Tuesday, February 7, 2012

McAskill v. American Marine Holding Company, et al., 9 S0.3d 264 (La.App. 4 Cir. 2009)

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff, Neil McAskill, filed a claim for personal injuries for his contraction of mesothelioma while working at American Marine’s facility. Two of the defendants in this case, Eagle, Inc. and Branton Insulations, Inc., moved for summary judgment in the trial court. Plaintiff opposed this motion and produced nine individual pieces of evidence. This evidence included company documents, depositions and testimony, and affidavits of witnesses in the case. The defendants argued that none of this evidence could show that the plaintiff was exposed to their asbestos products “by way of sale, distribution, and/or installation.”

The Procedural Posture of the Case

The Trial Court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff appealed to the Fourth Circuit.


Was the evidence produced by the plaintiff enough to raise a genuine issue of material fact, and thus, defeat the motion for summary judgment?




Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Article 966 states that the standard of review for summary judgment is whether there exist genuine issues of material fact. Furthermore, any doubt must be resolved in the favor of the party opposing the motion. Here, the plaintiff argued that he presented evidence that a genuine issue of material fact existed, and because of that, the case should be decided by the trier of fact.

Some of the important testimony in this case came from Robert Honold, who testified that Eagle supplied American Marine with pipe insulation and that he was in charge of phasing out the insulation which contained asbestos. Furthermore, the plaintiff had entered into evidence a letter from Fred Schuber, the President of Eagle, which indicated that their insulation products contained asbestos and it would take some time to phase those products out in favor of products without asbestos. The letter also indicates that Eagle had distributing rights for some products made by Pabco Manufacturers. The record also contained a document from Fibreboard, a manufacturer of Pabco, which noted that asbestos containing products were being phased out; it did not mention any potential health effects of asbestos. The plaintiff’s wife testified in her affidavit that she worked in American Marine’s accounting department, and she recalled processing invoices from Branton Insulations. Lastly, plaintiff testified that he was exposed to asbestos by working around asbestos containing products and applying insulation. Eagle argued that this was based upon circumstantial evidence, and Branton argued that the plaintiff needed to prove exactly what the corporate offices of the defendants actually knew.

Despite these arguments, the court stated that this was not the test for summary judgment. All that the plaintiff had to do was present evidence “that permits a reasonable mind to conclude that Eagle and Branton sold asbestos containing products to American Marine.”

The court went on to discuss Thibodeaux v. Asbestos Corp. Limited, et al. which held that plaintiff must produce evidence that “asbestos was used by the defendant” while the plaintiff was employed, and if asbestos was present, the plaintiff must also prove that he was exposed to this asbestos. The court decided that the plaintiff had met his burden in this case, as he had presented evidence to “substantiate that he was actively engaged in working with and actually handling asbestos insulation.”

Another case cited by the court was Vodanovich v. A.P. Green Industries, Inc., which held that the plaintiff only had to prove that “the defendant’s asbestos-containing product was a substantial factor in causing his alleged disease. This burden can be met by . . . showing that he was actively working with asbestos containing materials . . .” because “medical science has proven a causal relationship between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma above background levels. Thus, such asbestos exposure is a causative factor in producing the disease.”


  1. Asbestos exposes are always effect the human into the lung cancer and the asbestos particle goes through the inhalation way into the blood Asbestos Register will be used to generate risk assessments and identify where there is a high risk that people will be exposed to the inhalation of asbestos fibres.

  2. this site is very nice and asbestos effect the human into the cancer and asbestos particle goes through the Asbestos Removal Some of the important testimony in this case came from inhalation way into the blood

  3. Excellent blog and this is very helpful to raise awareness against the carcinogenic asbestos..asbestos cement . keep up the great work.

  4. I have posted about this before, but was adamant that I hate rubber stall mats.
    After lots of research and lurking, I have come to realize they may be my best option.
    horse stall mats
    Situation: 11X15' stall, sand/clay natural base mixed with a large river stone top layer from previous property owners. I need to bring it up about 4-6" to level and even with the stall walls. Horse would spend nights in the stall and some days (due to weather and rotational turnout with other horses due to herd dynamics). horse blankets Other stalls are simple dirt/clay floors that work well for me now, but I do have plans in the future to dig up and do "right".

  5. Demolition services. Applications include residential, commercial and industrial. Demolition debris clean-up services Demolition Services NY http://www.amacinc.com/demolition_service.html

  6. Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post.
    How to register a company in Malaysia

  7. https://www.set-up-company.com/the-ultimate-guide-for-china-wfoe-formation-in-2018.html
    Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place..

  8. It might contradict what may have been said during your visit, and the length of many timeshare contracts is enough to scare off buyers. Timeshare attorney

  9. For many people this is the best solution here see how to do it. los angeles lemon law attorney

  10. Well, this got me thinking what other workouts are good for those of us who find ourselves on the road or have limited equipment options. ESTIMATING & COST ADVICE

  11. A client wants an attorney with a firm and confident determination. With confidence in their law firm, a client's trust will increase and finally the potential of repeat business is huge.criminal defence Toronto