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Rost May Change the Toxic Tort Landscape

12/13/2016

A November 22, 2016 Supreme Court ruling, Rost, significantly changed the playing field for defendants in Pennsylvania. During trial, Plaintiffs’ expert, Dr. Arthur Frank, espoused the previously-rejected opinion that each and every exposure to asbestos was a substantial contributing factor in Mr. Rost’s development of mesothelioma. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court considered whether “a plaintiff in an asbestos action may satisfy the burden of establishing substantial-factor causation by an expert’s ‘cumulative-exposure’ theory that the expert concedes is simply an ‘any-exposure’ theory by a different name.” This alert will focus on the causation aspects of the decision (although trial consolidation was also a subject).

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