Lawsuit alleges fire at scrap material company caused toxic smoke

Michelle Massey Oct. 15, 2010, 2:10am


A New Orleans resident is suing a scrap material company after a fire allgedly produced toxic smoke and fumes and causing injuries.

Audrey R. Raymond, individually and on behalf of her son, Michael A. Jones, filed suit against Southern Scrap Material Co. on Oct. 5 in Orleans Parish District Court.

According to the complaint, the fire occurred on the same day as the lawsuit was filed.

Raymond claims a safety net inside the hold of a decommissioned barge at the defendant's premises caught fire, resulting in the production of toxic smoke and fumes.

The defendants are accused of negligence in releasing a hazardous and harmful substance into the atmosphere, failing to properly handle and contain the hazardous and harmful substances, allowing a hazardous situation consisting of faulty and insufficient procedures and work practices, failing to properly warn petitioners, inspect equipment, implement safety rules and regulations, and failing to mitigate accident.

Southern Scrap Material is also accused of inadequate and negligent training and hiring, employing untrained or poorly trained employees, failing to properly train employees, failing to recognize and to properly react to the incident, failing to timely warn, owning or having custody and control of dangerous and defective equipment, failing to timely bring the situation under control.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, fear, anguish, discomfort, inconvenience, pain and suffering, emotional distress, psychiatric and psychological damages, evacuation, property damages, interest and court costs.

Raymond is represented by Gregory P. Di Leo and Jennifer B. Eagan in New Orleans. Other counsel includes Daniel Becnel, Jr., Darryl Becnel and Matthew Moreland of Becnel Law Firm in Reserve, Camilo K. Salas, III of Salas & Co. in New Orleans and Hugh P. Lambert and Linda J. Nelson of Lambert & Nelson in New Orleans.

Judge Madeleine M. Landrieu is assigned to the case.

Case No. 10-10214

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