Jury Verdict Found Consistent as Exposure May Not Be Substantial Contributing Factor of Disease

Supreme Court of Louisiana, January 12, 2021

The plaintiffs sued various defendants alleging that the decedent (Bagwell) developed mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure which resulted in his death. At trial, the jury rendered a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs against the decedent’s employer, RMC, finding it 75 percent at fault. CAPCO, a non-party defendant, was found 25 percent at fault. The jury assigned no fault to Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and Montello, Inc., the manufacturer and the distributor of asbestos-containing products. The trial court …

Continue Reading

Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand Denied as Removal Deemed Proper Under Federal Officer Statute

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

In the instant action, plaintiff Martha T. Roussell alleges she contracted mesothelioma through take-home asbestos exposure from the work of her father, Asward P. Theriot, who worked at Avondale Shipyard in 1957 and 1958. The plaintiff brought this action in state court against multiple defendants including Huntington Ingalls Incorporated and Lamorak Insurance Company (The Avondale Interests).

During the course of discovery it was revealed that Asward Theriot’s job application showed that his brother (Roussell’s uncle), Tracy …

Continue Reading

Shipyard Defendant’s Removal Deemed Timely Following Receipt of Discovery

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, December 7, 2020

Plaintiff Ethel Sampey was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which she alleged was caused by secondhand exposure to asbestos from her uncle, Huey Levron, who worked at the Avondale Shipyard from 1957 to 1965, and also from working as a bartender and serving Avondale workers. The plaintiff filed suit against Avondale, among other defendants, in July 2020. On August 1, 2020, the plaintiff served her fact witness list, which identified numerous witnesses, including two individuals, …

Continue Reading

Longshoreman Plaintiff Exposed to Raw Asbestos Awarded $10.3 Million in Mesothelioma Case

An in-person jury trial was recently held in Louisiana on the plaintiff’s negligence claims. After graduating high school, the plaintiff worked as a longshoreman from 1964 to 1968 at the Port of New Orleans. As part of his job, he unloaded burlap bags of raw asbestos. The plaintiff testified that the bags would frequently tear, releasing asbestos dust into the ship’s hold. At trial, the plaintiff testified that each of the defendants knew of the dangers the asbestos posed but took no steps to warn …

Continue Reading

Federal Workers’ Compensation Statute Preempts Plaintiff’s Negligence Claims; Shipyard Defendants Win Summary Judgment

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, October 14, 2020

This case arises out of plaintiff William Hulin, Sr.’s exposure to asbestos when he worked as a ship fitter, laborer, and tacker for Avondale from January 1954 to May 1973. In July 2019, the plaintiff was diagnosed with lung cancer. He sued a number of defendants, including the Avondale Interests, in state court on November 12, 2019. The case was removed to district court on March 17, 2020. The plaintiff alleged only negligence …

Continue Reading

Plaintiff’s Motion for New Trial Granted as Jury Verdict Not Supported by Fair Interpretation of the Evidence

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, September 23, 2020

By way of background, the plaintiffs argued that the court erred in entering a judgment following the trial in November 2018. Notably, the plaintiffs set forth that the jury’s verdict was based on inconsistent answers to interrogatories. In February 2019, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a judgment notwithstanding verdict, or in the alternative, motion for new trial. In December 2019, the court found that the jury’s decisions were reasonable based on the evidence …

Continue Reading

Children’s Wrongful Death Claim Not Barred by Parents’ Settlement Release Agreement

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 28, 2020

Plaintiffs Dorothy and CJ Mayfield filed an asbestos personal-injury lawsuit in Louisiana state court in April 2015, alleging Mr. Mayfield developed lung cancer as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing products, including those manufactured by CertainTeed. Mr. and Mrs. Mayfield settled their claims with Certainteed in February 2016, and executed a release that contained the following indemnity clause:

In further consideration of the above-described payment, Releasors [CJ Mayfield and Dorothy Mayfield] agree,

Continue Reading

Various Rulings on Defendants’ Motions in Limine in Naval Shipyard Case

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 21-23, 2020

In Asbestos Case Tracker’s third installment of the analysis of pre-trial motions in the Dempster v. Lamorak Insurance Co. matter, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has issued nine decisions on additional motions in limine filed by the defendants. By way of background, the plaintiffs alleged the decedent, Callen L. Dempster, was exposed to asbestos while employed at the Avondale Shipyards from 1962 to 1994. The case was removed …

Continue Reading

Expert Challenges and Motions in Limine Decided in Federal Shipyard Case

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 16, 2020

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has issued seven decisions on motions in limine filed by both plaintiffs and defendants in the Dempster v. Lamorak Insurance Co. matter, which has been closely followed by Asbestos Case Tracker. By way of background, the plaintiffs alleged the decedent, Callen L. Dempster was exposed to asbestos while employed at the Avondale Shipyards from 1962 to 1994. The case was removed to federal …

Continue Reading

Remand Denied as Defendants’ Notice of Removal Deemed Timely and Proper Under Federal Officer Statute

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 18, 2020

In this asbestos matter, plaintiff James Becnel contends that he developed lung cancer as a result of his work aboard a Navy vessel while employed at Avondale. The initial complaint was filed in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans on July 22, 2019. In August 2019, the plaintiff testified that he worked aboard a Navy vessel known as the Lykes vessel during his deposition. Notably, he filed a second supplemental …

Continue Reading