Last Friday, SGR environmental attorneys Andy Thompson and Steve O’Day achieved victory for SGR’s client, Alcoa, in a large toxic tort lawsuit.
The case was first filed in 2004 and after defeating the plaintiffs’ efforts at class certification, the case was limited to twelve plaintiffs alleging that they developed beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease as a result of alleged exposures during the manufacture of military aircraft at Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Georgia.
Plaintiffs offered the testimony of an industrial hygienist to attempt to establish causation and exposure to the defendants’ products. SGR moved to exclude the testimony of the industrial hygienist as scientifically unreliable under the prevailing standard for admissibility of expert testimony, and also moved for summary judgment because plaintiffs were unable to present credible evidence that their illnesses were caused by exposure to the products of Alcoa and the other defendants.
In a 27-page opinion, the Federal district court in Atlanta granted SGR’s motion to exclude the expert’s testimony and, absent valid and admissible expert testimony as to causation, granted SGR’s motion for summary judgment, and dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims against Alcoa and the other defendants.
In an additional independent ground for granting summary judgment to the defendants, the court concluded that plaintiffs’ employer is a sophisticated user of beryllium and dismissed plaintiffs’ claims of breach of the duty to warn plaintiffs of the dangers of beryllium usage.
Copies of Judge Story’s Order, and the Defendants’ successful pleadings, can be found here:
- Alcoa Daubert Motion Against Plaintiff Expert
- Defendant Alcoa’s Motion for Summary Judgment
- Defendants’ Joint Motion for Summary Judgment
- Judge Story’s Order Granting Defendants’ Motions