Mr. Elray Lege was an insulator for Cajun Insulation at the Cities Services/Columbian Chemical/Birla facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana for approximately 2 months in 1978/1979. He also worked for a few months each at Texaco and at Cabot in Louisiana. Mr. Lege was diagnosed with mesothelioma at 70 years old, and unfortunately passed away shortly before trial.
The only defendant at trial was Birla, a successor entity of Columbian Chemicals/Cities Services. Birla had $0 to settle, and opted to take their chances at trial…which was clearly a poor choice on their part!
The jury awarded survival damages in the amount of $4M, assigning fault to 3 entities: Texaco, Cabot, and Cities Services/Birla. Texaco and Cabot settled before trial.
The jury also awarded wrongful death damages of $4M to his wife and surviving children; of which 51% (comparative) fault was allocated to Birla.
They jury also awarded compensation for all of Mr. Lege’s medical and burial expenses.
Birla’s total liability will be approximately $3.5M .
At trial the Plaintiff was represented by Lance Unglesby, Lewis Unglesby, Ron Haley, Chris Murell, Jamie Gontarek and Jeff Gaughan. Plaintiffs experts were Roggli, Parker and Brody. Birla was represented by Dave Redmann.
This is a fantastic result, especially given that the entire trial lasted only 6 days.