Occupational and environmental medicine experts will testify in a new asbestos trial involving R.J. Reynolds. The plaintiff in the original lower court case, Richard DeLisle, suffers with asbestos mesothelioma and argued that his condition is a result of working at Brightwater Paper Co. with gaskets manufactured by Crane Co. and smoking R.J. Reynolds Kent cigarettes with Micronite filters containing asbestos. Wikipedia tells us that the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was founded in 1875 and in 1952 advertised their “famous micronite filter,” which promised consumers the “greatest health protection in history.” In 1956, allegations of detrimental health affects forced the tobacco company to cease manufacturing Kent cigarettes with filters containing asbestos.
LawyersandSettlements.com describes asbestos mesothelioma as “a condition affecting the lining of the lungs and other internal organs that is almost exclusively associated with exposure to asbestos. The incubation period can last upwards of three decades following exposure, before asbestos cancer finally emerges. In the case of Mesothelioma, there is no cure. Patients can have varying periods of survivability while battling asbestosis and mesothelioma, but the prognosis is always negative. Mesothelioma is usually viewed as a death sentence. It’s only a matter of time.”
In 2013, the trial court awarded DeLisle $8M in compensatory damages for pain and suffering and allocated fault as follows:
16% to Crane Co.
22% to manufacturer Hollingsworth & Vose Co.
22% to Lorillard Tobacco Co
20% each to non-parties Owens-Corning and Brightwater
In October 2016, the Florida Fourth Circuit Appeals Court ordered that the verdict be entered for Crane Co., but a new trial was ordered for defendant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
Occupational and environmental medicine experts consult and testify in cases such as these which involve asbestos exposure. These experts are knowledgeable in industrial hygiene, toxic exposure, and environmental pollutants, as well as related matters. Hiring a highly qualified and thoroughly vetted expert witness is critical in a lawsuit alleging injury due to asbestos exposure.