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Barabin, Paper Mill, Crown-Zellerbach, Asbestos & Mesothelioma

ASBESTOS, MESOTHELIOMA, CANCER Barabin, Paper Mill, Crown-Zellerbach, Asbestos & Mesothelioma: A recent United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit review of expert testimony from the lower court.

The review of the Barabin, Paper Mill, Crown-Zellerbach, Asbestos & Mesothelioma case documents what many paper mill workers may face today – past potential asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. The decision of the appeals court was vacated and the case was remanded for a new trial.

To find out more on the case, see Case Nos. 10-36142, 11-35020 – January 15, 2014.

A brief summary of the facts include:

  • Henry Barabin worked at Crown-Zellerbach paper mill from 1968 until his retirement in 2001.
  • In the mill, Crown-Zellerbach shredded logs into chips and then exposed the chips to corrosive chemicals and high pressure to create paper slurry.
  • Paper slurry is ninety-nine percent water and one percent pulp fiber.
  • The mill produced paper by removing water from the paper slurry. As part of that process, machines pulled the paper through dryers.
  • Dryer felts held the paper against the dryers, so that the paper would dry properly. AstenJohnson, Inc. and Scapa Dryer Fabrics, Inc. supplied the mill with dryer felts that contained asbestos.
  • Barabin had a variety of jobs during the time he worked at the mill.
    • He started as a paper sorter, working in a different building than where the dryers were located.
    • He then moved to the technical department, where he worked as a pulp tester and a paper tester.
    • On occasion, he worked at a test station that was about twenty feet from the dryers.
    • After working in the technical department, he went to work on the paper machines. Part of his job was to clean the dryers.
    • However, these jobs were not his only exposure to the dryer felts; he also took pieces of dryer felt home to use in his garden.
  • In 2006, Barabin was diagnosed with pleural malignant epithelial mesothelioma (“mesothelioma”).
  • Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that affects the tissue surrounding the lungs.
  • All parties agree, and the science makes clear, that asbestos exposure from inhaling respirable fibers can cause mesothelioma.
  • At trial, the parties argued over whether exposure to the dryer felts (provided by AstenJohnson and Scapa) substantially contributed to Barabin’s mesothelioma. Of necessity, the case was to be a battle of the experts. Both parties had experts who were prepared to testify in support of their arguments.

For more on asbestos and mesothelioma, please visit the links below:


At the Gooch Law Firm, we pride ourselves on providing our clients reliable representation for even the most challenging cases.  If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and need an asbestos or mesothelioma lawyer to help you file a mesothelioma lawsuit, contact our office at 1.844.329.5955.