LIBBY (May 10, 2009) — The environmental criminal inquiry into the most sprawling industrial disaster in U.S. history ended in the failed prosecution of a company charged with poisoning a small Montana town. Some residents of the town say no judgeâ€™s gavel can close their case, that death may be the only end to their [...]
Kris McLean conceded what has been pounded home throughout the trial: It was no secret to the government that there was asbestos at the Libby mine or that asbestos was carcinogenic.Â â€śThe secret was in the products,â€ť he said Wednesday.
One secret in this case, McLean said, was what only defendant W.R. Grace knew: â€śDespite reducing [...]
The beginning of the end of the W.R. Grace trial started Wednesday morning as Judge Donald Molloy walked jurors through jury instructions and the prosecution started to present its closing argument.
Molloy discussed more than 50 separate instructions with the jury immediately after they entered the courtroom.
â€śYou must not single out some (instructions) or ignore [...]
Dr. Lemen says there is an imminent risk of exposure, and Judge Molloy hints about how he might rule on some of the defense motions to exclude testimony.
At promptly 3:00 p.m., prosecutor Kevin Cassidy got to the main theme of his direct examination of Dr. Lemen. When Cassidy asked if he had an opinion about whether there was an imminent risk of exposure Dr. Lemen said yes. David Bernick promptly objected for lack of foundation, but the objection was overruled and Dr. [...]
A series of increasingly testy exchanges was eventually interrupted by a rebuke from Judge Donald Molloy, as defense attorney David Bernick cross-examined government witness Dr. Richard Lemen on Monday.
Bernick began by pointing out that Lemen was receiving $350 an hour for his testimony, $50 less than his usual rate.Â Bernick characterized this as a â€śgovernment [...]
After the jury was dismissed due to illness early Wednesday afternoon, Molloy and the attorneys for both sides returned to the courtroom at roughly 3:30 p.m. to discuss the testimony of Dr. Alan Whitehouse, a pulmonologist from Spokane.
The discussion kicked off with a little humor when Judge Molloy couldnâ€™t find his pen and defense [...]
On Wednesday afternoon, the Court ended for the week with a cross examination of Dr. David Whitehouse by David Bernick, followed by a brief re-direct from Kris McLean. Throughout the cross-examination, Grace tried to poke holes in Whitehouseâ€™s direct testimony in several areas, including: his opinion of community exposures caused to Libby residents independent of [...]
The testimony of Dr. Alan Whitehouse, a pulmonologist from Spokane who brought attention to the abnormally high rates of asbestos related disease in Libby, continued Wednesday afternoon as Whitehouse was questioned by the prosecutor, Kris McLean.
Whitehouse was admitted as an expert witness, and so was allowed to testify about the medical implications of exposure [...]
After the lunch break, Dr. Alan Whitehouse resumed his direct examination, answering questions from Assistant United States Attorney Kris McLean. Initially, Dr. Whitehouse took the jury through a biology lesson, explaining the functioning of the lung and the progression of asbestos-related diseases. According to Dr. Whitehouse, exposure to asbestos is akin to â€śinhaling a [...]
The questioning of Lerah Parker took up the remainder of the morningâ€™s session, with just a glimpse of testimony yet to come from Dr. Alan Whitehouse. Parkerâ€™s questioning went much more smoothly than that of her husband, with few objections from the defense.
Parker entered the courtroom for her testimony with some obvious trepidation. A [...]