Dr. Richard Lemen
Dr. Richard Lemen is expected to serve as the government’s expert witness in the field of epidemiology. He has extensive experience studying patterns of asbestos-related disease.
Lemen began his career in the U.S. Public Health Service in 1970, and retired as Acting Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in 1996. He has since worked as adjunct professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at Emory University, as expert consultant to the Director General of the World Health Organization, and as president of the Society for Occupational and Environmental Health.
Lemen has testified in numerous civil cases brought by victims of asbestos-related disease, and before the U.S. Senate.
He has lobbied extensively for a complete ban on products containing asbestos. In a video for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (available here: http://www.adaotv.com/channel/video/145), Lemen said, “our aim has been to continue bringing the public information about products that do contain asbestos and try and get asbestos completely out of the products that are being consumed in the United States today.”
As an admitted expert witness, Lemen has been given leeway to discuss specific scientific methods and results. His expert status was affirmed in the pre-trial Daubert hearing, where he went on record about the cause of the epidemic in Libby, saying, “the vermiculite materials left by Grace in the town of Libby posed an imminent danger to the public,” and could cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
Lemen has strong opinions about the culpability of W.R. Grace and Co. for the asbestos-related disease rates in communities around the country where ore from Libby was shipped. He has been quoted in an article by Andrew Schneider, then of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, saying, “Grace should be held accountable for not warning its workers and those living near their plants across the country of the risk to their health from Libby’s ore.”
In the same article, he encouraged state and federal prosecutors to investigate Grace’s actions. “Any U.S. attorney or state attorney general from any state where Grace processed that material should look hard at the Justice Department indictment and see if it also applies to people in their jurisdictions who have been harmed by Grace’s actions.”
– Daniel Doherty