Partner at AKD Lawyers

Practice Areas: Personal Injury

SHEILA GUIDRY, ET AL., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated VERSUS DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY, ET AL., Eastern District Court of Louisiana, CIVIL ACTION NO. 19-12233, SECTION: F; JUDGE: MARTIN L.C. FELDMAN, MAG: #4, KAREN WELLS ROBY


TO: All individuals who experienced the physical symptoms which include any or all of the following – eyes, nose, or throat irritation, coughing, choking or gagging, or nausea, or headaches, dizziness, trouble breathing or other respiratory issues, as a result of their exposure to ethyl acrylate or other chemical substance released from tank 2310 at Union Carbide’s Corporation’s Taft, Louisiana Facility and were present within the following geographic zone from 4:30 am on July 7, 2009 to 3:30 pm on July 8, 2009:

From the northwest corner of the class boundary, included in postal zip code 70068 in St. John the Baptist Parish, proceeding eastward along Lake Pontchartrain to postal zip code 70065, located in Jefferson Parish, and further eastward to postal zip code 70117, located in Orleans Parish; and proceeding from the southwest corner of the class boundary, included in postal zip code 70057 in St. Charles Parish, then proceeding further southeast to postal zip code 70031, then proceeding further eastward to postal zip code 70094 in Jefferson Parish, and then east/northeast to postal zip code 70117 in Orleans Parish, and all areas included in between those points. This class boundary comprises much of Orleans, Jefferson and St. Charles Parishes.

This class boundary comprises much of Orleans, Jefferson and St. Charles Parishes.


1. No Determination of Liability or Damages: 

This matter was pending before the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans until its removal to federal court by the defendants. As of this date, there has been no trial on the merits to determine the liability of any parties, nor has there been a trial of any individual class member’s damages. Therefore, at this time, you are not entitled to any compensation, as the defendants are not subject to a judgment or settlement yet that would require them to pay for any damages you sustained as a result of the ethyl acrylate or other chemical substances released from tank 2310 at Union Carbide’s Corporation’s Taft, Louisiana Facility from 4:30 am on July 7, 2009 to 3:30 pm on July 8, 2009:

2. Purpose of This Class Notice: 

On September 19, 2019, the Court, upon denying the plaintiffs’ motion to remand this matter back to state court, indicated that it would assist the Court in its determination of jurisdiction in this matter if the plaintiffs would conduct a (sworn) claims and discovery process to determine how many people in the class boundary above described were impacted by the defendants’ unauthorized release of chemicals and who wish to present claims for damages. The plaintiffs seek to comply with the Court’s desire to better ascertain the number of persons in the class, and toward that end, the plaintiffs have opened a website for the review and submission by class members of sworn claim forms. Therefore, if you believe you are within the class boundary described above and want to make a claim for transient health symptoms of eyes, nose, or throat irritation, coughing, choking or gagging, or nausea, or headaches, dizziness, trouble breathing or other respiratory issues, please visit our website: and complete the sworn claim form provided on the website on your behalf and on behalf of anyone for whom you are legally responsible. Due to the passage of time, if any claimants in your household were minors in 2009 but are now adults, we ask that you please notify them of this class notice, as a claim form is required for every member of your household who wants to make a claim. 

3. Deadline for the Return of a Sworn Claim Form: 

The Court has not provided a deadline for the submission of the requested claim form. However, the Plaintiffs steering committee would like to receive your claim form on or before July 15, 2020. Therefore, your immediate attention to this process is requested, and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee  request that you submit your sworn claim form on or before July 15, 2020 so as to allow us time to prepare a detailed report to the Court. 

4. Other Important Information Concerning Your Claim: 

Plaintiffs allege that either they or their family members sustained damages as a result of the negligence of the defendants. The defendants deny these allegations made by the plaintiffs. On April 25, 2014, the Court ordered the publication of the initial Notice of Class Action to all potential class members. If you fit the description above, this notice applies to you. The opt out date has already expired, and so you no longer have a right to be excluded from this class action. 

5. Your Right to Individual Counsel: 

You are further advised that in certifying this class action, the Court has not made any decision on the merits of the controversy or on the merits of any claim. You have the right, if you wish, to have an attorney of your choice present any claim for damages you may have. However, you will be personally responsible for any fees or expenses charged by your personal attorney. However, merely submitting proof of claim will not automatically entitle you to recovery of damages. 

6. Class Representatives: 

The names of the class representatives approved by the Court are as follows: Ramona Bastian Alexander, Henry Holmes, Bates Whiteside and Vanessa Wilson.  

7. Contacting the class representatives’ through the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee members: 

DO NOT call or contact the Court of the Clerk of Court for any information or claim forms in this matter. You may reach the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee through the following contact PHONE NUMBER PROVIDED ESPECIALLY FOR THIS PURPOSE 1- (504) 215-8903‬, but you have to visit the website to access the claim form. 

8. If you do not have access to a computer, you may get a claim form mailed to you. 

To have a claim form mailed to you, please contact PSC members: 

The Court has appointed the lawyers and firms listed below to represent all class members. Any inquiries about the rights of the class members should be directed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee which consists of: 

GREGORY P. DILEO,LA BAR 04943, THE LAW OFFICES OF GREGORY P. DILEO, APLC, 300 Lafayette Street, Ste. 101, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130, Telephone: (504) 522-3456, Facsimile: (504) 522-3888

JEFFREY PAUL BERNIARD, LA BAR 29088, THE BERNIARD LAW FIRM, 1140 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, Louisiana 70130, Telephone: (504) 527-6225, Facsimile: (504) 6127-6300

RON ANTHONY AUSTIN, LA BAR 23630, AUSTIN & ASSOCIATES, 400 Manhattan Boulevard, Harvey, Louisiana 70058, Telephone: (504) 227-8100, Facsimile: (504) 227-8122


J. BART KELLY, III, LA BAR 24488, RODERICK RICO ALVENDIA, LA BAR 25554, ALVENDIA, KELLY & DEMAREST LLC, 909 Poydras Street, Ste. 1625, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, Telephone: (504) 200-0000, Facsimile: (504) 200-0001

In 2003, after being dissatisfied with the quality of legal care for victims of car accidents, Roderick ‘Rico’ Alvendia sought to establish a new firm focused on providing high-quality legal services to aid injured victims and their families. J. Bart Kelly, sharing Rico’s passion for upholding justice, joined the firm later that year, and established a partnership.

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