV heard motions from 4 defendants Anco Inc., Cajun Company, Reilly Power Inc., and Okonite Co. Cates denied Cajun’s motion on the grounds of “vagueness” in the plaintiffs’ arguments. The judge, however approved comparable motions by Anco, Okonite, and Reilly.

ExxonMobile, General Electric, Shell Oil, and Entergy Services are additional defendants named in the suit. In their opposition brief, the Lavignes’ lawyers argued that because the defendants Anco, Cajun, Reilly Power, and Okonite have been named as defendants in other asbestos lawsuits, “it is absurd for [them] to assert that they don’t have enough information to begin to generally prepare [their] defense for this case.”

This news story was brought to you by mesothelioma lawyers Cooney & Conway. For more than half a century, we’ve brought relief and recovery to those injured by the negligence or harmful actions of others. In the process, we’ve litigated some of the country’s most significant asbestos lawsuits, helping victims of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases get answers and justice.

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