Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is progressive, very painful, and invariably fatal. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. It usually attacks the lungs, but can also affect other major organs. Companies that have used asbestos try to deny the link, but medical advances have resulted in compelling evidence to support the link.

Louisiana is known for Mardi Gras, jazz, and Cajun cuisine. It is also known for oil refineries and drilling, the maritime industry, and power plants – all of which have used significant amounts of asbestos fiber. It goes without saying that employees who work in those sectors have been exposed to those fibers, and that, in a nutshell, is why Louisiana has more than its share of meso litigation.

What Happens Following Diagnosis?

Once a patient has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, they can expect to live usually no more than a year and a half. This leaves families devastated, and understandably wanting justice. Whether the company involved was unaware of the potential danger, or knew and exposed their workers just the same, victims and their families know that they’re well within their rights to seek compensation.

Where Does Exposure Occur?

Exposure is common at job sites involved in the oil, gas, power and maritime industries. The following sites and industry types have been flagged as Louisiana workplaces where asbestos exposure is likely to have occurred. This is not a complete listing. Given the prevalence of industry in Louisiana, there could be other places of employment.

  • Shipyards
  • Power plants
  • Chemical plants
  • Salt plants
  • Rubber plants
  • Fabrication manufacturers
  • Oil refineries
  • Cable companies
  • Sugar factories
  • Hospitals
  • Steam plants
  • Pipelines
  • Fisheries docks

Specific companies have also been identified. They include, in no particular order:

  • Anco Insulations
  • Uniroyal
  • Chevron
  • McCarty Corporation
  • Hopeman Brothers
  • Eagle Inc.
  • Avondale Shipyard
  • Cities Services
  • Equitable Shipyard
  • Louisiana State University
  • Asbestos Corporation Limited
  • Conoco Philips
  • Shell,
  • Exxon
  • Murphy Oil
  • American Cyanamid
  • Monsanto
  • Hooker Chemical
  • Hopeman Brothers
  • Reilly Benton
  • PPG, Hercules, Inc.
  • Entergy
  • Foster Wheeler
  • Union Carbide

I’ve Never Worked at Any of Those Places – Could I Still Be Affected?

Yes. Asbestos use in Louisiana has been ubiquitous – that’s why there are so many cases. You could have had secondary exposure. If a member of your household worked in one of those sectors or businesses, they could have brought asbestos fibers home on their clothes. Then when the clothes are removed, the particles are shaken off, and you have what’s come to be known as “shaker” cases. Some of the most tragic cases of asbestos exposure resulting in mesothelioma involve well-meaning wives who have laundered clothing for husbands who worked in Louisiana oil refineries, shipyards, and manufacturing plants long before the effects of secondary exposure were known. The fibers can also be brought in on shoes, hair, and skin. Shaker cases are very common in Louisiana.

What if I Wasn’t Exposed All That Much?

When it comes to exposure to asbestos fibers, unfortunately, there is no good news. Even if your exposure was limited, you could still be at risk. The conventional wisdom is that no level of asbestos exposure is safe. Even one exposure could be sufficient to cause mesothelioma. By the time it’s diagnosed, available treatments are extremely limited. It is almost always fatal.

There are federal laws now that are designed to reduce the risk of secondary exposure, but that’s not much help if the exposure took place before the laws were enacted. If you think you may have been exposed, you should contact an attorney.

Landry & Swarr has been representing individuals and families affected by asbestos exposure since 1999. Contact us at 504-299-1214 for a consultation today.