Direct examination of Locke continues
After abruptly excusing the jury on Monday because one juror was ill, Judge Donald Molloy took a moment first thing Tuesday to verbally check on the jurors’ well-being. Hearing all was well, direct examination of former W.R. Grace employee Robert Locke resumed where it had left off Monday.
Attorneys for the government began by asking Locke about several documents outlining an epidemiological study on past and present Grace employees.
Locke said he met several times with Dr. Brian MacMahon from the Harvard School of Health to prepare for the study.
“We had monitoring data on employees, but it wasn’t fantastic,” Locke said. “It would be good to get our hands around what was going on.”
Locke said that there wasn’t universal support for the study and that ultimately the study never occurred because MacMahon refused to let Grace edit the study. MacMahon wanted the conclusions that came from the study to be his conclusions and didn’t want the company to repress the results, Locke said.
Locke also testified that part of his job at Grace was to attend various workshops on occupational safety and exposures. The prosecution specifically focused on a conference in 1977 that Locke attended about exposures to fibrous dust. Locke said that he remembered Dr. Bill Smith was giving a presentation on a hamster study, which included Grace.
Smith presented a draft of what he published so that the company would could see “what he wasn’t going to say or was going to say to make sure he didn’t say anything obstructive about Grace,” Locke said.
Molloy did not offer any ruling on the defendants’ request to limit the testimony of Locke The defense said Monday that Locke’s testimony would be unfairly prejudicial and would confuse the jury. The prosecution said that Locke’s testimony would help establish the requisite mental state for the conspiracy charge.
The government began to question Locke about an employee health handout before the morning break.
– Kalie Tenenbaum (posted 10:20 a.m.)