Court Denies Asbestos Company’s Request to Block Expert Witness in Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Nancy Little’s father, Robert L. Rabe, died of malignant mesothelioma in December of 2012 after years of working for the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. She has filed a mesothelioma lawsuit against The Budd Company, accusing them of exposing her father to asbestos in the pipe insulation that they supplied for the railroad’s railcars, and in doing so plans on having testimony provided by several expert witnesses. In response, The Budd Company has filed a motion to prevent these witnesses from testifying in the case. District Judge Daniel D. Crabtree has ruled against this request, and the woman’s case seeking justice for her father will be able to proceed with the strength of the testimony of the experts that she had chosen.

When juries hear mesothelioma lawsuits filed by victims of asbestos exposure, they are asked to make decisions on extremely complex scientific issues. To help them in this process, expert witnesses are brought in to explain the details of how asbestos causes mesothelioma, whether asbestos is present in particular pieces of equipment, and more. In the case of Ms. Little’s lawsuit, she had requested testimony from two well-known asbestos experts: Dr. Arnold Brody and Dr. Barry Castleman.  Despite or because of the fact that these two experts are so well-versed, The Budd Company attempted to exclude their testimony for a variety of reasons, including indicating that Dr. Castleman’s testimony is an “undue waste of time” because it takes too long, a claim which Ms. Little’s attorneys called “hyperbolic.”

In reviewing the credentials of the mesothelioma and asbestos experts, the judge closely examined each of the reasons that the defense offered against the use of the experts, as well as decisions made by previous courts on whether to allow their testimony. In the end, he allowed both, saying that with the exception of one point, both could provide admissible expert testimony. The victim’s family will be allowed to have the evidence supporting their accusation presented by the two men.

Mesothelioma victims and their families face challenges at every step along the way. If you have lost a loved one to mesothelioma and you need help or guidance, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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