Louisiana Jury Awards $ 5.95M In Mesothelioma Case

by Tara Arick on August 23, 2013 · 0 comments

in Labor and Employment Law,Product Liability

- From LexisNexis® Mealey’s™ Daily Legal News.

A Louisiana jury awarded $ 5.95 million to a man who contracted mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos, sources told Mealey Publications on Aug. 22 (Sidney Mabile v. Dow Chemical Co., No. N/A., La. Dist., Iberville Parish).

Sidney Mabile filed suit in the Iberville Parish District Court against numerous companies whose conduct allegedly exposed him to asbestos.

Mabile’s exposure allegedly came from work at the Dow Chemical Co. plant in Plaquemine. Mabile claimed that the exposure caused him to contract mesothelioma, sources said.

The Dow facility in Plaquemine is the largest chemical plant in the petro-chemical heavy state, sources said. Mabile alleged that he worked on electrical components containing asbestos while at the Dow facility. Mabile also claimed exposure to asbestos-containing pipe insulation and transite walls.

As part of its Aug. 12 verdict, the jury apportioned fault to Dow as well as nonparties McDermott Shipyards and Sewart Seacraft Shipyard. The jury found in favor of Westgate LLC.

Awards, Experts

The jury’s awards consisted of $ 1.5 million for loss of enjoyment of life, $ 1.5 million for mental anguish, $ 336,000 for past medical expenses, $ 900,000 for future medical expenses and $ 211,000 for lost wages.

Mabile called Richard Lemen, Ph.D., an epidemiology and industrial hygiene expert, William Longo, Ph.D., a materials science expert; Richard Kradin, M.D., a pathologist and pulmonary medicine expert, and William Smythe, M.D., a surgeon. The defendants relied on the testimony of LeRoy Balzer, Ph.D., an expert in industrial hygiene and state of the art.

A source told Mealey Publications that the liability finding could leave Dow liable for up to a third of the $ 5.95 million verdict. Dow said it would file post-trial motions and seek to appeal any adverse judgment.

Judge Donald M. Fendlason presided.

John Langdoc and Steven Lopez of Baron & Budd in Dallas represents Mabile. David Bienvenu of Bienvenu, Bonnecaze, Foco, Viator & Holinga in Baton Rouge, La., represents Dow. Henry H. LeBlas of LeBlas Law Offices in Lafayette, La., represents Westgate.

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