Asbestos jury trial set to start in Orleans Parish

Alejandro de los Rios Feb. 8, 2011, 10:44am

A 10-day asbestos jury trial is set to begin in Judge Piper Griffin's courtroom on Feb. 14 in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The family of Thomas H. Jefferson Jr. is suing 13 companies, which employed him as a laborer and longshoreman, claiming his death in December 2006 was a result of "his exposure to asbestos dust and fibers ... as a result of intentional misconduct of certain defendants."

The suit lists 28 jobs Jefferson held from 1955 to 1984 in its exhibit list. Among the defendants named in the original petition include American Sugar Refining, the McCarty Corp., Ports America Gulfport Inc. and Eagle Inc.

Metairie attorneys Cameron Waddell, Jody Anderman and Christopher Colley filed the original petition for damages in October 2007.

Waddell and Anderman have since withdrawn as counsel of record.

The high-profile Baton Rouge law firm Baron & Budd also is representing the plaintiffs, with attorneys Burton LeBlanc IV, Denys Clancy, Jo Ann Lea, Jason Placke and Lindsey Goldstein serving as counsel.

The original suit names seven counts of liability including negligence, intentional tort and joint and solidary liability.

The plaintiffs added claims of Jones Act violations in amended petitions.

The petition seeks damages for conscious physical pain and sufferent and mental anguish, disfigurement, funeral and burial expenses and loss of enjoyment of life, among other charges.

The third supplemental petition for damages added South African Marine Corporation Ltd and Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited.

New Orleans attorneys Antonio Rodriguez, Philip Brickman and Susan Keller-Garcia filed for removal to federal court on behalf of Industrial Development in December 2010.

Orleans Parish Case 2007-13834

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