United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, April 18, 2022
In this case, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment as to general causation of his mesothelioma diagnosis. Eight defendants filed five oppositions to the plaintiff’s motion; however, they largely did not challenge the plaintiff’s mesothelioma diagnosis or asbestos as its cause. Rather, they contested specific causation or “the sources of plaintiff’s exposure, the asbestos fiber types to which he was exposed, and whether particular products or defendants are responsible for causing his mesothelioma.” However, as noted by the court, the plaintiff’s motion raised only general causation, not specific causation.
Only two defendants, Goodrich and Amchem, challenged general causation. Goodrich and Amchem pointed to scientific evidence demonstrating that different asbestos fiber types have varying effects on the development of mesothelioma, and that mesothelioma has other causes such as natural cell mutation, radiation, and a virus. The court rejected this evidence as “beside the point” because the plaintiff claimed “his mesothelioma was caused by asbestos, not because mesothelioma is caused only by asbestos exposure[.]” The court further noted that Goodrich and Amchem failed to suggest or provide evidence of a cause of the plaintiff’s mesothelioma other than asbestos. In addition, Amchem’s medical expert opined that the plaintiff’s mesothelioma was caused by asbestos.
Accordingly, the court granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment as follows: (1) the plaintiff has mesothelioma, and (2) asbestos caused the plaintiff’s mesothelioma. The court reiterated that its ruling “does not prevent any defendant from presenting to the jury evidence or arguments regarding specific causation of plaintiff’s mesothelioma, including but not limited to issues of fiber type, toxicity of exposure, amounts of exposure, and the products and/or defendants to which his exposures may be attributed.”