Sprawling asbestos case names 33 defendants

Kyle Barnett Dec. 9, 2011, 12:41pm

An asbestos lawsuit filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court names 33 defendants as liable for a man's recent lung cancer diagnosis.

Julian Rivera filed suit against Avondale Industries Inc. along with 32 other defendants for exposing him to asbestos or asbestos-coated products.

According to the lawsuit, Rivera was an employee at Avondale Shipyard from 1966 through 1974 and was diagnosed with mesothelioma on Oct. 26, 2011. Avondale in particular is accused of reckless and willful negligence and failure to provide a safe place to work and to warn the plaintiff of hazards inherent in handling asbestos.

The numerous defendants were miners, manufacturers, sellers, users, distributors and/or suppliers of asbestos products.

The suit states the defendants were liable for asbestos that was defective and unreasonably dangerous to the plaintiff. The filing asserts all parties engaged in substandard conduct dealing with hazardous products and that the negligence resulted in Rivera's disease. The defendants are cited for lack of warning, safety instructions, failure to adequately inspect products, failure to adequately test products, failure to truthfully report results of product testing and medical studies associated to asbestos, failure to package products properly.

Damages are requested for medical costs past and present, lost earnings, mental suffering, physical pain and suffering, loss of quality of life and disability.

Frank J. Swarr, of New Orleans-based Landry & Swarr Law Firm, is representing Rivera.

The case has been assigned Section I Judge Piper D. Griffin.

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