Asbestos suit filed in federal court over mesothelioma death

Michelle Keahey Feb. 13, 2012, 2:17am

NEW ORLEANS - Following the death of a 72-year-old man from an asbestos-related disease, a federal lawsuit has been filed that accuses five companies accused of not warning of the dangerous associated with asbestos and asbestos-containing products.

Donna Frazier, as personal representative of the heirs-at-law and/or wrongful death beneficiaries of Joseph Frazier, filed suit against Certainteed Corp., Crane Co., Crown Cork & Seal Company Inc., Owens-Illinois Inc. and Georgia-Pacific Corp. on Feb. 2 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the lawsuit, Joseph Frazier had substantial exposure to asbestos and asbestos-containing products while working at job sites in Illinois, Georgia and elsewhere.

Frazier was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April 2002 and died from the illness on Jan. 20, 2004 at the age of 72 years old, the suit claims.

According to court documents, Frazier was exposed to asbestos for approximately 54 years while working for Illinois Fibre Specialty Co., L&S Roofing & Insulation, United States Army, Illinois Roofing & Insulation, Welso Construction Co., Midwest Industrial Siding Inc., Wynwood Builders Inc., Abbey Home & Builders and JD Frazier Building Co.

The defendants are successors to Frazier's previous employers
The defendants are accused of negligence and strict product liability for failing to warn of the danger and health hazards associated with asbestos exposure, failing to provide proper protective equipment, failing to place adequate warnings on asbestos-containing products, failing to implement a safety plan, and for failing to recall or remove asbestos-containing products from the stream of commerce.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of damages for her husband's conscious physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, and for her mental anguish, punitive damages, interest, and court costs.

The case was first filed in federal court in Mississippi, but was dismissed based on jurisdiction. The case was the refiled in federal court in Alabama in January 2011.

The plaintiff states that she will ask for dismissal of the Alabama lawsuit.

Frazier is represented by Metairie attorney Scott LaBarre. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00334

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