Widow Files Jones Act Lawsuit over Husband’s Death from Asbestos-related Lung Cancer

Beaumont, TX – A Port Arthur woman is suing the employer of her deceased husband over allegations that the company was negligent under the Jones Act. Dolores Respess, individually and as the independent administratrix of deceased Ronald Respess’ estate, is suing Texaco Incorporated of Paradis, LA. She has filed a suit against the company on 5th June in the Beaumont Division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The suit also names the following two parties as defendants: Ingram Corporation (successor-in-interest to Ingram Ocean Systems Incorporated of New Orleans); and Energy Transfer Partners (successor-in-interest to Sunoco successor-in-interest Sun Oil Company of Dallas). Respess alleges that the defendants are liable in the death of her husband in 2013 September.

The lawsuit states that Roland Respess had been an employee of all the defendants as a career merchant seaman. During the scope of his career, Respess was exposed repeatedly to dangerous asbestos, according to the lawsuit. Dolores Respess says the defendant companies were aware of the hazards, but failed to warn her husband of them.

According to the court filing, Ronald’s exposure to hazardous asbestos and products containing asbestos, in addition to on-board machinery using the mineral or products containing it, caused him to contract lung cancer in 2013 April. Ronald died from lung cancer on 26th September, 2013, the complaint states.

The suit accuses the defendant companies of: failing to provide her husband with harmless workplace; failing to provide Ronald with adequate warnings; failing to provide workers including the plaintiff’s husband with proper supplies, equipment, and materials; and failing to provide employees with protective gear and wears when sending them to deal with or work in the vicinity of hazardous asbestos-containing products.

Dolores Respess blames the defendant corporation for allowing her husband in a hazardous area polluted with cancer-causing asbestos fibers and dust. She says her husband was not aware of the risks involved in his job. He wasn’t aware of the consequences of asbestos exposure either, Dolores Respess says.

In her complaint, Dolores Respess cites strict liability and maritime law negligence. Respess is seeking an unspecified amount in exemplary and punitive damages for her alleged: physical pain; physical impairment; mental anguish and suffering; lost revenues due to the wrongful death of her husband; emotional pain and suffering; loss of society, support and consortium; medical expenses; and attorney fees. The plaintiff is also seeking general damages and special damages, in addition to pre-judgment interest, post-judgment interest, and costs.

Author: Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.