The Georgia Supreme Court’s reversal this month of a $4+ million asbestos verdict clarified the law of causation in asbestos exposure cases, limiting expert testimony on the issue. The ruling potentially makes cases harder to prove by requiring plaintiffs show evidence a defendant’s asbestos was at least a “meaningful contributing factor” to a plaintiff’s overall exposure. Scapa Dryer Fabrics, Inc. v. Knight et al., Case No. S15G1278 (July 5, 2016)., Case No. S15G1278 (July 5, 2016).
When given hours of evidence stretching across a long trial, jurors can become so overwhelmed they tune out potentially critical information, even in closing arguments. To counter that, Chris Panatier, of Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, employed an ingenious technique to burn verdict-turning evidence into jurors’ minds—he combined his words with the powerful visual people generally associate with a negative—red flags.
Toxic tort cases involving dangerous exposure from decades earlier can be rife with problems linking the allegedly toxic product to your client's disease. In some cases, you'll have to ask jurors to infer connections based on limited documentary evidence and no "smoking gun" proof. James Ferraro was faced with a similar situation in a mesothelioma suit against Georgia Pacific, but, in a closing that connected the dots from wallboard to his client's cancer, won an eight-figure verdict.