Pennsylvania High Court Tosses ‘Any Dose’ Asbestos Theory

May 28, 2012

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that civil lawsuit plaintiffs alleging asbestos-related ailments cannot submit scientific testimony asserting that even the smallest exposure to the material could cause cancer.

The court said in a 6-0 opinion issued last Wednesday that plaintiffs must show some relationship between the amount of exposure and development of the disease.

The ruling came in a western Pennsylvania auto mechanic’s 2005 lawsuit alleging that exposure to asbestos from brake lining repair over 44 years had caused his mesothelioma.

A Superior Court panel said a jury should evaluate the “any exposure” testimony, but the high court said the trial judge “was right to be circumspect” about the underlying scientific methodology. The Philadelphia Inquirer says attorneys for the plaintiff did not return a phone call seeking comment.

 

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