Ninth Circuit Orders New Trial in Mesothelioma Case

The verdict in a $9 million mesothelioma case was thrown out by the full 9th Circuit and needs a new trial due to mishandling of expert testimony. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer commonly caused by asbestos exposure.

Henry Barabin was an employee of Crown-Zellerbach paper mill, in Washington, from 1968 to 2001. Barabin said he typically worked around dryer felts that contained asbestos during work, and took home felts for use in his garden. In 2006, Barabin developed mesothelioma.

Barabin and his wife sued AstenJohnson Inc., the plant suppliers, and Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc. However, both companies filed motions to exclude two of the Barabins’ experts from testifying during trial. The companies claimed that one, Kenneth Cohen an industrial health expert, did not have sufficient credentials and the other, Dr.James Milette’s “tests were unreliable, because his methodology was not generally accepted in the scientific community.”

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