Shell Oil, ExxonMobil among 31 defendants named in asbestos suit

By Holland Phillips | Nov 8, 2013

NEW ORLEANS – A man has filed suit against a host of companies for his alleged exposure to asbestos, which he attributes to living in close proximity to asbestos manufacturing plants and from exposure through his father.

Merlin P. Landry filed suit against a long list of companies in relation to his exposure to asbestos and subsequent contraction of malignant mesothelioma.

Among the 31 defendant companies named in the suit, those classified as miners/manufacturers/sellers/distributors/contractors are ANCO Insulations Inc., Asbestos Corporation Ltd., Zurich American Insurance Co., Burmaster Land & Development Co. LLC, Eagle Inc., Hopeman Brothers Inc., International Paper Co., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., McCarty Corp., Owens Illinois Inc., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Reilly-Benton Co., Taylor-Seidenbach Inc., Uniroyal Inc. and Viacom Inc.

Employer/premise owner/executive officer defendants are Avondale Industries, OneBeacon Insurance Co., Union Carbide Corp., Murphy Oil USA, Chevron USA Inc., Shell Oil Co., Shell Chemical, Pharmacia Corp., URS Corp., Wyeth Holding Corp. and ExxonMobil.

Insurance defendants are Maryland Casualty Co., Continental Insurance Co., Federal Insurance Co., Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. and Insurance Company of North America.

The plaintiff claims that he was exposed to injurious levels of asbestos from three sources: living in proximity to asbestos manufacturing plants and scrap metal depositories from 1949 to the 1960s, fibrous asbestos brought home by his father, who was employed as a draftsman at Avondale Shipyard and Walk Haydel Inc.

The defendants are accused of strict liability for mining, manufacturing, selling, supplying, distributing, and using inherently dangerous, hazardous product, for failing to report, design, safety instructions, and warn, for the defective composition of their products, failure to recall defective products, and for defective packaging. Employers are accused of creating an unsafe work environment, omitting critical medical and safety information from the plaintiff’s father, and failing to supervise or monitor the situation.

An undisclosed amount is sought for medical costs and expenses, lost earnings, mental suffering, anguish, and pain, physical pain and suffering, loss of quality of life and disability.

The plaintiff is represented by David R. Cannella of New Orleans-based Landy, Swarr & Cannella LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division J Judge Paula A. Brown.

Case no. 2013-08298.

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