It has been decades since asbestos has been banned in building materials, but renovation workers and their families are still feeling the effects of the damage caused by occupational exposure to asbestos. Inhaling asbestos dust can cause irreversible damage to the lungs and increases the risk of mesothelioma, although it sometimes takes many years for symptoms to appear. In the fall of 2019, three Louisiana families received compensatory damages in wrongful death lawsuits about asbestos-related diseases. If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you might have grounds for a mesothelioma lawsuit, even if the occupational exposure to asbestos took place many years ago.
Elray Lege et al. v. Union Carbide et al.
Before his death from mesothelioma at age 70, Elray Lege filed a lawsuit against eleven companies that allegedly played a role in his exposure to asbestos, which he believed took place when he removed insulation from an old building while employed at Cajun Insulation in the late 1970s. The only one of the defendants who went to trial was Birla Carbon, the successor to Columbian Chemicals. Since Lege died while the lawsuit was ongoing, the court awarded $8 million dollars to his surviving relatives. Of the $4 million in wrongful death damages, $2 million went to his wife, and each of his four children received $500,000.
Kevin F. Chabeau v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company et al.
Before his death at age 61, Kevin Chabeau was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, which his doctors attributed to his history of cigarette smoking. An autopsy revealed that he had also been suffering from asbestosis, presumably from his work with Ameron Bondstrand 5000 pipes, which have been linked to many asbestos-related illnesses and deaths in pipefitters who used them. In October 2019, a court awarded $17.2 million in damages to his family, making it the largest award of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana history; the previous record was also held by a lawsuit against Ameron.
James L. Gaddy v. Taylor-Seidenbach Inc. et al.
After James Gaddy was diagnosed with mesothelioma at age 85, he filed a lawsuit against the former employers and product manufacturers who had played a role in his occupational exposure to asbestos, and his family continued to pursue the claim after his death. In November 2019, a court awarded the plaintiffs $7.75 million in damages; among the defendants responsible for paying the damages were Ethyl Corporation, which had employed Gaddy, and Owens-Illinois, which manufactured a dangerous product that contributed to Gaddy’s illness.
The Bottom Line
The plaintiffs in these cases lived to be old men, and one of them was not even diagnosed with asbestosis until after he died. Do not assume that it is too late to file a lawsuit related to asbestos exposure on the job.
Contact Patrick Yancey About Mesothelioma Cases
A mesothelioma lawyer can help you recover damages for your financial losses and physical and emotional suffering related to asbestos exposure, even if it happened in the context of work you did decades ago. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.