“EVERY EXPOSURE” THEORY IS REJECTED BY ALL LOUISIANA FEDERAL COURTS, ACCEPTED BY SOME STATE COURTS

NoEveryExposure

All federal courts in Louisiana that have considered the “every exposure” theory under Louisiana law have rejected it. See Davidson v. Georgia Pacific, LLC, No. 12-1463, 2014 WL 3510268 at *3-6 (W.D. La. July 14, 2014); Comardelle v. Pennsylvania General Insurance Co., 76 F.Supp.3d 628 (E.D. La. Jan. 5, 2015); Vedros v. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Inc., 119 F.Supp.3d 556 (E.D. La. Aug. 4, 2015).

The Louisiana Supreme Court has not expressly spoken on the “every exposure” theory in mesothelioma cases. In its last major mesothelioma case, Rando v. Anco Insulations, 2008-1163 (La. 5/22/09), 16 So.3d 1065, the court stated that every non-trivial exposure to asbestos contributes to and causes mesothelioma. See Id. at 1091; see also, Landry v. Avondale Industries, Inc., 111 So.3d 508, 511 (La. App. 4th Cir. 2013).

The Louisiana Fourth Circuit in Oddo v. Asbestos Corp., 2014-0004 (La. App. 4 Cir. 8/20/15), 173 So.3d 1192, considered the trial court’s rejection of the every exposure theory, but did not rule on it. Instead, it affirmed the trial court’s adoption of the theory that every above-background exposure to asbestos contributes to the development of mesothelioma (which the defendant’s expert agreed was a valid, reliable theory).

The Louisiana First Circuit in Robertson v. Doug Ashy Building Materials, 2014-0141 (La. App. 1 Cir. 12/23/14), 168 So.3d 556 reversed the trial court’s rejection of the every exposure theory plaintiffs’ expert called his “special exposure” theory. The court held that a plaintiff is not required to prove his “quantitative level of exposure,” and endorsed, as reliable, the plaintiff’s expert opinion that if “there was a scientific reason to believe that the form of the exposure…would be expected to increase one’s risk of developing mesothelioma,” the plaintiff had a substantial exposure to asbestos.

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