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The death toll from asbestos-related illnesses in Louisiana is particularly high. The elevated death rate can be explained by asbestos exposure that occurred in some of the Bayou State’s biggest industries. These industries include oil refineries, ports, and shipyards, the most common places workers were exposed to asbestos. Vermiculite processing and natural disasters like hurricane Katrina also caused asbestos exposure in Louisiana.
Some Louisiana asbestos victims became severely sick with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis. As a result, many will die from these illnesses. Victims and their loved ones can turn to a Louisiana mesothelioma lawyer to help make a case against parties responsible for asbestos exposure. With a professional on their side, these suffering individuals can make a strong case and ultimately receive justice and monetary compensation.
Waters Kraus & Paul – Leading Louisiana Mesothelioma Lawyers
Waters Kraus & Paul is a Louisiana mesothelioma law firm with a record of successfully winning impressive verdicts and settlements on behalf of their clients. The firm prides itself on its ability to hold manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers of asbestos accountable for their negligence.
The firm supports its aggressive representation with both experience and resources. Each case is pursued in collaboration with one of the firm’s partners from start to finish. Cases are supported by a Medical Resources Department and a Litigation Support Department.
Waters Kraus & Paul prides itself on the individual attention that it provides to its clients. They have recovered more than $1.3 billion for clients like you.
Examples of Waters Kraus & Paul’s Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
- Won $4.4 Million on behalf of a bowling alley owner diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma after years of drilling holes into bowling balls filled with asbestos-laden brake lining dust.
- Won $2 Million on behalf of an industrial maintenance mechanic diagnosed with mesothelioma after years of working with asbestos pipe and fittings.
- Won $1.1 Million on behalf of a pipeline worker diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma after working with asbestos-contaminated cement pipe.
- Won $8.45 Million on behalf of a man diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma after years of working with asbestos-contaminated boilers, gaskets, rope and cement.
- Won $6.8 Million on behalf of a postal worker who worked with asbestos insulation while working as a part-time insulator while in middle and high school.
Louisiana Office Location
Baton Rouge Mesothelioma Law Office
9191 Siegen Lane
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70810
Phone: (225) 308-2617
Meet the Attorneys
Lawrence G. Gettys
Lawrence Gettys serves as of counsel in the firm’s Baton Rouge, Louisiana office, focusing on cases involving asbestos exposure. He has a 20-plus-year record of having successfully represented thousands of clients affected by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases and winning significant victories on their behalf.
Mr. Gettys has won many prestigious awards and recognitions. He is associated with numerous professional associations, including:
- Best Team, Best Brief, Moot Court Board, Southern University Law Center, 1992
- American Association for Justice
- American Bar Association
- Baton Rouge Bar Association
- Louisiana Association for Justice
- Texas Trial Lawyers Association
Bar Admissions: Louisiana and Texas
Michael L. Armitage
One of Waters Kraus & Paul’s partners, Mr. Armitage is based in the firm’s Los Angeles location where his work on asbestos-related cancer cases has resulted in significant decisions on behalf of his clients. In addition to his litigation, he serves as a liaison counsel on Bench-Bar Committees for asbestos litigation issues before the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He’s frequently invited to be a speaker or co-chair of national conferences and seminars dealing with asbestos litigation.
Mr. Armitage has won many prestigious awards and recognitions and is associated with numerous professional associations, including:
- American Association for Justice
- Consumer Attorneys of California
- Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles
- Maritime Law Association of the United States
- Public Justice Foundation
Honors & Awards
- Order of the Coif
- Member, Moot Court Board, Tulane University
- Senior Fellow, Legal Research and Writing Program, Tulane University
- Selected for inclusion on the Southern California Super Lawyers list, published by Thomson Reuters, Legal, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
- Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers In America, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
- AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5, Martindale-Hubbell Featured Peer Review Rated Lawyer
- Selected for recognition on the “Southern California’s Top Rated Lawyers” list, produced by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® and published by ALM Media Properties, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Bar Admissions: States of Louisiana and California; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana; U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana; U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana; U.S. District Court, Southern District of California; U.S. District Court, Central District of California; U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.
Peter A. Kraus
Mr. Kraus is one of the founding partners of the firm and acts as its managing partner. He is a noted asbestos litigator who has not only tried and won numerous cases on behalf of mesothelioma victims, but also has testified before the Texas Legislature and to Congress on behalf of victims of asbestos exposure. He serves on advisory committees for asbestos bankruptcy creditors and asbestos trustees and is involved in steering committees working on both U.S. and Texas-based asbestos multidistrict litigation. He has also served on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Asbestos litigation.
Mr. Kraus has won many prestigious awards and recognitions and is associated with numerous professional associations, including:
- American Association for Justice
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- Public Justice Foundation
- State Bar of California
- State Bar of Hawaii
- State Bar of Missouri
- Virginia Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- Texas Bar Foundation
- Texas Trial Lawyers Association
- Dallas Bar Association
- Dallas Bar Foundation
- Dallas Trial Lawyers Association
Honors & Awards
- Recipient, Above and Beyond Award, American Association for Justice, 2017
- Kristi Couvillon Pro Bono Award, Texas Civil Rights Project, 2016
- Selected for recognition on the Best Lawyers in America© list, produced and published by Best Lawyers©, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
- Appointed to Federal Judicial Center Foundation Board, 2014
- Selected for recognition on the “Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers” list, produced by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® and published by ALM Media Properties, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
- American Association for Justice “David S. Shrager President’s Award,” 2012
- American Association for Justice “Heavy Lifting” Award, 2010, 2011
- Selected for recognition on the Texas Super Lawyers list, published by Thomson Reuters, Legal, 2003-2011, 2017, 2018
- Selected for recognition on the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” list in D Magazine, published by D Magazine Partners, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019
- AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5.0, Martindale-Hubbell Featured Peer Review Rated Lawyer
- 2018 Patron Member of Public Justice
Bar Admissions: State Bars of Hawaii, Missouri, California, Texas and Virginia; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia; U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas; U.S. District Court, Western District of New York.
