When Linda Guillot was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma she filed suit against Avondale Industries, accusing them of failing to warn of the dangers posed to family members of those who worked in their asbestos-contaminated environment. Though Avondale asserted that her case should be dismissed based on federal protections, the judge in her case denied their petition for summary judgment, ruling that government contracts do not absolve asbestos companies of the duty to warn.
Second-Hand Asbestos Exposure Blamed for Mesothelioma
Though malignant mesothelioma is most frequently considered an occupational disease, there are many examples of victims whose illness is caused by second-hand exposure to asbestos carried home on their loved ones’ clothing. Such was the case for Ms. Guillot, whose husband and father both worked for Avondale Industries, a company that produced asbestos-contaminated products for use onboard Navy vessels.
Avondale argued that they are immune from liability for her malignant mesothelioma because the materials that they produced were created to the specifications of the U.S. government, and that they are therefore protected. They filed a motion for summary judgment to have her case dismissed, essentially saying that they had no responsibility to warn of asbestos’ dangers to their employees’ families because they were producing what the government ordered from them.
Judge Points to Duty to Warn in Mesothelioma Case
In his ruling in the mesothelioma lawsuit, District Judge Carl J. Barbier of the United States District Court of Louisiana pointed to Avondale Industries’ duty to warn of dangers, regardless of whether they were fulfilling a government request or not. He wrote in part, “There is simply nothing in the record indicating that Avondale was prevented from adopting the safety measures that Plaintiff claims would have prevented her from contracting mesothelioma. At best, Avondale demonstrates that the federal government required Avondale to use asbestos when building ships.”
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.