Dr. Yang Faces Cross-Examination
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kris McLean wrapped up his direct examination of Dr. Julie Yang this afternoon, briefly working through several miscellaneous exhibits. Most of McLean’s questions had to do with scientific efforts made by Grace to “bind” asbestos fibers, a process of wetting (or otherwise treating) asbestos fibers to prevent them from entering the ambient atmosphere. Yang testified that none of Grace’s binding efforts were ever completely successful in mitigating the amount of airborne asbestos.
McLean asked a few other questions about asbestos related scientific studies conducted by Grace, but Yang’s memory of these ancient events provided little evidence for the record. McLean ended his direct examination around 1:00 pm and yielded to David Krakoff, attorney for defendant Henry Eschenbach, for cross-examination.
Krakoff led Yang through many specific questions regarding the hamster studies. His questions delved into Yang’s pre-Grace employment with the industrial supplier Johns Manville, Manville’s own studies into tremolite and vermiculite effects, and specific test protocols. Krakoff got Yang to testify that the tremolite used in various animal studies was either injected or surgically implanted directly into the pleuras of hamsters and rats, a significantly different process of ingestion from that which Grace employees would have encountered. Thus, the defense again made the point that the tremolite exposures of the hamster study differ significantly from the exposures of the residents of Libby, a point that calls into question the evidentiary value of the hamster study.
The court paused for the afternoon break during this line of questioning.
Mark Lancaster – posted 5:10 PM
Posted: March 19th, 2009 under Law.