Postal worker sues over occupational asbestos exposure

Michelle Massey May 14, 2010, 6:18am

Mike Gertler

Louis Gertler


A postal worker's asbestos lawsuit against contractors responsible for an asbestos abatement project in the 1980s at the New Orleans Post Office has been removed from Orleans Parish District Court to federal court in New Orleans.

Louis Wilson, who has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, claims his primary exposure occurred during an asbestos abatement project at the Post Office between approximately 1984-1986. Wilson filed suit against Laughlin-Thyssen, Gibbs Construction, Eagle and Bayercropscience as a successor to Rhone-Poulenc AG Co. formerly known as Amchem Products.

Laughlin-Thyssen removed the case filed in March on May 7.

Wilson claims that during the abatement project, asbestos fireproofing, asbestos pipe covering and other asbestos-containing materials were removed from the main Post Office and during the process, asbestos fibers were released into his immediate vicinity.

According to Wilson, defendant Gibbs Construction was the general contractor responsible for the project and contractually agreed to indemnify the USPS for any negligence during the abatement process. Defendant Laughlin-Thyseen was the subcontractor which performed the asbestos abatement work.

Wilson accuses the defendants of negligence for allowing contact and intermingling between abatement workers and USPS employees, causing or allowing asbestos fibers to be dispersed through the air conditioning and heating systems, allowing contamination of public spaces, and causing or allowing USPS employees to be exposed to asbestos during the disposal of the materials that were being removed from the building.

Eagle did insulation work including the removal of insulation and testing. Wilson accuses Eagle's employees of negligently causing asbestos dust and fibers to be disturbed and dispersed into the workplace atmosphere in his immediate area.

Amchem manufactured and sold mastic which was used during the original insulation and construction of the post office building. Wilson states the mastic contained asbestos and the defendant had a legal duty to warn consumers of the dangers of exposure to this product.

He is seeking damages for physical and mental pain and suffering, for his fear of dying, loss of enjoyment of life, and medical expenses.

Wilson is represented by New Orleans attorneys M.H. Gertler, Rodney Vincent, Louis Plotkin, Louis Gertler and Marcia Finkelstein of Gertler, Gertler, Vincent & Plotkin.

U. S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01428

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