Dr. Daniel Teitelbaum
Dr. Daniel Teitelbaum is a retired expert in toxicology who is among the prosecution’s witnesses. According to a bench brief filed by attorneys defending Henry A. Eschenbach, Teitelbaum received hundreds of chest x-rays of Libby workers and workers from a W.R. Grace vermiculite mine in South Carolina in 1977.
Teitelbaum was the president of a laboratory called PoisonLab, which later became Enbionics. The company worked under contract Grace more than 30 years ago. The laboratory was to review chest x-rays from Grace’s Montana and South Carolina facilities to determine whether exposure to the vermiculite had caused any asbestos-related diseases, according to court documents. Though two radiologists conducted the review, Teitelbaum collected the results and forwarded them to Eschenbach.
In a New York Times article from Feb. 18, 2009, Teitelbaum said that the South Carolina mine’s vermiculite was not tainted with asbestos. “At the end of the study, I wrote a letter saying that 30 percent of the miners in Libby have asbestosis, and nobody in South Carolina has asbestosis,” he said. “They said thank you very much and did nothing with it.”
Defense lawyers for W.R. Grace and Eschenbach have tried to block testimony of Teitelbaum saying that such testimony would constitute an undisclosed expert opinion, according to Eschenbach’s bench brief regarding objections to potential testimony, filed March 11, 2009.
Defendants claim that Teitelbaum’s conclusions reached in 1977 are unreliable, and the medical report does not require expert testimony to aid the jury.
According to the government, in addition to being a factual witness, Teitelbaum is also a qualified expert in the field of toxicology. The government claims that Teitelbaum’s expert testimony in this case would assist the jury in understanding some of the terms and results embodied in the Enbionics Report, according to the government’s response to the defendants’ joint motions to exclude Teitelbaum’s testimony.
– Kalie Tenembaum