New Orleans is one of the most important ports in the country, with a population of 343,000. The city was founded more than 200 years ago, and because of the heavy shipping and industry located here, has been the site of much asbestos exposure over the years.
High-Industries for Asbestos Exposure in New Orleans and Louisiana
From 1999 until 2015, 769 residents of New Orleans and Louisiana died from asbestos cancer. The state has an above-average death rate from mesothelioma of about ten people per million each year. Mesothelioma incidence is high in all parts of the state, with the highest rates in the northern and central counties. (CDC.gov)
Louisiana has been heavily involved in offshore drilling and oil refineries for decades. Both have contained a lot of asbestos to prevent and contain fires. Some of the largest oil companies in the world are based around and near New Orleans, including BP Amoco, Citgo, Shell Oil, and Texaco. All of them have been responsible for exposing their workers to asbestos to some degree. (mesothelioma.com)
Because it is a coastal state, Louisiane is a natural location for shipyards. One of the most well-known shipbuilding companies in Louisiana is Avondale Shipyards, which had several locations in the state, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Westwego. Other ship manufacturers in the state have been known to expose workers to asbestos, such as Higgins Industries, Bollinger Shipyard, and Todd Shipyard.
A research study done in 1987 on Louisiana cement plants found higher rates of cancer among workers at those facilities. It was found that some companies used amphibole asbestos and others used chrysotile asbestos in their cement. Most manufacturers of this hazardous cement stopped after 1960, but the latency period for mesothelioma is up to 40 years, so some workers still developed the disease later in life.
As in all states, Louisiana power plants often contained high amounts of asbestos to insulate against electricity and heat that were created by big power generators. The Central Louisiana Electric Company and Louisiana Electric Co-Op are just two of the power companies that exposed workers to dangerous asbestos fibers over the years.
Rice has been a major crop in the state for 200 years. But the production of rice has led to serious asbestos exposure for many workers. Much asbestos was used in harvesting machines and mills. Companies in New Orleans and other cities that exposed workers to asbestos include Abbeville Rice Mill, Acadia Vermillion Rice Irrigation, and Louisiana State Rice Milling.
The home of this shipyard is Avondale, and there are also locations in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Westwego. The home of the shipyard in Avondale has huge wharves, launch ways and a floating dry dock that is 900 feet long. Avondale was one of the first companies to devise a modular design technique that competed with the Japanese. Throughout the mid-20th century, the company built many types of commercial and naval vessels.
But many ships constructed during this period contained asbestos in large amounts to prevent fire. Many shipwrights and repair workers were exposed to the toxic substance for years.
This company’s biggest claim to fame was the Higgins Boat. This was an amphibious vessel that was used on D-Day to help American and British forces land in Normandy, France. Higgins Industries also built other boats, such as PT boats, the A-1 lifeboat, and others. During World War II, Higgins Industries employed more than 20,000 workers. But most of them were exposed heavily to asbestos during their work. Asbestos was used often in warship components and insulation.
New Orleans changed forever when Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005. The floodwaters destroyed hundreds of buildings, homes, and forestry in the area. The EPA warned at least 100 pollutants might have been in the floodwaters and drinking water. There was a risk of exposure to asbestos, pesticides, chemicals, and parasites for weeks after the hurricane.
Asbestos posed unique problems for workers in the cleanup operation. Asbestos fibers can go airborne when the materials are crushed, torn or destroyed. The great structural damage caused by the hurricane may have released untold amounts of asbestos into the air and put many residents at risk. Some buildings that made it through the hurricane were damaged enough to need to be demolished later, which may have led to asbestos exposure.
New Orleans and Louisiana Asbestos Lawsuits
Residents of Louisiana have one year from the date of diagnosis to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. Some of the successful asbestos lawsuits in the state have included these:
- Kenney vs. John Crane Inc: A jury in September 2011 awarded $7.5 million to Thomas Kenney, who contracted asbestos cancer after he was exposed to the toxic substance as he worked with products made by John Crane. He also was exposed to asbestos while working at American Can.
- Mabile vs. Dow Chemical: In 2013, a jury in Louisiana awarded $6 million to Sidney Mabile after it found that Dow Chemical was responsible for his mesothelioma. He worked as an electrician in Baton Rouge where he was exposed to the mineral. It was found that Dow Chemical had estimated some of its employees would get cancer because it used asbestos, but it continued to use asbestos as it was more profitable.
- Morvant vs. Asbestos Corporation Limited: In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, Mary Morvant’s father was employed at a Johns Manville plant in New Orleans. It made asbestos piping with raw asbestos that was brought in from Asbestos Corporation Limited. Her father brought asbestos fibers home on his clothes and exposed his daughter to them. She was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012.
New Orleans Asbestos Attorney Information
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, consult with one of the following asbestos attorneys New Orleans and Louisiana:
Roussell & Clement Attorneys At Law
1550 West Causeway Approach
Mandeville LA 70471
The attorneys at this law office serving New Orleans and surrounding areas have years of experience representing clients exposed to asbestos. People with an asbestosis diagnosis or mesothelioma need access to compensation quickly so they can treat their disease and get their finances in order. Roussell & Clement can help.
Berniard Law Firm
1140 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans LA 70130
Jeff Berniard is known as one of the best asbestos exposure attorneys near you in New Orleans. He knows how state laws and regulations apply to asbestos cases. He works regularly in the local courts and knows the local industries where people may have been exposed to asbestos. They have a long record of successful verdicts and settlements, so you know you will get the compensation you richly deserve.
Get New Orleans Mesothelioma Legal Help
With over $30 billion available for victims through the Asbestos Trust Funds, you could be entitled to financial compensations without ever filing a lawsuit. Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer victims qualify immediately. Complete the form or call us toll-free (800) 352-0871.