OPINION and ORDER
BARBARA B. CRABB, District Judge.
Three motions filed by defendant Owens-Illinois, Inc. and related to the admissibility of expert testimony are before the court in these two asbestos cases. In the first motion, defendant seeks to exclude an opinion by plaintiffs' experts that "any exposure to asbestos, no matter how slight, remote or insignificant, is a cause or substantial contributing factor in causing Plaintiffs' diseases." Defendant argues that the opinion is not "scientifically reliable" and is therefore inadmissible under Fed. R. Evid. 702. In addition, defendant says that the evidence is irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial. In the second motion, defendant seeks to exclude evidence related to asbestos experiments conducted by William Longo. In addition to arguing that the evidence is not admissible under Rule 702, defendant says that plaintiffs did not disclose the evidence properly and that the evidence is both irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial. In the third motion, defendant seeks to exclude the opinions of Barry Castleman, again on the ground that they are inadmissible under Rule 702.
The first question is which of these motions are still in dispute. In response to the first motion, plaintiffs filed a two-page brief in which they stated that testimony that "`any exposure' is a cause of the asbestos related disease will not be presented at trial." In response to the second motion, plaintiffs stated that they "agree to withdraw Dr. Longo as a witness." However, not willing to take "yes" for an answer, defendant continued to make arguments about these motions in its reply briefs. Then both sides filed additional briefs about the "any exposure" theory of causation and defendant expanded its argument regarding the evidence that should be excluded. Because plaintiffs did not respond substantively to either of defendant's first two motions, I am granting them as undisputed. If defendant wants to obtain additional rulings about the permissible scope of causation evidence, it will have to file a timely motion in limine.
This leaves defendant's motion to exclude testimony from Barry Castleman. Plaintiffs have narrowed the issues by offering to limit Castleman's testimony to the issues allowed in one of the cases that defendant cites in support of its motion,
Plaintiffs say that the purpose of Castleman's testimony is to "explain the historical development of knowledge of the health hazards of asbestos as reported in thousands of pieces of scientific literature, studies and professional or trade organizations documents." Plaintiffs refer to this as "state of the art" testimony, which they say is important in this case because "[p]roof of what a defendant knew or should have known about the dangers of its products is an element in any toxic tort case." Plaintiffs say that Castleman is qualified to give this testimony because of "his many years of training and experience as a practitioner and researcher in the fields of public health, environmental engineering, and chemical engineering, as well as several decades of research in the area of asbestos which began with his doctoral thesis completed in 1985."
I agree with defendant that plaintiffs have made no showing that Castleman is qualified to explain the meaning and significance of medical literature. Further, there is no suggestion in
However, Castleman's report also includes discussions of articles in trade journals and government publications, which, presumably, would not require medical expertise to understand or summarize. In
IT IS ORDERED that
1. Defendant Owens-Illinois, Inc.'s motion to exclude evidence that "any exposure to asbestos, no matter how slight, remote or insignificant, is a cause or substantial contributing factor in causing plaintiffs' diseases," dkt. #27 (in case no. 99-cv-475-bbc) and dkt. #26 (in case no. 05-cv-219-bbc), is GRANTED as unopposed.
2. Defendant's motion to exclude evidence related to asbestos experiments conducted by William Longo, dkt. #32 (in case no. 99-cv-475-bbc) and dkt. #31 (in case no. 05-cv-219-bbc), is GRANTED as unopposed.
3. Defendant's motion to exclude the testimony of Barry Castleman, dkt. #40 (in case no. 99-cv-475-bbc) and dkt. #39 (in case no. 05-cv-219-bbc), is GRANTED with respect to testimony related to medical literature. The motion is DENIED with respect to testimony related to other historical documents discussed in Castleman's expert report.