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Brake Defendant’s Motion to Preclude Causation Expert Under Daubert Denied

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, September 22, 2015

The plaintiff commenced this wrongful death action alleging that the decedent developed mesothelioma caused by prolonged exposure to brake dust from brake pads manufactured by Bendix while working as a part-time bookkeeper at an auto repair shop from 1984-1990.  Defendant moved in limine to preclude testimony from the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Jill Ohar, with respect to any testimony that brake dust causes mesothelioma and any testimony based on the every exposure theory. The defendant also sought to preclude any testimony that asbestos or chrysotile causes mesothelioma absent a showing that such evidence applies to brake dust specifically. The district court denied the motion, reasoning that “Ohar’s expert report and affidavit rely on peer-reviewed scientific literature linking the alleged cancer-causing properties of asbestos or chrysotile to the alleged cancer-causing properties of brake dust.” The court determined that it was “unnecessary” to rule on the defendant’s motion with respect to each and every exposure because it had not been shown that Dr. Ohar intended to rely upon that theory.  Instead, Dr. Ohar intended to rely upon the Helsinki criteria, which the court ruled was, in combination with the scientific literature furnished, “a sufficiently reliable methodology to satisfy the Daubert threshold for admissibility.”

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