Pennsylvania Courts Reject “Any Breath” Theory in Asbestos Cases
Last year, a Pennsylvania high court made it significantly more difficult for asbestos-exposed victims to prove a causal link between the exposure and the disease by discounting expert testimony stating that every breath establishes a causal link to the disease. However, this year brings new clarity to the ruling:
- The May 2012 ruling in Betz v. Pneumo Abex LLC disallows expert testimony stating that every breath contributes substantially to development of an asbestos-related illness, though it concedes that the disease is “dose-responsive” and that each exposure shortens the time necessary for the disease to become full-blown.
- A February 2013 ruling in Wolfinger v. Lincoln Electric Co. clarifies that an expert may testify that each breath contributed to contracting the disease if other evidence exists to establish that one particular type of exposure was a substantial factor that caused the person to contract the disease.
As a result, plaintiffs must provide more than one type of proof to establish that a particular exposure was a “substantial factor” in causing the disease. Expert testimony alone does not suffice to establish causation. An asbestos-exposure lawyer in Pennsylvania can help you prove your case by demonstrating repeated and prolonged exposures to the same product throughout your lifetime.
Manufacturers often try to shift blame by suggesting that a product was not the “substantial factor” or primary cause of the plaintiff’s illness. This argument presents potential problems for asbestos victims.
You need lawyers like Nass Cancelliere Brenner on your side to help you prove your case. If you want to know more, call us.