Before Patricia Ann Dumas Jackson died of malignant mesothelioma at the age of 75 she filed a lawsuit against several companies, accusing them of having negligently exposed her to asbestos and causing her illness. Though most of the companies settled with her before trial, Hopeman Brothers, Inc. filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that there was no proof that she had been exposed to asbestos from their products. Upon review, Senior District Judge Eldon E. Fallon of the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana denied the company’s request, concluding that whether she had been exposed to asbestos on her father’s clothing was best determined by a jury.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Revolves Around Where Asbestos Products Were Used
After her death, Mrs. Jackson’s lawsuit has been continued by her daughter Dielda, who asserts that her mother’s mesothelioma followed exposure to asbestos brought home on her grandfather’s work clothes during the years that he worked at Avondale Shipyard. They claim that O’Neal Dumas worked in close proximity to Hopeman’s operations involving asbestos-containing wallboard when Mrs. Jackson was a child, and that when he went home each night she would shake out his asbestos-covered clothing, launder it, and sweep up the asbestos that had accumulated on the floor.
In response, Hopeman’s attorneys argued that the mesothelioma lawsuit was a question of “wrong place, wrong time.” Though they acknowledged that their shipbuilding products contained asbestos, they said that their wallboard only having been cut after the ship had been launched. They indicated that Mr. Dumas had only worked on vessels that were pre-launch, but Mrs. Jackson’s attorneys presented witnesses that said that wallboard was cut pre-launch at Wet Dock No. 2, where Mr. Dumas had spent a great deal of time cleaning up dust left behind. They also testified about the significant amount of dust that was generated, confirming that it would have been carried home on his clothing.
Summary Judgment for Mesothelioma Lawsuit Denied
In denying Hopeman’s motion for summary judgment, the judge said that the family had raised a genuine issue of material fact with respect to asbestos exposure that needed to be resolved by a jury. The case will be able to move forward and the family will have their day in court.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is important that you have people working on your behalf to ensure that you are treated well and fairly. The Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net are here to help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 to learn more.