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Jones Walker Litigators Defeat Class Certification in Mass Asbestos Suit
January 7, 2005

Jones Walker client Viacom shared in a substantial victory with other asbestos defendants when Judge Robert Burns of the 24th Judicial District Court ruled on January 5, 2005 that a proposed class estimated by plaintiffs at over 100,000 people would not be certified.  The class was to have consisted of former employees of Avondale Shipyard who claimed exposure to asbestos before 1976.  The employees sought the establishment of a court-supervised medical monitoring program in which all healthy class members would be checked yearly for asbestos-related diseases.  The decision is significant because a trial court has substantial discretion regarding class certification and its ruling is rarely reversed.  Jones Walker lawyers Leon Gary, William Schuette and Madeleine Fischer handled the class certification evidentiary hearing, oral argument, and briefing for Viacom who, along with Avondale, took the lead in the proceedings.  Bourgeois v. A.P. Green, 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson (1/5/05).