Those who live in the state of Louisiana—and have worked in the state for a significant length of time—may have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace, and prolonged exposure to asbestos may result in serious health issues such as mesothelioma.
The state of Louisiana has a significantly higher mesothelioma death rate than other states, at 10 people per million each year.
The highest rates of mesothelioma in the state of Louisiana are in the central and northern counties.
Because of the state’s location on the Gulf Coast, many jobs center around the oil industry, shipbuilding and cement plants—all industries with high levels of asbestos exposure. Some of the largest oil companies in the world have facilities in Louisiana, including Texaco, Shell Oil, Citgo and BP Amoco—all of which contribute to the level of asbestos exposure in the state. Shipbuilding and ship repair industries abound in Louisiana, including Avondale Shipyards with multiple locations across the state.
Shipbuilding is a known asbestos-exposing industry. Cement plant workers in Louisiana showed elevated rates of mesothelioma, despite the fact that most plants switched from using amphibole asbestos to white chrysotile asbestos in the late 1960’s, believing it to be a slightly safer choice.
The agricultural industry, particularly the production of rice, can also expose workers to asbestos in the mills and in the production of harvesting machines, and Louisiana power plants are also sources of asbestos exposure.
Why Are Mesothelioma Settlements Not Widely Publicized?
Although some law offices do publicize their mesothelioma settlements, many do not.
The primary reason for not publicizing settlement amounts is to protect the personal information of the client.
Not only do many clients not want their confidential financial information spread across the Internet, the defendants also have an interest in not having the settlement amount made public—defendants do not want other defense attorneys to know how much they paid out.
In short, making these mesothelioma settlements public can adversely affect the future settlements for other mesothelioma victims.
Trial or Settlement?
Although the typical mesothelioma trial award may be significantly higher than a mesothelioma settlement, most of these lawsuits are settled out of court.
A mesothelioma trial can take a very long time to conclude, and many mesothelioma victims simply do not have this kind of time, due to the serious nature of their illness. Whether a case will go to trial could be heavily dependent on the plaintiff’s diagnosis and medical history, where the claim is filed, the number of companies being named in the lawsuit, whether proof of negligence exists, and the level of lost wages, medical bills and additional expenses.
Have You Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma?
If you have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace and, as a result, have developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, it can be beneficial for you to speak to an experienced mesothelioma attorney who can thoroughly evaluate the facts of your case, and determine the best course of action.
At Landry & Swarr, our attorneys can help hold negligent employers accountable and pursue maximum compensation, so you have the money you need during this difficult time.