Asbestos lawsuit filed by former worker’s ex-wife claiming secondary exposure caused lung cancer

By Kyle Barnett | Jun 13, 2013

GRETNA – A St. Tammany Parish woman is suing a number of companies her ex-husband where her ex-husband worked for the lung cancer she claims she contracted through exposure to asbestos he brought home from those jobs.

Julie Lavigne, individually and on behalf of her minor children, filed suit against Shell Oil Company, Shell Chemical, Shell Chemical Company, Kellogg Brown & Root Inc., Brown & Root Inc., Lenny’s Plumbing Inc. and American Do All Corporation in the 24th Judicial District Court on April 18.

Lavigne claims she shared a home with Michael Kenneth Lavigne from 1990 until 2008 and that during that time he worked for Kellog Brown & Root Inc., Shell Oil Company and Shell Chemical that included removing pipes and insulation, repairing old pipes that were insulated with asbestos and the handling and removal of the asbestos insulation itself.

On Aug. 6, 2012 the plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

The defendant is accused of failing to warn employees regarding the health hazards associated with asbestos exposure, failing to warn their employees against bringing asbestos-contaminated clothes home for laundering, failing to provide special work clothes which could be removed at the end of the work day, and not require home laundering, failing to provide showers at the workplace to enable employees to clean off asbestos dust and fibers before returning home, failing to advise employees that asbestos was an extremely dangerous substance, failing to implement adequate engineering controls to eliminate or substantially reduce their employee’s exposure to asbestos, failing to use asbestos-free insulation and other building products and failing to totally isolate and work activity to prevent asbestos exposure.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, emotional distress, fear of dying, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, disfigurement, embarrassment, physical impairment, loss of wage compensation, loss of fringe benefits, lost earning capacity, physical disability, mental disability, emotional and psychological anguish and distress, expert expenses, litigation costs, medical costs, loss of society, wrongful death and survival.

The plaintiff is represented by L. Eric Williams of the Metairie-based Williams Law Office LLC and Richard J. Fernandez of the Metairie-based Law Offices of Richard J. Fernandez LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division H Judge Glenn B. Ansardi.

Case no. 726-087.

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