August 11, 2010
Plaintiff’s Expert Witness Excluded in Georgia Asbestos Case
“Quintessential expert for hire,” Plaintiff’s expert, Dr. John Maddox excluded.
Orders from a middle Georgia judge throwing out an expert witness and the asbestos suit his testimony was going to support have defense attorneys celebrating and plaintiffs lawyers bearing down for an appellate battle.
At issue is a June 29 decision by Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge John Lee Parrott. He barred the testimony of John Maddox, a pathologist who claims that asbestos caused the lung disease that killed the plaintiff’s husband.
The problem, Parrott said, is the doctor’s opinion that any exposure to asbestos causes injury. That opinion, the judge said, “is not practically testable and has not been tested,” thereby violating one of the prongs of Georgia’s 2005 law governing the use of expert witnesses.
“[T]he courtroom is not the place for scientific guesswork, even of the inspired sort,” Parrott wrote, quoting a 1996 decision from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Lawyers who defend companies from asbestos cases hailed Parrott’s decision as great news and predicted it could influence other judges around the state.
The entire article can be found at Law.com