Sunday, June 13, 2004

OSHA Witness Had Undisclosed Ties to 3M

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (subscription) is reporting that Warren Myers, one of two experts selected by OSHA to testify on the merits of disposable respirators manufactured by 3M, failed to disclose his affiliations with the company before offering a ringing testimonial endorsement of their product. An unnamed OSHA source says Myers was asked, before OSHA hired him, whether he was employed by or otherwise affiliated with any organization involved in the rulemaking, and said no. It now transpires, however, that just weeks prior to his OSHA testimony, Myers had served as a paid consultant to 3M counsel defending against thousands of claims that defects in an earlier generation of 3M masks contributed to lung disease.

The paper quotes Myers as saying: "That was with [3M] legal counsel, not 3M. I billed the law office."


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Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.