Expert: Extent Of Disease In Libby Unheard Of

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A medical expert testifying Tuesday in the W.R. Grace trial described his disbelief when, arriving in Libby 10 years ago, he found that people who had never worked at Grace’s vermiculite mine were dying from asbestos-related disease.

Dr. Aubrey Miller is a physician and investigator with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He told the court that for an individual who was not a worker to die of asbestos-related disease was unheard of.

The Missoulian newspaper reported Miller’s testimony on its Web site.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy overruled defense motions to keep Miller off the stand or restrict his testimony.

At issue is whether the Columbia, Md.-based Grace and its top employees knew they were endangering the community of Libby by mining asbestos-laced ore, and whether they did so in violation of federal law.