Louisiana Federal Court Allows Mesothelioma Cancer Lawsuit to Continue Against Ford Motor Company

A Louisiana federal judge recently denied a motion by the Ford Motor Co. which sought to throw out the asbestos cancer lawsuit, brought on behalf of the now deceased victim, alleging the automaker and others are responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. While the same judge did rule partly in favor of Ford in limiting some of the claims brought against the company, the other asbestos-related claims may proceed against Ford and other named defendants.

According to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the  Eastern District of Louisiana, the victim developed peritoneal mesothelioma during his work as a mechanic and generator service technician. After filing his asbestos cancer lawsuit in a Louisiana state court in 2017, the case was removed to federal court the following year. Sadly, the victim passed away from his asbestos related cancer in 2018, leaving his surviving family to continue to action under a wrongful death claim.

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs made claims against the Ford Motor Co. under Louisiana’s general negligence statute, employer liability statute, premises liability as owners of the premises where the victim worked, and product liability laws for manufacturing the asbestos laden products. In seeking to skirt liability, Ford claimed the plaintiffs were barred from recovering for any damages under the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act (LWCA) because the alleged injuries took place during the course of the victim’s employment.

While the LWCA provides exclusive remedy to claims arising out of injuries over the course of employment, including mesothelioma diagnosis, the court ruled that some of the plaintiff’s claims may move forward under their premises liability claims. In this case, the plaintiff’s attorney made alternate workers’ compensation/premises liability claims, allowing the case to survive Ford’s motion to dismiss the case as a wrongful death claim under the LWCA.

Under most state employment laws, mesothelioma is generally treated as an occupational disease and claims against the employer must proceed through the prescribed administrative process to recover compensation. However, third-party claims arising out of injury due to another party’s negligence are generally recoverable and allow victims to hold all responsible parties responsible for the harm suffered.

Asbestos was once commonly used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications, including those in the auto manufacturing industry for gaskets and brake pads because of the mineral’s heat resistant properties. While manufacturers knew for decades about the health risks associated with asbestos exposure, these companies did not warn innocent workers about the risk and instead put their profits ahead of the well-being of those working hard to provide for themselves.

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 If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced  mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment.


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