Family of pipe cleaner claims radiation poisoning; Seeks punitive damages in suit against Shell, others

Kyle Barnett Oct. 5, 2012, 5:00am


GRETNA – The family of a deceased man is suing a number of entities related to the pipe cleaning job he held, which allegedly resulted in him being repeatedly exposed to radioactive materials.

Archie Joseph Hebert, Seven Hebert, Evelyn Hebert and Margie Thibodaux on behalf of decedent Archibald Mark Hebert filed suit against Exxon Mobil Corporation, Exxon Mobil Oil Corporation, Humble Incorporated and Intracoastal Tubular Services, Inc. in the 24th Judicial District Court on Aug. 16.

Hebert's family claim Hebert was part of a lawsuit before his death that began in 2002 and is ongoing, which sought damages for health conditions related to his alleged exposure to dangerous levels of radiation through his job as a pipe cleaner. The plaintiffs allege that Hebert's death in 2011 was caused by that same exposure, which resulted in cerebral infarction, hypertension and diabetes.

Hebert's family asserts that his exposure to high levels of radiation resulted in his contraction of prostate cancer, skin cancer and liver cancer throughout his lifetime, which were all contributing factors to his death. The plaintiffs claim that exposure was due to carcinogenic materials produced during oil and gas production. Hebert was allegedly exposed to the hazardous materials during his employment with Intracoastal Tubular Services from 1976 to 1992.

The defendants are accused of not informing Hebert of hazards, not revealing exposure to the hazardous materials, failing to properly supervise Hebert's work operations, failing to properly test for hazardous materials, failing to properly dispose of hazardous materials, failing to place markings on contaminated pipes and work areas, acting in a careless and negligent manner and engaging in ultra-hazardous activity.

The defendants are also alleged to have ignored repeated warnings of the radioactive material throughout Hebert's career.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for wrongful death and for punitive damages.

The plaintiffs are represented by Jeremiah A. Sprague of the Marrero-based Falcon Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Division I Judge Nancy A. Miller.

Case no. 718-243.

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