Who wins a mesothelioma lawsuit often depends upon the strength of the testimony expert witnesses provide to the jury. While victims and other witnesses provide information about what happened and how exposure took place, it is expert witnesses who give the jury members the scientific information on which they base their assessment of what is true and what is false. In a recent case, Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive presented an expert witness whose testimony contradicted all known science about asbestos-related diseases. The attorney representing the victim quickly exposed the witness’ shortcoming.
California Mesothelioma Case Accuses Companies of Hiding Risk
The mesothelioma lawsuit involved 61-year-old Patricia Schmitz, who was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma after years of using Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive products that she says were contaminated with asbestos. Jurors seated in the Alameda County Superior Court heard Dr. Suresh Moolgavkar of the scientific consulting firm Exponent Inc. testify that Mrs. Schitz’ illness was caused by the aging process, contradicting years of scientific research about the rare, terminal disease.
Though testimony like that provided by Dr. Moolgavkar would be upsetting to any mesothelioma victim, Mrs. Schmitz’ attorney quickly exposed the doctor’s history of acting as an expert witness for large corporations, and the large fees that he has earned by testifying that a variety of diseases are spontaneous events rather than being caused by the toxic substances previously proven to cause them.
Witness Paid $500,000 to Manufacture Doubt About Mesothelioma’s Causes
After Dr. Moolgavkar testified that Mrs. Schmitz’ mesothelioma was a result of aging rather than her 40-year history of using asbestos-contaminated products, the victim’s attorney confronted the witness about the fees that he is paid to “manufacture doubt” about the cause of the rare disease. The doctor acknowledged that he makes half a million dollars for each case, plus a $400,000 bonus if his clients win.
Additionally, the mesothelioma attorney provided the jury with a clear sense of the nature of the doctor’s purported expertise when he evoked confirmation that he had provided testimony that diesel exhaust and formaldehyde, both known toxins, had not been responsible for physical harm in other victims, as well as that he had never treated a patient diagnosed with the terminal asbestos-related disease.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.