NYCAL Court Denies Motion in Limine to Preclude Plaintiff’s Causation Experts

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

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

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

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

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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Exclusion of Belated Theory of Exposure Upheld on Appeal

The plaintiff sued multiple defendants, including “asbestos” and “premises” defendants, asserting claims of negligence, strict liability and premises liability based on his alleged asbestos exposure in the City of Coalinga (where he resided from 1959 to 1972) and during his 30-year career as a pipe inspector.

Defendant PAC Operating Limited Partnership was sued as a premises defendant. Its predecessor, Southern Pacific Land Company (SPLC), owned 557 acres of land in the Diablo Mountain Range, located 17 miles outside of Coalinga. In 1961, SPLC leased the …

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Certainteed Obtains Spoliation Charge on Missing Pipe and Defense Verdict Following Two-and-a-Half Week Trial

On July 7, 2016 a Florida jury rendered a defense verdict on behalf of building products manufacturer Certainteed Corporation (“Certainteed”). In this case, it was alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma from his work cutting couplings on Certainteed asbestos-containing irrigation pipe next to his family property for an approximate two-week period in either 1969 or 1970. Through discovery it was learned that some of the pipe was removed and reinstalled. After finding witnesses who were able to testify where the …

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Federal Court Limits Plaintiff’s Expert, Dr. William Longo’s, Testimony

The plaintiff, Marsha K. Dugas, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Darryl S. Dugas, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, alleging that Darryl Dugas developed mesothelioma from his exposure to asbestos during the late 1960s and early 1970s, while serving in the U.S. Navy and attributing that exposure to several products allegedly manufactured by various defendants. In support of this claim, the plaintiff retained Dr. William Longo to provide an expert opinion as to the …

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Plaintiff’s Expert Testimony Precluded and Summary Judgment Granted Where Expert Opinion Did Not Rely Upon Sufficient Facts or Data

Plaintiffs Charles Lemuel Arbogast, Jr., et al. filed suit against a number of companies, including defendant CBS Corporation of Delaware (Westinghouse), that allegedly manufactured and/or distributed products containing asbestos to which the plaintiff was exposed, thereby causing his mesothelioma.

The plaintiff offered Dr. Robert Leonard Vance as an expert in matters involving industrial hygiene and asbestos exposures.  Dr. Vance’s written opinion as to Westinghouse focused on two products:  asbestos “socks” and Micarta.  The plaintiff later conceded that that no liability existed as to the asbestos …

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Plaintiff’s Expert’s Testimony Precluded and Summary Judgment Granted Where Expert Disclosure Was Untimely, the Expert Opinion Lacked Sufficient Factual Basis, and Plaintiff’s Claims Were Legally Insufficient on Causation

In this case, the plaintiff sued numerous manufacturers and distributors of products allegedly containing asbestos, including Defendant General Electric Company (GE), following his diagnosis of mesothelioma.

The plaintiff designated Dr. Robert Vance, an industrial hygienist, to testify regarding the sources of the plaintiff’s asbestos exposure. As to GE, Dr. Vance noted in his report that the plaintiff claimed to have worked with GE generators and asbestos-braided wiring at various job sites. Dr. Vance did not offer an opinion in his report regarding the plaintiff’s alleged …

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