The following are undisputed facts: Victor Michel worked for the Ford motor company in Louisiana in the 1960s, during which time he was directly exposed to asbestos dust for extended periods of time. Michel developed peritoneal mesothelioma later in life, as a result of his asbestos exposure from his time working for Ford. He filed lawsuits against Ford and several other defendants; his claims included employer liability and negligence. All the other defendants settled, but the litigation with Ford remains ongoing. Michel died in 2018, and his surviving relatives remain as plaintiffs in the case. Beyond those facts, things get complicated. If you have questions about the legal rights of people with mesothelioma and the families of people who died from mesothelioma, contact a Louisiana mesothelioma lawyer.
Victor Michel’s Ordeal
Victor Michel became exposed to asbestos dust while working as a mechanic and a generator service technician for Ford. By 2017, when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and when he filed his lawsuits, a lot had changed as far as public knowledge about the dangers of asbestos which causes mesothelioma and the laws intended to protect people from its dangers. These legal technicalities are the reason that Ford fought back so hard against the Michel family’s claims.
Since 1975, the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act has listed mesothelioma as an occupational disease. This means that people who get mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos on the job after 1975 (which is how almost all known mesothelioma patients have contracted the disease) can only pursue Workers’ Compensation claims and cannot file a liability lawsuit against his/her employer companies where he/she worked when he/she was exposed to asbestos. On this basis, Ford filed a motion to have the Michel family’s lawsuit dismissed.
In June 2019, the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana rejected Ford’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The court reasoned that it must follow the laws that were in place at the time of Michel’s exposure to asbestos, which was before 1975 and means that his liability lawsuit against Ford, his employer, can continue.
A Mesothelioma Lawyer can Help
If you sustain an injury or illness through hazards in your workplace, consult with an attorney about your legal rights to sue for damages that exceed those afforded by worker’s compensation laws. In Louisiana, there are different laws that could apply to your case which will depend upon the facts, nature and circumstances of the illness or injury. The best thing you can do if you are injured on the job is to consult a personal injury lawyer. Do not delay, because some types of claims have a short statute of limitations.
Contact Patrick Yancey About Mesothelioma Cases
A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the laws that protect the rights of people with mesothelioma and their families. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a mesothelioma lawsuit.