Michael Block obtained a defense verdict in Feb 2006 asbestosis case

Michael Block obtained a defense verdict in February 2006 in the Philadelphia CCP in a case where a man died at age 69 of what plaintiff's counsel and the treating physicians claimed was asbestosis due to his career as an auto mechanic. Plaintiff called Dr. Jonathon Gelfand, pulmonologist, who reviewed medical records that showed decedent suffered with severe lung impairment since 1999. Gelfand found pleural thickening and fibrosis which he concluded was from his asbestos exposure from his career as an auto mechanic. The death certificate stated his death was due to his asbestos related condition. His treating pulmonologist and family doctor had diagnosed his asbestosis in 2001. Decedent's brother testified to his exposure to asbestos from brakes and gaskets. Decedent's daughter testified as to how he had been on oxygen for several years and had great difficulty with any activity due to his severe shortness of breath. She also testified as to how her step-mother was ill and was devastated by the death of her husband. Defendants offered testimony from Dr. Alan Pope, a pulmonologist. He testified that decedent suffered and died from familial pulmonary fibrosis which had nothing to do with asbestos. He relied on the fact that decedent's father and 2 brothers had pulmonary fibrosis. Additionally when he reviewed the x-rays and CT scans it was clear it was not typical of asbestosis. What looked like pleural thickening was really sub-pleural fibrosis. Also the progression was too quick for asbestosis. The jury found in favor of our client and concluded that plaintiff's disease was not caused by asbestos.