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 workers like him.
The jury awarded $10,351,020.70 in compensatory damages against defendants Ports America, Cooper T. Smith Stevedoring, and South African Marine. The jury returned defense verdicts for James J. Flanagan Shipping and SSA Gulf.