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Louisiana Court Denies Defendant's Request to Block Mesothelioma Expert's Testimony

Posted by Michael Throneberry | Oct 07, 2022

A Louisiana court recently gave the family of a mesothelioma victim some hope after denying the defendant's request to block the testimony of an expert witness.  For purposes of this article, the victim will be referred to as Mr. C. Mr. C died after developing malignant mesothelioma According to the lawsuit, Hopeman Brothers Inc. and others exposed Mr. C to dangerous levels of asbestos, contributing to his risk of developing the rare but fatal form of cancer. 

After Mr. C's family filed the lawsuit, they needed a way to support the assertion that exposure to dangerous levels of asbestos contributed to Mr. C's risk of developing malignant mesothelioma. So, the family enlisted the help of Gerald Baril, an industrial hygienist. The family brought Mr. Baril on board to provide expert testimony about Mr. C's workplace exposure.

Mr. C's co-workers had testified about the asbestos-contaminated wallboard that was cut in their presence, and this is the information on which Mr. Baril relied. Mr. Baril also cited some scientific studies that had determined the amount of asbestos that would have been created in comparable situations. He then compared those findings to health standards. According to the industrial hygienist, the amount of asbestos Mr. C was exposed to while at work was in excess of both current and historical health standards, thus meaning he was at great risk of developing mesothelioma.

After hearing Mr. Baril's testimony, Hopeman Brothers Inc. moved to have the testimony dismissed by the court. Hopeman Brothers Inc. questioned Mr. Baril's method of determining the amount of asbestos to which Mr. C had been exposed. Hopeman argued that Mr. Baril's testimony was not helpful to the case. The company argued that the testimony was not helpful since Mr. Baril was unfamiliar with the company's materials and operations and relied on a study that produced exaggerated results.

After hearing the defendant's arguments, the Louisiana court handling the case denied the request to block the expert testimony. The court stated that the plaintiffs were not required to show the court the exact amount of asbestos to which Mr. C had been exposed. According to the court, the defendant's assertion that Mr. Baril lacked a factual basis was defeated by the fact that he used witness testimony. Additionally, the court pointed out that Mr. Baril did not use the scientific study because of its questionable aspects.

In conclusion, the court ruled that the jury would consider Mr. Baril's testimony.

Expert Witnesses and Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Proving the existence of mesothelioma is not enough in a mesothelioma case. Plaintiffs must also prove that the defendant or defendants are responsible for asbestos exposure and the exposure is responsible for the mesothelioma. This is where expert witnesses, such as industrial hygienists, come in. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who can help you find an expert witness who can testify in your case.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyers

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment.

About the Author

Michael Throneberry

Attorney Michael Throneberry graduated from Purdue University with a Civil Engineering degree. He then served with the United States Army...

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