Asbestos Defendants Sue Each Other in Bid to Minimize Legal Liability 

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Published on September 09, 2022

Malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos long cancer are all cruel and deadly diseases caused by exposure to asbestos. In the years since asbestos was identified as their cause, tens of thousands of individuals afflicted with these illnesses have filed suit against companies that knowingly exposed them to the toxic material, and those companies have been forced to pay billions in compensation. Over the years, asbestos companies have pointed fingers at each other, filing third party lawsuits to bring new defendants into cases to minimize their own liability. That’s exactly what happened when a former pipefitter and welder’s wife filed suit against Avondale Shipyards.

Avondale Shipyard Sues Manufacturer After Being Named in Asbestos Cancer Lawsuit

The original lawsuit was filed by Ora Adams, an asbestos lung cancer victim whose husband Lional Adams had been employed as a pipefitter and welder. Mr. Adams unknowingly carried the deadly fiber home on his clothes, which his wife laundered. She blames second-hand asbestos exposure for her illness, and the couple subsequently sued Avondale Shipyard for negligence.

In response to the asbestos cancer lawsuit against them, Avondale filed a third-party claim against Westinghouse. They pointed to the company’s Micarta wallboards that were used in the shipyard as the source of Mr. Adams’ exposure and sought to obtain a share contribution in the event that a jury found them negligent. Westinghouse filed a motion to have Avondale’s third-party claim against them dismissed, arguing that there was no evidence that the Adams had been exposed to asbestos from their product.

Westinghouse Questions Credibility of Testimony  

In support of their third-party claim, Avondale pointed to questions about the Micarta board itself, to whether another defendant’s employees had cut and installed wallboards covered with Micarta on the vessels that Mr. Adams had worked with, whether the Adams had been exposed to asbestos from those actions and products, and whether that had played a substantial role in Mrs. Adams’ illness.  

Though Westinghouse questioned all of these factors and argued that they were not credible, the judges hearing the petition noted that there was enough evidence to raise questions of material facts and that Avondale could continue in its third-party claim involving the asbestos-related disease.

If you or someone you love has been sickened following exposure to asbestos, the Patient Advocates at can help you understand your rights and the resources available to you. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 to get the answers you need.

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Written by Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

Learn more about and contact Terri