Watkins v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 13-1545 (La. 5/7/14).
On June 22, 2010, Plaintiff was first made aware that oil company defendants exposed her father to “naturally occurring radioactive material” (NORM) and believed NORM exposure led to her father’s death. Plaintiff filed a survival action lawsuit as a result of her father’s death in 1986 from NORM exposure. She filed suit within a year of becoming aware of his exposure. Defendants argued the time had expired for filing suit despite the fact that plaintiff had no knowledge of the NORM exposure until 2010. Plaintiff argued that suit was filed timely as it was within one year of her finding out that her father’s death was due to his exposure to NORM. The Supreme Court agreed with the plaintiff holding that the survival action is prescriptive and not peremptive—meaning, a survival action lawsuit is timely when filed within one year of the time the plaintiff knew or should have reasonably known of the possible cause of action.