The Four Most Pernicious Myths in Asbestos Litigation: Part I: Safe Chrysotile and Idiopathic Mesothelioma

Source: Christopher Meisenkothen, New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, Vol. 24 no. 1, 2014
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From the abstract:
The now well documented phenomenon of “doubt science” has crept into litigation generally, but has had a particularly deleterious effect in asbestos litigation, giving rise to pernicious myths that are told and re-told every day in legal briefs and in court proceedings. Defendants routinely challenge the admissibility of testimony from plaintiffs’ expert witnesses when those experts testify about certain key concepts in asbestos medicine and asbestos science. Defendants boldly proclaim plaintiffs’ experts’ opinions to be “junk science” and seek to have them precluded regardless of how well documented, well researched, well supported and well accepted those opinions are. This has become all too routine in asbestos litigation, where defendants predictably seek to preclude testimony about medical and scientific issues that have been settled for decades and that are not legitimately disputed outside of litigation by the unbiased scientific community of national and international regulatory agencies and scientific organizations.

The Four Most Pernicious Myths in Asbestos Litigation: Part II: Safe Thresholds for Exposure and Tyndall Lighting as Junk Science
Source: Christopher Meisenkothen, New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, Vol. 24 no. 1, 2014
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Part I of this survey confronted the first two Most Pernicious Myths in Asbestos Litigation: the supposed harmlessness of chrysotile asbestos; and so-called idiopathic mesothelioma. Part II discusses the pernicious notions of safe exposure thresholds for asbestos and the unreliability of Tyndall lighting. Defendants’ attempts to preclude plaintiffs’ experts from testifying about these generally accepted scientific facts are a disservice to the legal system and to plaintiffs who have been harmed by asbestos. These defense tactics attempt to deny reality and to spin scientific facts in order to keep them from the jurors’ eyes and ears. This undermines the legal system and harms the integrity of the scientific enterprise. Defendants’ efforts to manufacture “controversy” over previously uncontroversial facts are bald attempts to infect the legal process with junk “doubt science.” The role of this type of “doubt science” is being steadily exposed as legitimate researchers resist the degradation of their disciplines and the scientific literature by unprincipled purveyors of this insidious brand of junk science.