Published on August 25, 2022
Malignant mesothelioma claimed Callen Cortez’s life, but this week a Louisiana court gave his family some hope in their quest for justice. The court denied a request from defendant Hopeman Brothers, Inc. that would have blocked expert witness testimony about the amount of asbestos that Cortez suffered in his workplace.
Expert Witness Speaks to Risk of Developing Malignant Mesothelioma
The mesothelioma lawsuit accuses Hopeman Brothers Inc. and others of having exposed Mr. Cortez to dangerous levels of asbestos that contributed to his risk of developing the rare and deadly form of cancer. To support that assertion, the family enlisted the help of industrial hygienist Gerald Baril to provide expert testimony about his workplace exposure.
Mr. Baril’s testimony relied on information from others who worked with the mesothelioma victim. They had testified about the asbestos-containing wallboard that was cut in their presence. The expert also referenced several scientific studies that had determined how much asbestos exposure would have been created in similar environments and compared their findings to current and historical health standards. He concluded that Cortez was at “significant risk of mesothelioma” based on asbestos levels that were “well in excess of those standards.”
Asbestos Company Calls Mesothelioma Testimony “Unreliable and Unhelpful”
In moving to strike the expert witness’ testimony, Hopeman argued that it was not helpful to the mesothelioma case. They questioned his methodology in determining asbestos exposure levels, his lack of familiarity with Hopeman’s operations and materials, and his reliance on a study whose methodology they said produced exaggerated results
After consideration, the Louisiana court hearing the mesothelioma case rejected all of these assertions and the company’s motion to strike the testimony. They pointed out that the Cortez plaintiffs were not required to show the precise amount of asbestos exposure he had suffered in order to show that it was harmful. They also pointed out that his reliance on witness testimony defeated their assertion that he lacked a factual basis, and that his use of the study in question had not relied on its questionable aspects. The witness’ testimony will be included for the jury’s consideration.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is important that you have access to knowledgeable resources. For information on how the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help, contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.
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Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net 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.
Learn more about and contact Terri