In asbestos lawsuits it is not uncommon for an expert witness to be a part of a case. Expert witnesses provide important information to the jury that would not be common knowledge. This article will discuss the key roles an expert witness plays in an asbestos- mesothelioma litigation case.
Key Roles of Expert Witnesses
Some of the key roles played by expert witnesses include the following:
- Medical testimony – expert medical testimony is extremely important as it proves that the plaintiff has an asbestos-related disease. The symptoms of asbestos diseases are similar to many other conditions. Therefore, it is necessary for a doctor to show a link between the asbestos exposure and the plaintiff’s health problems. Expert medical testimony in asbestos cases may include that of a radiologist, pathologist or both, a pulmonologist or oncologist. The radiologist can testify that X-rays or CT scans showed scarring in lungs characterized by asbestos exposure. The pathologist testified as to the number of asbestos fibers in a tissue sample or the differences in cancer cells.
- Testimony on causation – Proving that you have an asbestos disease is only half of the battle. To be compensated for your losses, the plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant is responsible for their asbestos exposure. Scientific evidence is needed to show that the materials used while doing your job contained asbestos and you inhaled it. Often this requires the testimony of an industrial hygienist or certified asbestos professionals with the needed extensive training. The experts need to testify that safety regulations were in place at the time but were not followed. Or insufficient information was available to the defendant to know about the product’s hazard nature.
- Economic damages – most plaintiffs have suffered monetary losses that are expensive. If the asbestos illness caused you to retire early, an economist can show money losses from a premature death.