More Information on Asbestos and Mesothelioma in Louisiana
Asbestos is a harmful mineral once used by many industries. The natural mineral was once commonly used because it is cheap, abundant, lightweight, and resists heat and fire. Regulations set in the 1970s limited asbestos use and set guidelines for safe handling. However, buildings built before regulations may have asbestos in the insulation, roofing, ceilings, drywall compound, flooring tiles, and many other places. The firm supports its aggressive representation with both experience and resources. Each case is pursued in collaboration with one of the firm’s partners from start to finish. Cases are supported by a Medical Resources Department and a Litigation Support Department.
While exposure in older buildings is possible, most asbestos exposure in Louisiana has been on the job. Many industries used asbestos in the materials workers made and used on the job. Factories, power plants, chemical plants, oil refineries, shipyards, and many more work sites used asbestos, potentially harming workers through exposure.
Oil Refining, Shipping, and Ports
Because of the long Gulf of Mexico coastline, two of Louisiana’s biggest industries are oil and shipping. Both industries often exposed workers to asbestos. Oil refineries line Louisiana’s coast, processing petroleum drilled from the Gulf of Mexico floor. Refineries use intense heat and fire. Asbestos has been touted for its strong resistance to fires and high temperatures. Further, nearly all pipelines leading to and from refineries were insulated with asbestos materials.
Shipping is also an important industry for Louisiana. Shipyards and ports are major sites of asbestos use. Ships used asbestos in construction because it is lightweight and protects against fire. Fireproofing ships without adding weight is crucial for safety, but also puts workers at risk of serious illness from asbestos exposure.
Mining is inherently risky. Digging deep into the earth poses its own dangers. However, miners can be exposed to dangerous asbestos even if they do not work in an asbestos mine. For example, salt mining could potentially result in dangerous asbestos exposure. Cargill, Morton, and other companies own several salt mines in the Bayou State. These companies mined, purified, and processed salt. Because asbestos was used in salt processing, numerous workers were exposed, resulting in many respiratory and other illnesses.
W.R. Grace and Libby Vermiculite
A vermiculite mine owned by W. R. Grace in Libby, Montan, produced hundreds of thousands of tons of minerals over the years. Minerals collected from this mine were often contaminated with asbestos. The company shipped vermiculite around the country for processing, including to a large New Orleans facility. Many workers were exposed to asbestos and put at risk of serious illness. Residents in the area also faced risks from asbestos fibers that contaminated the surrounding area.
In 2005, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reported on the New Orleans vermiculite facility. The registry confirmed that between 70 and 90 former workers were exposed to asbestos there. Orleans Parish, where the facility is located, has the highest asbestos-related death rate in the state of Louisiana.
After Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in many obvious ways, but one often overlooked way is increased asbestos exposure. High winds and flooding destroyed many older buildings, exposing asbestos in older construction materials. First responders sorted through rubble in rescue efforts and were likely exposed to asbestos in the process. When the water receded and the ground and debris dried out, damaged asbestos was left behind. Afterward, fibers from exposed asbestos could break free and easily become airborne or contaminate the ground or water.
Sites with Known Asbestos Exposure in Louisiana
Many Louisiana public buildings and job sites have documented asbestos, which could have potentially exposed workers or residents to dangerous fibers. Some of these include:
- Dow Chemical Company, Plaquemine
- Avondale Shipyard, Avondale
- Esso Standard Oil Company, Baton Rouge
- Louisiana Power and Light Company, New Orleans and Westwego
- Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation, Baton Rouge
- Exxon Refinery, Baton Rouge
- Todd Shipyard, New Orleans
- Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
- Freeport Sulphur Company, Harvey
- Morton Salt Company, Weeks Island
Louisiana Asbestos Laws
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for administering asbestos regulations and ensuring federal rules are followed. Rules require the state and department to be notified before any work is done with asbestos. This includes building renovations and abatement projects. The work can only be done by professionals trained and certified to work with asbestos. Also, any friable asbestos that is removed must be wetted and disposed of in a licensed waste facility.
Statute of Limitations
Victims of asbestos exposure have one year from the time of diagnosis to file a lawsuit. If you were exposed to asbestos and developed an asbestos-related illness, you must act quickly. If you have a loved one who died from one of these illnesses, you also have one year to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Find a Louisiana Mesothelioma Lawyer
The statute of limitations on lawsuits and wrongful death cases means if you or a loved one was harmed by asbestos exposure, your time to act is limited. Work with a reliable Louisiana mesothelioma lawyer to ensure you don’t miss deadlines. They can also help you gather evidence and make a strong case within the limited time frame. The process is challenging, but with experienced help, it can be done. A legal team with the in-depth knowledge of asbestos laws is your best chance of a positive outcome.
Page Written by Rod De Llano, Esquire
Rod De Llano was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. He graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Economics, and earned a law degree from the University of Texas. After working for an international law firm for several years, Rod formed a law firm dedicated to representing persons injured by exposure to asbestos products. For over 20 years, Rod has fought for persons diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. His clients have recovered over $1 billion over the years.