La. jury awards $1.5M in asbestos case

Jessica M. Karmasek Jul. 6, 2011, 9:23am

NEW ORLEANS (Legal Newsline) - An Orleans Parish Civil District Court jury last week awarded $1.5 million in general damages to a man who contracted mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

The jury, according to its verdict issued Friday, found that the plaintiff, Leopold Granier Jr., was exposed to asbestos and contracted the disease due to the negligence of Avondale Shipyards, Cajun Insulation and Union Carbide Corp.

According to its four-page verdict, the jury also found that Avondale, Cajun and Union Carbide were strictly liable and that the products in their possession were a "substantial and contributing cause" of Granier's mesothelioma.

Union Carbide, in particular, was strictly liable because asbestos materials incorporated into the company's Taft, La., plant were a "substantial and contributing cause" of the man's cancer, the jury found.

In addition to the $1.5 million in general damages, the jury awarded Granier $104,160.77 in special damages.

Avondale, which was acquired by Northrop Grumman Corp., is slated to close in 2013. Northrop Grumman announced its decision last year in response to the Navy's reduced order of new warships from the company.

The shipyard, at one time, was the largest employer in the state of Louisiana with more than 20,000 employees.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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