Asbestos exposure suit filed by former Ethyl Corp. worker

By Catherine Melancon | Dec 6, 2012

Lawrence Gettys

BATON ROUGE – A Baton Rouge man is suing several Louisiana manufacturers and a Baton Rouge corporation after he was allegedly exposed to asbestos.

Melvin Toups filed suit against Ethyl Corporation, Anco Insulations, Inc., Eagle, Inc., Georgia Pacific Corporation, The McCarty Corporation, Reilly-Benton Co., Inc., Taylor-Seindenbach, Inc. and Union Carbide Corporation in the 19th Judicial Court on Nov. 19.

Toups claims the asbestos he was exposed to while employed at Ethyl Corporation caused his lung cancer.

He asserts he was exposed to the asbestos between the 1950s-70s while he worked as a boiler tender, operator and construction contractor.

Each defendant named has allegedly engaged in the mining, processing, manufacturing, installation, maintenance, sale, use and/or distribution of asbestos and asbestos-containing products or machinery requiring or calling for the use of asbestos.

The plaintiff asserts he was exposed to asbestos on numerous occasions and inhaled great quantities of asbestos fibers.

The defendants are accused of failing to timely and adequately warn the plaintiff of the dangerous health hazards associated with asbestos exposure, failing to provide the plaintiff with information with reasonably safe and sufficient wearing apparel and proper protective equipment and appliances, failing to take reasonable precautions or exercise reasonable care to publish, adopt or enforce a safety plan of handling and installing asbestos, failing to develop and utilize a substance material to eliminate asbestos fibers in the asbestos-containing products, failing to properly design and manufacture asbestos, failing to properly test products and failing to recall and/remove asbestos-containing products from the stream of commerce.

The plaintiff's employers and employers' executive officers and directors are accused of failing to provide and ensure a safe workplace for their employees, failing to inspect, approve and supervise the work of the plaintiff, failing to make health and hygiene decision on any questions regarding the use of respiratory protection devices, failing to provide adequate warnings, physical examinations, safety equipment, ventilation and breathing apparatus, failing to properly hire and train their employees and failing to comply with applicable state and federal regulations regarding workplace asbestos exposure.

Ethyl Corporation is accused of negligently failing to disclose, warn or reveal critical medical and safety information regarding asbestos to the plaintiff, failing to timely remove asbestos hazards from the work place, failing to properly supervise or monitor work areas for compliance with safety regulation and failing to provide a safe and suitable means of eliminating the amount of asbestos dust in the air.

Toups asserts the negligence, fault, strict liability and willful misconduct of the defendants was the cause of his injuries.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for physical pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, pharmaceutical expenses, asbestos-related lung cancer, loss of earning capacity, lost earnings, loss of consortium, love affection, services and society and loss of quality of life.

The plaintiff is represented by Lawrence Gettys of Heard, Robins, Cloud and Black, LLP.

The case has been assigned to Division I Judge R. Michael Caldwell.

Case no. 617124.

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