Retired shipyard worker sues multiple companies in asbestos suit

By Eliza Walker | Oct 12, 2013

NEW ORLEANS – A retired shipyard worker who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer caused by asbestos exposure has filed suit against an array of asbestos miners, distributors and his former employers.

Robert Dixon filed suit against the 3M Company (The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company), Albert Bossier, the executive officer of Avondale Industries, Anco Insulations Inc., CBS Corporation, Dana Companies LLC, Eagle Inc., Ford Motor Company, Hennessy Industries Inc., Honeywell International Inc., Hopeman Brothers Inc., International Paper Company, The McCarty Corporation, Northrop Gruman Ship Systems Inc., Reilly-Benton Company Inc. and Taylor-Seidenbach Inc. in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Aug. 2.

The plaintiff claims that he was exposed to asbestos several times during his career. From 1970 to 1973 he worked as a tacker and shipfitter at Northrop Grumman Ship System’s Inc, formerly known as Avondale Shipyard’s “Main Yard.” From 1976 to 1982 he performed daily maintenance for George Engine Company in Harvey, for Leson Chevrolet from 1982 to 1987 in Harvey and from 1987 to date in Jefferson Parish.

On Oct. 9, 2012, the plaintiff claims he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, an incurable and terminal cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

The defendants are accused of mining, manufacturing, selling, supplying, distributing and using products unreasonably dangerous and known to possess inherent dangerous properties with high potential for injury, failing to warn the plaintiff as to the hazards of their products in their foreseeable use, failing to provide safety instructions to eliminate or reduce risks associated with the products, failure to inspect truthfully or adequately report product testing and medical studies, failure to properly design, producing defective products, and failure to properly package their products. In addition, employers allegedly failed to provide Dixon with a safe place to work, adequate engineering or industrial hygiene measures to control the level of exposure to asbestos and failure to warn of associated hazards.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for medical costs, lost earnings, mental sufferings and reduced quality of life.

The plaintiff is represented by Susannah Chester-Schindler of Waters and Kraus LLP of Dallas, Texas.

The case has been assigned to Division D Judge Lloyd J. Medley.

Case no. 2013-07234.

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