Jury Finds Asbestos-Cement Pipe Supplier Was Not a Substantial Contributing Factor to Plaintiff’s Lung Cancer Louisiana Civil District Court for Orleans Parish, January 29, 2018
LOUISIANA — After a three-week trial, a jury reached a defense verdict in this lung cancer case in favor of lone defendant Ferguson Enterprises and its alleged predecessor Louisiana Utilities Supply Co. (LUSCO), a supplier of asbestos-containing cement pipe. Plaintiff Thomas Handy claimed that he cut asbestos cement pipe supplied by LUSCO while working as a laborer and pipefitter, and that this exposure among others, caused his lung cancer. Defendant Ferguson argued that it was not a successor corporation to LUSCO under Louisiana law, that LUSCO only sold a small amount of pipe to the plaintiff’s employers, and that any contact the plaintiff did have with LUSCO cement pipe would not have been a substantial contributing factor to the development of the plaintiff’s lung cancer. While jurors concluded that Handy was exposed to asbestos-containing products, and that these products were a substantial contributing factor in the development of his lung cancer, they also ultimately concluded that LUSCO was not at fault, and that any exposure to asbestos cement pipe sold by LUSCO was not a substantial contributing factor in causing Handy’s injury.