J. Lawson Johnston, Scott D. Clements and Aaron Ponzo of Pion Johnston were successful in having a Common Pleas Court Judge grant Defendant’s Motion for Frye Hearing and dismiss multiple occupational lung disease cases filed by former employees of Delaware and Hudson Railway Company. Eight former employees, who worked in different crafts, filed Complaints claiming occupational lung disease due to exposure to industrial dusts, gases, fumes, diesel exhaust, and other contaminants in the workplace. Plaintiffs submitted reports from a board certified pulmonologist who diagnosed pneumoconiosis from exposure to work place contaminants and opined that the individuals suffered permanent pulmonary impairment.
Defense counsel challenged the opinions and methodology of the Plaintiff’s pulmonologist, and upon completion of his trial deposition, filed a Motion for Reconsideration of a request for a Frye Hearing which had been previously denied. The Court, after reviewing the deposition transcript, granted the hearing and after entertaining argument precluded the testimony of the Plaintiff’s expert on the basis that he had not made his diagnoses in accordance with the general accepted methodology in the medical community. As such, Plaintiffs were left with no medical experts, and all cases were dismissed.