California court considers use of mesothelioma victim’s genetic material

Published on June 01, 2022

For decades, the risk of malignant mesothelioma posed by exposure to asbestos has not stopped companies from manufacturing and selling products contaminated with the carcinogen. This led to negligence suits and multi-million dollar jury verdicts awarding victims compensation. In response to these lawsuits, asbestos companies have turned to new defenses, the latest of which is to seek genetic material from victims for non-litigation purposes. A California judge has set a date to review this development.

Protection order requested by a victim of mesothelioma

The case concerns the genetic material and medical data of John C. Lohmann, a mesothelioma victim exposed to asbestos during his 50-year career in refrigeration servicing. When Mr. Lohmann and his wife filed a lawsuit against several companies they accused of exposing him to asbestos, the defendants’ expert witnesses attempted to use the medical data used in his claim for purposes non-contentious, without his authorization.

As Asbestos Company Experts Say Evidence Produced In Court Is Public Domain And Not Protected By Discovery Act, Mesothelioma Victim Seeks Protective Order For Her Data medical. He argues that the use of his pathology material has never been discussed and that companies are trying to use his personal data to benefit third-party research.

Asbestos companies try to use mesothelioma data to fight victim claims

While the argument in this case appears to be specific to Mr. Lohmann, the outcome may have far-reaching impacts on other mesothelioma victims. If defense experts use DNA data to support a theory that mesothelioma is not caused by asbestos exposure, it could have a significant impact on how juries consider victims’ claims to the future. The court ordered a hearing on the matter at a later date.

In the face of aggressive efforts by asbestos companies to escape liability, it is important that mesothelioma victims have access to high-level resources. For more information about how the patient advocates at can help you, contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

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Written by Terri Oppenheimer

Terri HeimannOppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the editor of our news blog She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge equals power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and the stories of victims.

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