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2nd appeal goes against company in asbestosis claim case

There are times when the legal processes may seem like a war of attrition. One party in the dispute takes advantage of all the possible legal appeals that may be available, as is their right. As a consequence of the strategy, though, litigation can go on for such a long time that the other party, typically the plaintiff, gives up the fight.

Texas attorneys with experience in the complexities of the various state and federal laws that can apply when illness or injury occurs in the maritime work environment know it happens. But that experience can also serve to reinforce the importance of staying the course when the plaintiff's case is known to be solid.

This appears to have paid off in a case that was recently decided by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Baton Rouge. As a result of the determination, a 64-year-old worker will get the workers' compensation benefits he deserves under the Longshore Harbor Worker's Compensation Act as he faces treatment for asbestosis.

According to case documents, the man received a diagnosis of asbestosis in 2011. The man alleged that he had been exposed to the deadly material while working on brakes and clutches while employed by a particular company over the course of a career that ran from 1969 to 1991. Most of that time was spent at the Port of Baton Rouge.

The man's doctor said in a deposition that the condition leaves his patient susceptible to developing pneumonia and bronchitis and that he requires yearly x-rays and vaccinations against the flu and pneumonia.

Based on the doctor's testimony, an administrative law judge ruled in 2013 that the company should pay for the treatment. The company appealed, but a board of review upheld the decision. The company appealed again, this time to the 5th Circuit, and earlier this month that court affirmed the decision on the plaintiff's behalf.

After four years, the case appears to finally be resolved.

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