Family claims roofer died due to exposure to roofing products

Michelle Massey Jul. 16, 2010, 4:24am


The family of a deceased roofer has filed a lawsuit which alleges the roofer developed leukemia due to his daily exposure to carcinogenic roofing products.

Maxine S. Young, Leroy Berry, Varneece Young Grammer, Vanessa Young London, Keith Young, Kim F. Young and Kirk Young filed suit against Beazer East, formerly known as Koppers Company, July 9 in Orleans Parish District Court.

George Douglas Young died in July 2009 as a result of chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small cell lymphoma, the suit claims. The family states that George Young's illness was caused by his substantial exposure to roofing chemicals and products manufactured by Beazer East that contained carcinogens, including coal tar pitch.

Young was employed as a roofer in the early 1940s and from 1951 to 1989, the suit says.

The family argues that Young was never warned the products could cause cancer or even that they were "deleterious, poisonous and highly harmful to George Young."

Beazer East is accused of failure to warn and negligently breaching express and implied warranties.

Maxine Young and her children are seeking damages for loss of future support, deprivation of the companionship, security, love and affection of her husband and their father, grief, mental anguish, and distress from the loss of George Young, emotional distress from seeing Young in near-death condition, funeral, hospital and medical expenses, plus interest and court costs.

They are also seeking punitive damages, arguing that the defendant intentionally disregarded public safety in the storage, handling and transportation of carcinogens from 1985 to 1995.

The petitioners are represented by John A. Venezia and William B. Gordon, III of Venezia & Associates in Metairie. A jury trialis requested.

Judge Madeleine M. Landrieu is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2010-7098

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