Judge Newsome rules in Armstrong's favor at Daubert hearing
During a two-day Daubert hearing, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Randall J. Newsome granted Armstrong World Industries' motion to exclude evidence presented by the plaintiffs' expert witnesses regarding property damage claims for asbestos-containing flooring in homes and public buildings.
Armstrong requested the Daubert hearing, used to determine the type of expert testimony via scientific testing is allowable under the Federal Rules of Evidence. The hearing was held to decide what could be used to prove or disprove claims that asbestos-containing flooring cause building contamination.
Judge Newsome ruled that the methodology offered by the Asbestos Property Damage Committee in support of its claims is not a scientifically valid method of quantifying the level of asbestos contamination in a building, according to PRNewswire.
The Asbestos Property Damage Committee asked the court to approve settled dust sampling as the appropriate measure for establishing that asbestos-containing floor tile releases asbestos fibers.
Armstrong argued that settled dust sampling produces unreliable results. Armstrong's expert witnesses told Judge Newsome that air monitoring, which measures the number of asbestos fibers actually found in the air, is the most scientifically valid method of determining whether the presence of asbestos-containing floor tile poses a health risk.
Armstrong originally filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in December 2000 to resolve claims alleging personal injury from exposure to asbestos insulation, according to PRNewsire. Armstrong stopped making asbestos-containing floors in the U.S. in 1982.