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Dykes v. Raymark Industries, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
801 F.2d 810 (1986)


Facts

In 1983, Helen K. Dykes (plaintiff) sued Raymark Industries, Inc., National Gypsum Company, and others (defendants) for damages her husband Eulis Dykes sustained in his work with National Gypsum asbestos products. At trial, Mrs. Dykes proffered the deposition of Dr. Kenneth Wallace Smith, taken in a 1976 case against the Johns-Manville Corporation, a major asbestos producer. Smith was Johns-Manville's late long-time medical director, and his expert testimony in his deposition consisted largely of historical data rather than opinions subject to refutation. Therefore, Johns-Manville understandably limited Smith's cross examination during the deposition, but there was no indication Johns-Manville's opportunity for cross examination was inadequate. National Gypsum objected that the deposition was hearsay and was inadmissible former testimony under Federal Rule of Evidence 804(b)(1), but did not articulate the full circumstances underlying its objections. The judge admitted the deposition. The jury awarded Mrs. Dykes substantial compensatory and punitive damages. National Gypsum appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, arguing the judge erred in admitting Smith's deposition.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Engel, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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