In many legal cases filed by mesothelioma victims, attempting to get justice from the companies responsible for their illness is met with roadblocks.
Such was the case of Robert Schindler, who filed a mesothelioma lawsuit against Dravo Basic Materials Company.
Schindler worked in the engine room of a vessel called DRAVO in 1973, when the boat was working in the navigable waters of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, dredging for clam shells.
Schindler indicated that those three months were the only time that he ever worked in an engine room of a vessel, and was subsequently exposed to asbestos.
However, the Dravo Basic Materials Company filed a motion to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction. The company claimed that because it had been such a long time since they did work in Louisiana, the case didn’t belong in a Louisiana courtroom. The court disagreed.
In making their argument against having the mesothelioma lawsuit against them heard in a Louisiana courtroom, Dravo’s lawyer argued that the court lacked jurisdiction because as a company it was not organized under Louisiana law and didn’t have its principal place of business in Louisiana.
The company also argued that it had not had any contact with the state of Louisiana in almost 25 years, since the state had outlawed clamshell dredging, claiming it would be unreasonable to expect it to have to be subject to the state’s laws.
In handing down their decision, the court disagreed that it would be unreasonable for the mesothelioma lawsuit to be heard in Louisiana, as the state “has an interest in a claim that allegedly resulted from exposure to asbestos while a person was working with a company that was performing shell dredging within the state.”
The court also pointed out that Schindler had the same interest.
When facing a mesothelioma diagnosis, victims are faced with many challenges and need compassionate, understanding advocates on their side. For support, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.