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Asbestos Verdict Upheld by Louisiana Court of Appeal, Announces Baron & Budd
Date:5/19/2008

$3.2 Million Verdict Upheld Against Mesothelioma Victim's Former Employers

BATON ROUGE, La., May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Just fifteen months after winning a $3.2 million verdict against contractors Parsons Infrastructure & Technology Group, Inc. and Jacobs Constructors, Inc. on behalf of mesothelioma victim Ray Rando, Baron & Budd, P.C. today announced the verdict has been affirmed by the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal. Rando, a former welder and pipefitter, contracted mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure while he worked for the defendants.

Rando was represented at trial by attorneys Cameron Waddell and Jody Alderman of Baton Rouge's LeBlanc & Waddell. Baron & Budd's Renee Melancon was appellate counsel for Rando.

"Ray Rando's employers tried repeatedly to evade responsibility for his injuries, but these committed attorneys convinced the trial court, and then the Court of Appeal, that these companies were responsible to their employees for exposing them to dangerous levels of asbestos," said Russell W. Budd, managing shareholder of Baron & Budd.

In addition to confirming that Louisiana's 1952 Workers' Compensation Act does not cover mesothelioma and so does not bar suits by mesothelioma victims against their employers, the Court of Appeal ruled that Rando's case was not barred by Louisiana's 10-year preemptive period to bring claims for injuries arising from deficiencies in the construction of improvements to real property. The court ruled that, because Rando's employer-a contractor who did major "turn-key" construction jobs at a chemical plant-had control over the construction at the time of Mr. Rando's asbestos exposure, Rando's claims against his employer fell within the statute's exception and were not untimely.

The dangers of asbestos exposure, particularly to those like the plaintiff working in close proximity to asbestos insulation, were widely known in industry circles for decades before Rando went to work for the defendants. "Mr. Rando's employers did not protect him from the clouds of asbestos in which he worked, even though basic prevention methods have been known since the 1930s," said Melancon. "This man has had to accept that the disease that will kill him was preventable, but his employers did nothing to protect him."

The effects of asbestos exposure, including the onset of diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis, can take decades to surface. Ray Rando worked as a pipefitter from 1965 until 1985. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2006 and continues to fight his disease from his home in Ponchatoula, Louisiana.

About Baron & Budd, P.C.

Since 1977, the law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C. has championed the rights of people and communities harmed by corporate misconduct. With more than 40 attorneys and offices in Texas, California, and Louisiana, Baron & Budd enjoys a national reputation as a leader of the plaintiffs' bar. The firm represents individuals with mesothelioma and other diseases caused by asbestos; leukemia caused by benzene; injuries caused by other toxic substances and unsafe pharmaceuticals; water authorities seeking clean-up costs for drinking water contamination; securities investors defrauded by corporate wrongdoing; and consumers in class actions.

CONTACT:

Susan Knape of Baron & Budd, P.C. 214-523-6226


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SOURCE Baron & Budd, P.C.
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