Many of us have spent the first few days of 2022 thinking that 2019 seems like an extraordinarily long time ago. If this is the case, then 1975 seems like ancient history, especially when you consider that the Internet is constantly teasing people born in the 1980s about being old. Despite this, a law that went into effect in 1975 plays a major role in some mesothelioma lawsuits on which the courts have yet to rule. Mesothelioma often begins to show symptoms decades after the asbestos exposure that caused it. If your mesothelioma is the result of asbestos exposure that occurred in the 1970s, contact a Houma mesothelioma lawyer.
Why 1975 Represents a Turning Point in Mesothelioma Cases
Workers’ compensation laws require employers to pay for treatment of their employees’ work injuries and occupational diseases without the injured worker having to prove negligence on the employer’s part. In 1975, the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act explicitly included malignant mesothelioma as an occupational disease for workers exposed to asbestos in the course of their work. This means that most cases involving occupational exposure to asbestos that occurred after 1975 are handled under workers’ compensation claims instead of negligence lawsuits against employers. Robert Stephen Sentilles’ case is more complicated, though, since his exposure to asbestos occurred both before and after 1975.
Court Rules to Allow Robert Sentilles to Continue His Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Sentilles was first exposed to asbestos dust in the 1950s, when he was a child. His father and older brothers worked at Avondale Shipyards, and probably inhaled asbestos dust that entered the house from their clothing. Beginning in 1969, Sentilles also worked for Avondale and was exposed to asbestos dust firsthand.
His present legal case, however, is against Pelnor, L.L.C., where Sentilles also worked in the shipbuilding industry from 1974 and 1983; this job also involved occupational exposure to asbestos. Sentilles was diagnosed with mesothelioma after he stopped working for Pelnor and has been involved in litigation with them for years. Pelnor filed a motion for summary judgment since most of Sentilles’ time working for Pelnor took place during or after 1975; it argued that this meant that Sentilles should pursue the claim through workers’ compensation instead. In December 2021, a court in the Eastern District of Louisiana rejected Pelnor’s motion for summary judgment. This means that Sentilles may proceed with his claim against Pelnor.
While it is clear that occupational exposure to asbestos is the direct cause of most cases of malignant mesothelioma, the legal processes surrounding getting compensation for work-related mesothelioma can be complicated. A mesothelioma lawyer can help you sort them out.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey About Mesothelioma Litigation
A mesothelioma lawyer can help you get justice even if the asbestos exposure that caused your malignant mesothelioma happened many years ago. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.