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Housewife Sues Asbestos Manufacturers for $30 Million

A housewife from Nederland, Texas is suing DuPont and Union Carbide for more than $30 million, claiming that the products the two companies once manufactured contained hazardous asbestos that resulted in her development of the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.

According to an article in the Southeast Texas Record, Frances Barras’ husband was a refinery worker at the DuPont Beaumont factory in Beaumont from 1957 to 1985. Barras claims her sickness developed as a result of inhaling asbestos fibers from her husband’s tainted clothes, which he wore home everyday.

Naming 10 different industrial companies as defendants, Barras and six members of her family filed their $30 million suit in the Jefferson County District Court on Feb. 11.
In addition to DuPont and Union Carbide, other defendants include Anchor Packing Co., Guard-Line, Ingersoll-Rand and Owens- Illinois.

“Plaintiff, Frances E. Barras, alleges that she was exposed to asbestos fibers and dust emanating from the work clothing, body and hair of plaintiff’s husband, Louis Barras, which originated from the asbestos-containing products and machinery … sold by defendants,” the suit said, noting that her everyday duties as a housewife included shaking out and laundering her husband’s work clothing, cleaning up the washer and dryer area, changing out the washing machine lint filters and traveling in Louis Barras’ work car.

The Barras family is suing for $15 million in compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages, plus past and future mental anguish, medical expenses and loss of services. So far, Mr. Barras has not developed an asbestos-related disease.

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