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Mesothelioma News

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Claims Secondhand Asbestos Exposure

New Orleans, Louisiana – A Louisiana federal court has retained the jurisdiction in the secondary asbestos exposure lawsuit filed by a woman, claiming that it is capable of dealing with the complex state law questions and dismissing the request to remand.

Hon. Carl Barbier, a judge of the U.S. Dist. Court for the Eastern Dist. of Louisiana in New Orleans filed the order on 24th April, declining the remand request.

The suit was originally filed more than 4 years ago by Sally G Vedros, who passed away from malignant mesothelioma which she allegedly developed because of her secondhand exposure to asbestos fibers. Following her death, Vedros’ children became parties in this case by joining the lawsuit as plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs allege that Alton Gros, the father of Vedros, worked with Avondale between 1943 and 1976 as a welder. Vedros claimed that she spent a number of years washing the work clothes of her father, allegedly causing her suffer secondhand exposure to hazardous asbestos fibers.

Additionally, Vedros herself had worked with Avondale between 1960 and 63 in the company’s purchase department. According to Vedros, she was directly exposed to the toxic fibers of asbestos while working there.

The defendant companies manufactured, marketed, supplied, distributed, sold, installed or used a number of products containing asbestos, according to the plaintiffs. Vedros says the defendants never warned her or her husband regarding the dangerous nature of their products during their employment. The companies were aware that regular exposure to asbestos fibres, and even secondhand exposure, could result in fatal diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer. But they fraudulently concealed that information from workers, according to the suit. Neither Vedros nor her husband knew that occupational exposure and secondary exposure to asbestos are linked to terminal conditions like cancer. The companies also failed to provide the workers with face masks or respirators to prevent the employees from breathing in asbestos dust and fibers, according to Vedros.

Even secondary exposure – which means the exposure to asbestos fibers through the overalls of workers – could result in conditions like asbestosis, mesothelioma, pleural plaques and lung cancer.

Vedros had named numerous companies as defendants in the suit. Foster-Wheeler, General Electric, and Westinghouse removed this case to the federal court. In 2011 August, the lawsuit was shifted to the U.S. Dist. Court for the Eastern Dist. of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia as part of the MDL.