NEW ROADS, La. – An Iberville Parish, La., jury has awarded a Louisiana man $5.95 million following a trial in which Dow Chemical Co. and two other companies were found to be responsible for his mesothelioma diagnosis.
Sidney Mabile sued Dow Chemical, McDermott Shipyards and Stewart Seacraft in the 18th Judicial Circuit Court for his contraction of asbestos related lung cancer.
The jury found Mabile was exposed to asbestos during his work as an electrician at the Dow Chemical Plaqumine facility, which is the largest chemical plant in the state. During the course of the trial Mabile’s attorneys revealed purported internal documents that allegedly divulged Dow had done a cost-benefit analysis that showed it would be less costly for the company to switch their plants over to systems that did not use raw asbestos than it would to pay eventual damages to their employees. Mabile was found to have been employed at a plant that used raw asbestos as part of their chemical production process after the substance was found to be toxic.
Linda Lim, public and government affairs representative, said Dow is responsible for only one third of the verdict, but will be appealing the ruling.
"Dow is disappointed by the verdict rendered. We believe the credible evidence introduced at trial demonstrated that Mr. Mabile’s disease was not caused by his work at Dow’s facility," she said. "Dow will now pursue its rights through post-trial motions and the appellate process. We will continue to vigorously defend all asbestos claims brought against the company."
Mabile was represented by John Langdoc of the Baton Rouge offices of Baron & Budd.
In a press release, Baron & Budd said thousands of other employees are estimated to have been afflicted with injuries similar to Mabile’s and that hundreds of other cases may be forthcoming.
Dow was represented at trial by David Bienvenu of Baton Rouge-based Bienvenu, Bonnecaze, Foco, Viator & Holinga.