On July 11, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court held that the standard of substantial factor causation applies in mesothelioma cases.  Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., 2014 Tex. LEXIS 578, at *6 (Tex. July 11, 2014).  The court also indicated that a plaintiff need not prove that “but for” the plaintiff’s exposure to a defendant’s asbestos-containing product, the plaintiff would not have contracted mesothelioma.  Rather, the court made the following observations in explaining what the plaintiff’s burden of proof in mesothelioma cases entails: 

  • proof of "any exposure" to a defendant's product will not suffice and instead the plaintiff must establish the dose of asbestos fibers to which he was exposed by his exposure to the defendant's product;
  • the dose must be quantified but need not be established with mathematical precision;
  • the plaintiff must establish that the defendant's product was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff's disease;
  • the defendant's product is not a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff's disease if, in light of the evidence of the plaintiff's total exposure to asbestos or other toxins, reasonable persons would not regard the defendant's product as a cause of the disease;
  • to establish substantial factor causation in the absence of direct evidence of causation, the plaintiff must prove with scientifically reliable expert testimony that the plaintiff's exposure to the defendant's product more than doubled the plaintiff's risk of contracting the disease.