W. R. Grace along with five individual defendants, filed a motion Sunday to exclude the toxicology expert witness testimony of Dr. Aubrey Miller. Dr. Miller, an investigator with the EPA, is the prosecution’s key witness. WRG was successful in an earlier attempt to limit the testimony of another key witness, Paul Peronard, who served as the EPA’s on-site coordinator in Libby after the town’s asbestos contamination first made headlines ten years ago. The Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center also reports:
The company and five one-time Grace officials are charged with a federal conspiracy involving Clean Air Act violations and obstruction of justice. The jury must find whether the company and its top employees knew they were endangering the community of Libby by mining the asbestos-laced ore and whether they were violating federal law as they did so.
Thousands of Libby residents have been diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses, including asbestosis and pleural mesothelioma cancer. Previous testimony from another doctor revealed that approximately one new case of asbestos-caused disease is diagnosed per week in Libby.