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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In 2000, the remaining plaintiffs and defendants in a series of suits designated as complex asbestos cases in 1995, and originally filed in 1989 and 1996, were consolidated into one suit. The first motion for summary judgment against three of the plaintiffs was filed Feb. 8, 2000. The second motion against the remaining plaintiffs was filed Nov. 16, 2000. Both were no-evidence summary judgment motions that asserted the plaintiffs failed to produce evidence of causation or that they had suffered a reliably diagnosed injury attributable to the products in questions. The trial court agreed with defendants that the plaintiffs’ expert’s affidavit was unreliable and granted both motions. On appeal, the plaintiffs argue: (1) the trial court improperly denied their motions for continuance and for additional limited discovery to respond to the motions for summary judgment; (2) the trial court misapplied the relevant case law to exclude the testimony of their experts; and (3) the trial court erred in granting the summary judgments because even in the absence of the excluded testimony, the plaintiffs presented sufficient evidence to raise an issue of material fact as to each of the elements of their cause of action. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court points out that the cases has been on file for no less than five years before the summary judgment motions were filed. Though the plaintiffs were not officially diagnosed with asbestosis until April 2000, the court finds that as early as 1995, the plaintiffs were describing their workplace as asbestos-laden. The plaintiffs do not explain, the court adds, how more time for discovery would assist in proving that the types of asbestos or silica to which they were exposed would cause the asbestosis. Additionally, the plaintiffs waited several months after the summary judgment motions were already on file to request more time for discovery. As for the motions for summary judgment, the court agrees that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the expert’s affidavit was unreliable. There was no evidence that the asbestos or silica that may have been contained in the products the plaintiffs used in the workplace was in a form that causes asbestos or silicosis; and the diagnosis of asbestosis or silicosis is unreliable because the expert worked backward from the alleged exposure and assumed causation rather than independently diagnosing the disease. There is no evidence that asbestos or silica, when contained in paints and coatings that were ground, sprayed or sanded, will release the dangerous fibers that cause asbestos. “We hold that appellants never proved an ‘exposure’ to a form of asbestos or silica that would cause injury.” The court also holds that a mere diagnosis of asbestosis or silicosis is insufficient evidence of exposure to injurious products. There is no evidence to calculate the form and concentration of the exposure. Without this information, the diagnosis is circular, “from an assumption of exposure to a diagnosis based on that assumption.” Plus, the information is necessary since the plaintiffs were exposed to many other solvents and potentially injuries substances. OPINION:Green, J.; Lopez, C.J., Green and Angelini, JJ.

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