A flooring manufacturer was faced with a number of property damage claims which were based on analysis of dust by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). This analytical method showed the presence of asbestos in the dust, but was unable to predict airborne exposure levels that could result from disturbance of the dust. As asbestos related diseases are associated with airborne exposures, there was a question about whether or not this TEM dust sampling method was sufficient to demonstrate damages to the buildings in question. A Daubert hearing was held to make this determination.
Roger Morse AIA offered expert testimony in the Daubert hearing to explain the scientific nature of both the TEM dust sampling methodology, as well as air sampling methods used to determine airborne exposures to asbestos. This explanation included the specific reasons that the dust sampling method could not determine airborne exposures. To illustrate the complex technical issues involved, exhibits, including drawings, photographs, video tapes, and support documents, were used.
The specific sampling methodology was disallowed by the court as a basis for the property damage claims.