Judge dismisses motion to exclude evidence of scientist’s ties to asbestos lobby

Wed, Sep 16, 2015


Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca

A motion to exclude evidence of a scientist’s ties to the International Chrysotile Association was dismissed by Judge Brad Seligman of the Superior Court of California, Alameda County on September 11, 2015.

Robert Nolan, a chemist, is a witness for Union Pacific Railroad Company in a U.S. court case concerning the death of a worker from asbestos-related lung diseases. Over the past few years, Nolan has been paid by the International Chrysotile Association to make presentations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Ukraine, Philippines, India, Vietnam and Russia. The International Chrysotile Association represents global asbestos interests and promotes the sale of chrysotile asbestos, particularly in Asia. Nolan supports continued use of chrysotile asbestos.

In a motion filed on September 4, 2015, Union Pacific Railroad Company requested a court order to exclude evidence of the work that its expert witness, Nolan, has done for the asbestos lobby. The company argued that this evidence it would “(1) necessitate undue consumption of time, (2) cause undue prejudice, (3) confuse the issues and (4) mislead the jury.” See: Lawyers launch court action to hide scientist’s work for asbestos lobby organisation.

Judge Seligman rejected these arguments and denied the motion.


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