A Northern District of Illinois jury ruled in favor of defendants ExxonMobil and Owens-Illinois and against plaintiff Charles Krik. The retired pipefitter claimed his lung cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos from the 1970 to the 1990s while working in refineries in Illinois and Indiana where asbestos was present. However, the jury ruled that the plaintiff’s asbestos expert witnesses, Dr. Arthur Frank, Dr. Arnold Brody and Frank Parker, needed to offer more specific testimony pertaining to Krik’s potential exposure to asbestos, rather than the effects of asbestos exposure in general. They also found that his cigarette smoking was the “sole proximate cause” of his lung cancer.
In CHARLES KRIK v. CRANE CO.; EXXONMOBIL OIL CORPORATION; OWENS-ILLINOIS,INC.; and THE MARLEY WYLAIN COMPANY, Case No. 10-cv-7435 Judge John Z. Lee writes:
Krik nevertheless asserts that because the precise exposure to asbestos cannot be calculated, even de minimis exposure satisfies the substantial contributing factor test. The Court disagrees. As the MDL court explained in its opinion denying Crane’s summary judgment motion, under maritime law, “[a] mere ‘minimal exposure’ to a defendant’s product is insufficient to establish causation.