Segal McCambridge Attorney Scott Henry Persuades Judge To Bar Demonstrative Evidence In Asbestos Case


February 17, 2009

On Friday, February 13, 2009, Segal McCambridge Attorney Scott Henry obtained a favorable ruling from Judge Sosnay in Milwaukee County on behalf of defendant Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, barring the admission of demonstrative evidence in an asbestos trial.

The evidence consisted of a videotaped demonstration of gasket removal performed by plaintiffs' expert Dr. William Longo. The video shows Dr. Longo removing asbestos-containing gaskets with a wire brush and chisel. The removal is videotaped using Tyndall lighting, a type of lighting that emphasizes the appearance of particles in the air. Significantly, Dr. Longo makes no attempt to distinguish between the asbestos fibers and non-asbestos dust seen on the video. If captured on video under the same sort of lighting, similar activity performed on similar surfaces where there is no gasket present at all produces clouds of dust comparable to those shown in Dr. Longo's video.

The judge agreed with Garlock's position that the dust seen in the video would not help a jury to understand how much respirable asbestos would be released during this type of work activity and is therefore prejudicial.