Barret Marshall and Matt Sapp Secure Dismissal for Two Clients in Former Arkansas State Representative’s Asbestos Lung Cancer Claim

January 2014

Barret Marshall and Matt Sapp secured dismissals for two clients in a case involving allegations that a former longtime Arkansas State Representative, Harold Landers, contracted lung cancer from asbestos exposure while employed by HPTY’s clients prior to entering politics.  HPTY initially filed motions to dismiss based on the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Act’s exclusivity provision in February of 2012.  Plaintiff countered by arguing that civil claims should be allowed because Plaintiff would have “no-remedy” if a civil lawsuit was disallowed due to the WCA’s statute of limitations. The trial court stayed ruling on the motion until the Arkansas Supreme Court issued decisions on two writs of prohibition in matters involving this issue. HPTY participated in both writs, one as counsel for petitioner and one as amicus curiae. See Reynolds Metal Co. v. Circuit Court of Clark County, 2013 Ark. 287, -- S.W.3d ---, 2013 WL 3233209 (Ark. Jun. 27, 2013); Porocel Crop. v. Circuit Court of Saline County, 2013 Ark. 172, 2013 WL 1776648 (Ark Apr. 25, 2013).  

After the Arkansas Supreme Court issued its opinions in Porocel and Kirksey declining to allow former employees to bring civil lawsuits merely because the WCA’s statute of limitations precluded their claims, HPTY supplemented its motion to dismiss and requested that the trial court dismiss Plaintiff’s claims because neither Plaintiff’s continuing take-home exposure claims, nor Mr. Landers’ date of disablement were adjudicated at the Commission level as required by Porocel and Kirksey.  The trial court agreed with HPTY and dismissed all of Plaintiff’s claims against HPTY’s clients.

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