Testimony of Plaintiff’s Key Witness is Inadmissible Hearsay; Court Reverses Judgment in Mesothelioma Claim Court of Appeal, First District, Division 5, California, October 26, 2018

CALIFORNIA — In the matter of Frank C. Hart, he Court of Appeal, First District, Division 5, California reversed a lower court’s judgment against defendant after finding the testimony of plaintiff’s key witness was inadmissible hearsay. The plaintiff Frank C. Hart filed suit alleging that his mesothelioma diagnosed was caused by exposure to asbestos from his work in construction as a pipe layer. The paintiff alleged that defendant supplied asbestos-containing piping that exposed him to asbestos. The lower court’s judgment was primarily based on a…
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Court Precludes Some But Not All Testimony of Naval Expert United States District Court, E.D., Virginia, September 28, 2018

VIRGINIA — Following up with a prior ACT post on the Harry Goodrich matter pending in the United States District Court, E.D., Virginia, the Court has issued an omnibus opinion concerning motions in limine. Among other issues decided, the court addressed the plaintiffs’ motion to limit the testimony of defendants’ naval expert, Margaret McCloskey (McCloskey). Pursuant to Rule 702, the plaintiffs sought to limit the testimony of McCloskey in four (4) respects: (i) as unqualified to opine about plaintiffs actual exposure to asbestos-containing thermal insulation…
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Superseding Cause/State of Art as to Navy’s Negligence and Knowledge of Asbestos Barred Against Sealing Technology Defendant United States District Court, E.D. Virginia. August 24, 2018

VIRGINIA –The plaintiff brought this suit against John Crane Inc. (JCI) alleging Mr. Goodrich developed an asbestos related disease for which Defendant was liable. The plaintiff moved in limine to preclude JCI from presenting evidence of the alleged “knowledge or negligence of the Navy.” JCI argued that any failure to warn was not a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injury based on the Navy’s negligent control of the plaintiff’s work space. Also, JCI took the position that the Navy’s intervening negligence superseded that of…
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Frustrated Court Denies Plaintiffs’ Motion to Reconsider Exclusion of Kenneth Garza Due to Lack of Authority U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, May 2, 2018

WISCONSIN — In this case set for trial on June 4, 2018, the plaintiffs filed eleven motions under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) and various motions in limine. After hearing and argument, the court granted defendant Pabst Brewing Company’s motion to bar, under Daubert, Kenneth Garza’s reports, opinions, and testimony, and granted the Daubert motion of defendants Sprinkmann, Employers Insurance Company and WEPCO’s to exclude Garza’s testimony. The court found that although Garza’s training and background gave him the…
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Various Rulings Issued on Motions in Limine in Trial; Plaintiffs’ Motion to Exclude Defense Experts Denied U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, July 7, 2017

The court issued various rulings on motions in limine filed by both the plaintiffs and defendant John Crane in this matter that is set for trial on July 17, 2017. The decedent died of mesothelioma. Many of the motions were unopposed. Below are summaries of the more pertinent rulings. Regarding the plaintiff’s motions, the plaintiff argued that the defendant should be barred from disclosing that some corporations were in bankruptcy. The defendants opposed the motion because under Wisconsin law, any claims plaintiffs have submitted to…
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NYCAL Court Denies Motion in Limine to Preclude Plaintiff’s Causation Experts Supreme Court of New York, New York County, April 14. 2017

The court issued further rulings in a case previously reported in Asbestos Case Tracker on April 12, 2017. This case involved plaintiff Frederick Evans’ alleged exposure to asbestos-containing dust from his work as an HVAC mechanic from 1955-59. Although the defendants submitted a joint omnibus motion in limine, the only defendant remaining at trial was Burnham LLC. Here, the motion in limine to exclude the causation opinions of the plaintiffs’ experts Dr. Carl Brodkin and Dr. John Maddox was denied. Burnham argued the plaintiffs’ causation…
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Defendants’ Motion in Limine Denied on Multiple Issues; Including Regulatory Materials, Past Conduct, MAS Studies and Expert Testimony Based on Animal Studies Supreme Court of New York, New York County, April 5, 2017

The plaintiff filed this action against several defendants alleging his asbestos related disease was caused by products for which the defendants were liable. Mr. Evans worked as a cable puller for Western Electric from 1946-48, as a grounds man and lineman for Queens Gas and Electric from 1948-52, as an HVAC worker for multiple employers from 1952-63 and again in a mechanic and supervisory role from 1965-68 at residential and commercial sites. He also claimed potential bystander exposure from residential jobs including roofing, flooring, ceiling,…
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Daubert Challenges Result in Experts Being Allowed to Testify Regarding General Causation; Not Specific Causation U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, March 6, 2017

In this federal court case, it was alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent was exposed to asbestos while serving in various job duties while in the U.S. Navy during the 1960s.  The plaintiff brought two Daubert motions seeking to preclude the defendants’ experts, Drs Michael Graham and Mark Taragin, from testifying. Dr. Graham is a forensic pathologist and Dr. Taragin is an epidemiologist.  The court granted in part and denied in part the plaintiff’s motions. The court would allow each expert to provide general causation testimony…
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Various Rulings in NYCAL Case Regarding Defendants’ Motion in Limine to Preclude Certain Evidence Supreme Court of New York, New York County, January 4, 2017

The plaintiff alleged asbestos exposure through his work as a roofer, maintenance man, and carpenter. The defendants submitted a joint motion in limine to preclude certain evidence. The court issued various rulings, summarized below. First, the defendants asserted that Dr. Jacqueline Moline would offer a scientifically unsupportable causation opinion that every occupational exposure was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s mesothelioma. This was also known, among other things, as the “each and every exposure” or “cumulative exposure” theory. At the outset the court noted…
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Mixed Decision on Defendants’ Motion in Limine to Preclude Dr. James Millette U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, October 11, 2016

The defendants (pump and valve manufactures) filed a motion in limine to exclude certain studies and videos produced by the plaintiff’s expert Dr. James Millette. The defendants challenged two aspects of Dr. Millette’s proposed testimony. First, they argued that some — but not all — of the academic studies that Dr. Millette relied on are not reliable and do not fit the facts of the case, and thus should be precluded from discussing them at trial. Second, the defendants argued that Dr. Millette should not…
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