Asbestos Claim rejected in Chicago due to insufficient causes to support claim

A claim in Asbestos personal injury got rejected by Judge John Z. Lee in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois because of the general usage of the term “Any exposure” without relying of any facts of the case. In the case Krik v. Crane Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175983 the court denied the defendant’s request to bar expert witnesses who were giving an idea about the theory in their arguments for the plaintiff. The plaintiff laid down their arguments with the help of witnesses and a case of Schultz v. Akzo Nobel Paints, LLC, 721 F.3d 426, 433-34 (7th Cir. 2013),

The Court analyzed the case and opined that it is helpful to contrast the expert opinions in this case to those at issue, in Schultz. There, the plaintiff, a painter, suffered from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (“AML”) and alleged that his occupational exposure to benzene caused the illness. To support his theory of causation, he offered the expert testimony of a physician, who opined that a person, like the plaintiff, who had been exposed to more than eleven parts per million-years of benzene would be at an eight-times greater risk for developing AML that the general population. Id. The district court excluded the testimony, but the Seventh Circuit reversed, finding the physician’s testimony sufficiently reliable.

In the present case, plaintiff did not offer any expert testimony as to how much asbestos exposure he experienced and whether that dosage of exposure was sufficient to cause his lung cancer. Rather, he relied upon the “Any Exposure” theory and argues that a single exposure to asbestos is enough and every additional exposure contributed as well.

Stating the case of Lindstrom, 424 F.3d at 492,  the court further opined that Krik’s argument on a single exposure or a de minimis exposure satisfies the substantial contributing factor test under Illinois law incorrectly states the controlling law: it is not that de minimis exposure is sufficient, but that more than de minimis exposure is required to prove causation. Krik’s argument was unavailing. Krik’s experts have not presented any individualized analysis of his level of asbestos exposure. Moreover, the expert reports and briefs filed by Krik’s counsel provided the Court with only generalized citations to scientific literature, with no indication that these are the authorities upon which its experts intend to rely. Nor do Krik’s experts identify any peer-reviewed scientific journal adopting the “Any Exposure” theory, or cite any medical studies that set forth a known rate of error for this analysis. Instead, Krik’s experts tout the “Any Exposure” theory with little to no evaluation of the actual facts in this case.



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