Mesothelioma is a horrible, deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. An article in today's LA Times
asks the question whether asbestos defendants' insistence that an asbestos victim sit for 25 hours of depositions ended up killing him. Here's an excerpt:
John Johnson died three months ago, his body racked with malignant mesothelioma, a disease that's almost always caused by asbestos exposure. The Marine veteran had sued dozens of companies he believed shared responsibility for his condition, but he never got his day in court. Here's the horrific question now: Did asbestos industry lawyers deliberately drive Johnson to his death by putting him through a brutal series of depositions so their clients would save money? That's what his family, his doctor and his lawyers assert. Despite affidavits from his doctor stating that 12 hours of depositions over a few weeks would be about as much as the 69-year-old's health could stand, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge allowed the companies he was suing a total of 25 hours.
Of course, as the defense lawyer quoted in the article says, defendants are going to want the opportunity to ask the plaintiff questions. But 25 hours? In federal court, the presumption is that a deposition should last no more than one 7-hour day.