Daubert Challenge of Plaintiff’s Experts Denied in Career Boilermaker Case U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, February 16, 2016
The plaintiff in this case alleged that the decedent, Michael Walashek, was exposed to asbestos from various products while working as a boilermaker between 1967 and 1986 on various naval, commercial, and industrial vessels. The defendant, Foster Wheeler LLC, filed a motion to preclude the testimony of the plaintiff’s experts Dr. Edwin Holstein ad Dr. Michael Claude Fishbein on the grounds that their opinions do not satisfy the requirements of Fed. R. Evid. 702 and Daubert.
The court denied the motion. Regarding Dr. Fishbein, the court held: “Dr. Fishbein’s diagnosis of mesothelioma is clearly relevant and is also based on scientifically valid methodology. Therefore, his expert opinion is admissible.” Regarding Dr. Holstein, the court held: “Dr. Holstein utilized scientifically valid methods in reaching his conclusion that Walashek’s exposure to asbestos attributable to Foster Wheeler was ‘significant’ and was a ‘substantial contributing factor’ to Walashek’s mesothelioma. Dr. Holstein’s conclusion rests upon, among other things, the dose-response relationship between asbestos and mesothelioma, which has been established by scientific and medical literature, facts regarding the sort of work and duration of the work that Walashek performed, and industrial hygiene data.” The court further stated that “Dr. Holstein’s failure to engage in a comparative analysis of Walashek’s claimed exposures does not render his opinion unreliable. Therefore, the Court denies Foster Wheeler’s motion to exclude the testimony of Dr. Holstein.”