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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Patricia A. Johnson claimed that she was exposed to carbon monoxide because of her employment with the Highland Medical Center, and that the exposure was a producing cause of her cardiomyopathy. American Protection Insurance Co. was the Highland Medical Center’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission found that although Johnson had suffered a compensable injury on Oct. 30, 1998, it was not a producing cause of her cardiomyopathy. Johnson then filed suit seeking judicial review, and was awarded workers’ compensation benefits by the trial court. American challenged the judgment and asked the court to determine whether: 1. the testimony of Johnson’s expert witness, Dr. Thomas Kurt, was unreliable and should have been excluded by the trial court; and 2. the trial court erred in admitting hearsay testimony from Johnson regarding testing for carbon monoxide poisoning on Oct. 30, 1998. HOLDING:Affirmed. American contends that Johnson’s testimony about the results of the carbon monoxide test at her workplace constituted inadmissible hearsay because it was performed by a local gas company. The court assumes, without deciding, that the trial court did err in admitting Johnson’s testimony about the test, and finds that the objected-to testimony was cumulative of other evidence admitted without objection. Therefore, the court holds that the admission of Johnson’s testimony regarding the carbon monoxide reading, even if erroneous, probably did not cause the rendition of an improper judgment and was therefore harmless. American next argues that Kurt’s expert testimony was unreliable and should have been excluded by the trial court because it was based upon unreliable methodology or factual foundation. The court finds that the thrust of American’s challenge to Kurt’s testimony is its argument that chronic exposure to carbon monoxide cannot be extrapolated from one reading and that Kurt’s reliance upon that one reading makes his testimony unreliable. However, the court also finds that American’s expert specifically indicated that it is reasonable to assume chronic exposure based on the one reading, and further, Kurt’s assumption that Johnson’s carbon monoxide blood saturation was 30 percent could also be considered reasonable. Consequently, even assuming arguendo that the trial court was in error in admitting Kurt’s expert testimony, the court states that it cannot conclude that its admission probably caused the rendition of an improper judgment. OPINION:Boyd, S.J.; Quinn, C.J., Reavis, J., and Boyd, S.J.

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