Holland Phillips Sep. 17, 2013, 3:57pm

NEW ORLEANS— A man alleges that his former employers neglected to take proper safety precautions to eliminate or reduce the risks to his health from exposure to asbestos, claiming he contracted malignant mesothelioma.

George Joseph Van Houten filed suit against Avondale Industries Inc., Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, Armstrong International, Asbestos Corporation, Aurora Pump Company, Inc., Buffalo Forger, Inc., BW/IP, Inc., CBS Corporation, Cleaver, Brooks, Inc., Cooper US, Copes-Vulcan, Inc., Crane Company, Crosby Valve, Inc., CSR, Inc., Eagle, Inc., Eaton Corporation, Inc., The Fairbanks Company, Inc., FMC Corporation, Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Goulds Pumps Inc., Hopeman Brothers Inc. IMP Industries Inc., Ingersoll-Rand Company, International Paper Company, John Crane Inc., Joy Technologies Inc., McCarty Corporation, Mine Safety Appliances Company, The Nash Engineering Company, Owens Illinois Inc. Reilly-Benton Company, Inc., Schneider Electric USA Inc., SpiraxSarco, Inc., Sterling Fluid Systems (USA) LLC., Taylor-Seidenbach Inc., Trane US Inc., Union Carbide Corporation, Uniroyal Inc., Velan Valve Corporation, Warren Pumps LLC, The Wm. Powell Company, American Employers, American Insurance Company, Home Insurance Company, OneBeacon Insurance Company, the Stonewall Insurance Company and executives with Avondale/Huntington Inglass/Northrop Gunman Ship Systems: Albert Bossier, John David Roberts, Henry “Zac” Carter, Hettie Margaret Dawes-Eaves, and Edwin Hartzman in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on July 12.

Van Houten claims that he was exposed to injurious levels of asbestos in his career with Avondale Shipyards off and on from 1964-1969. He used and handled and/or was in the vicinity of others using or handling asbestos or asbestos-containing products at these facilities in ship engine rooms and where fibers in the ambient air could be breathed in. He was recently diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in March of 2013.

Avondale Inc. is accused of “negligently, recklessly, willfully and/or because of gross and wanton negligence, fault, or strict liability, fail[ing] to properly discharge its duties to the Plaintiff in failing to provide a safe workplace.” Specifically, the company allegedly neglected to provide safety instructions for eliminating or reducing risks of exposure to products that contained fibrous, incombustible, chemical-resistant substances, failed to provide adequate measures to control the level of infiltration into the ambient air and to the plaintiff’s home, and failure to deliver medical monitoring and air monitoring. Avondale also allegedly failed to inspect products, to test for defects or hazards, to accurately report the results of those tests and medical studies; and further, allegedly failed to design the products without asbestos where alternate and equally suitable products were available, in addition to improperly packaging, transporting, handling, storing, and disposing of the product.

An undisclosed amount is sought for all medical costs and expenses, lost earnings, mental suffering, anguish, physical pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of quality of life and all other forms of relief deemed appropriate.

Van Houten is represented by David R. Cannella of New Orleans-based Landry, Swarr & Cannella LLC.

The case has been assigned to District L Judge Kern A. Reese.

Case no 13-06563.

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