Wrongful death lawsuit claims radiation exposure at Harvey's Pipeline Services yard

By Michelle Keahey | Sep 17, 2012


NEW ORLEANS - The family of a deceased worker sues claiming the death was caused by exposure to dangerous levels of radiation at Pipeline Services yard in Harvey.

Eula K. Pierce and Brandy D. Pierce filed suit against Exxon Mobil Corp., Exxon Mobil Oil Corp., Humble Oil & Refining, Chevron USA Inc., Marathon Oil Co., Placid Oil Co., Placid Oil Co., Shell Oil Co., Shell Offshore Inc., SWEPI LP., and Conoco Philips Co. on Aug. 3 in Jefferson Parish District Court. The defendants removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Sept. 7.

The defendants are all oil companies whose production equipment was cleaned and processed at the Pipeline Services yard in Harvey.

Eula Pierce is the surviving spouse of Warren Pierce, and Brandy Pierce is the biological child of the decedent. Warren Pierce died on Aug. 6, 2011 from cardio myopathy, the suit states.

Pierce was employed from 1965 through 1988 by Amsted Industries Inc. at its facility in Harvey. According to the lawsuit, he was exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, which caused the disease that killed him. The production equipment used by the defendants allegedly contained the hazardous, toxic and carcinogenic radioactive materials and led to Pierce's exposure and death, the suit says.

The defendants are accused of failing to properly supervise the operations of the pipe cleaning contractors, failing to inform the decedent that the scale that was cleaned contained radioactive materials, failed to properly dispose of the waste, and for acting in a careless and negligent manner without due regard for the safety of the decedent.

The family is asking for wrongful death and survival death damages, exemplary damages, court costs, ad interest.

The plaintiffs are represented by Jeremiah A. Sprague and Timothy J. Falcon of Falcon Law Firm in Marrero and New Orleans attorney Frank M. Buck.

U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-02224

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