Braun v. Lorillard Inc. [Saralee Braun](Personal Injury US 7th Cir. Ct. of Appeals Def. Verdict) This case centers on the use of Micronite filters in cigarettes. Citation: 84 F3d 230 (CA 7, ND Illinois, 17 March 1996); 519 US 992, 117 S Ct 480, 136 L Ed 2d 375 (18 Nov 1996)
This individual personal injury suit was brought by Saralee Braun, individually and as executor of the estate of Norman Braun, against Lorillard and Hollingsworth & Vose Co.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendants manufactured a brand of Kent cigarettes with a Micronite filter containing crocidolite asbestos, the most toxic form of asbestos. After smoking these cigarettes, Norman Braun contracted mesothelioma and died. The plaintiff claims products liability, negligence and recklessness.
The defense argued that there was some other cause for Braun's mesothelioma. The asbestos fibers in the micronite would not have been released and would not have been able to cause the disease. The exposure to asbestos could have been from some other source.
The case was heard in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division (No. 94 C 976) before the Honorable Blance M. Manning. The jury returned a verdict for the defendants. The plaintiff appealed on evidentiary grounds.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (84 F.3d 230) heard the case on May 17, 1996. It was heard by Circuit Judges Posner, Rovner and Evans. The court found that Dr. Schwartz was properly excluded as an expert because he was not experienced in the exact area he testified and his methods were unscientific. It permitted disclosure of the negative test results of non-testifying experts because the portions tested were consumed by the test. It upheld the exclusion of Richard McHenry because he had been excluded from the final pretrial order without good cause. It upheld the exclusion of Athea Revere's son's and a journalist's testimony on the grounds of hearsay. It affirmed allowing Dr. Spears testify as an expert in filter design. It held that the exclusion of testimony by Dr. Cugell was harmless error. Finding no basis to overturn, the court affirmed the jury verdict.
The Supreme Court of the United States (519 U.S. 992) denied certiorari on November 18, 1996.