Professor Egilman of family medicine at Brown University, has testified in more than 600 cases of occupational or environmental disease. Last summer David Egilman testified in a lawsuit by twenty two women whom claimed to have contracted ovarian cancer from the asbestos prevalent in Johnson & Johnson baby talc.
The women testified that they used the talc like many other customers on a daily basis
and it was likely that exposure to the carcinogenic fiber found in the talk played a part
in their cancer.
Using medical gravitas and science, Professor Egilman argued that exposure to the talc doubled their chances of ovarian cancer. This result was achieved by factoring in the levels of asbestos outside scientists had discovered in samples, and duration and frequency of use of the talc by the women.
The defendants, own experts, claimed the talc was asbestos-free and there was no proof that the product caused cancer. However, Professor Egilman's noticeable contribution came about after examining thousands of company documents. He and his student researchers concluded that Johnson and Johnson found no asbestos in the baby powder because its tests were not sensitive enough.
His unforgettable analogy: 'trying to weigh a needle on a bathroom scale.' were re-enacted with a real scales in front of the jury several times.
Professor Egilman sees performing as an expert witness in court as a mission.
"As a doctor, I can treat one cancer patient at a time," he explained during a trial last year. "But by being here, I have the potential to save millions."
In 35 years as an expert witness, he has given depositions and testimony in more than 600 cases of environmental or occupational disease. Earning more than $5 million, of which he says he has donated a part to charity.
His fight continues unabated. He says corporate money and power have intimidated scientists and corrupted science. He sees the contagions that has led him into conflict
with corporations, and even journals that publish what he describes as tainted results.
"He's a bloodhound who can sniff out corporate misconduct better than security dogs at an airport," said, attorney, Mark Lanier . Egilman's opponents say he stretches science to the breaking point in his zeal to fight corporate malfeasance. "I think he's a dangerous person," said Patrick Hessel, an epidemiological consultant at EpiLung Consulting in Spruce Grove, Canada, who has tussled with Egilman over studies of auto mechanics' exposure to asbestos. But scientists mostly defend his methods and determination.
What Does Asbestos do to the Body?
The asbestos fibers irritate and scar lung tissue, causing the lungs to become stiff.
This makes it difficult to breathe. As asbestosis progresses, more and more lung tissue
becomes scarred. Eventually, your lung tissue becomes so stiff that it can't contract
and expand normally. Quote: MayoClinic