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Georgia Pacific Admits Knowledge of Asbestos in Joint Compound

1 H O W A R D S C H U T T E, sworn.




5 Q. Good morning. How are you?

6 A. Good, how are you?

7 Q. As you remember, Im Chris Placitella. I

8 represent a number of Plaintiffs in this case.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. I see you clean up good compared to the

11 last time.

12 A. Thank you.

13 Q. Im going to ask you a series of

14 questions. Some of the questions are going to ask

15 for yes or no answers. If for some reason you cant

16 answer the question yes or no, please tell me that

17 and Ill attempt to rephrase it or just decide to

18 move on. Do we have that agreement?

19 A. Ill commit to give the truth. Whatever

20 answer is appropriate Ill give.

21 Q. Since the last deposition here have you

22 reviewed any additional documents related to Georgia

23 Pacific and its role in selling asbestos-containing

24 products?

25 A. I had one session with our attorneys


1 between that period of time and this relating to it

2 on a different matter.

3 Q. Did you see more documents than you saw

4 the last time or were they the same documents you

5 had gone through before that?

6 A. I believe they were the same documents.

7 Q. Had you had the opportunity to review any

8 additional depositions of any Georgia Pacific

9 employees?

10 A. No, sir.

11 Q. Have you had the opportunity to review

12 your deposition from the last time?

13 A. No, sir.

14 Q. You never looked at —

15 A. No, I didnt.

16 Q. The last time we were here you indicated

17 that there were some documents in your possession

18 that you were going to bring you with you today that

19 explained certain studies I asked you about. Did

20 you bring anything with you?

21 A. No, sir, I dont recall saying I would.

22 Q. Since your last deposition have you

23 testified in court?

24 A. You said my last deposition? Your

25 deposition?


1 Q. Here.

2 A. No, sir, I have, no, have not.

3 Q. You given other deposition testimony?

4 A. No, sir.

5 Q. Have you reviewed any information related

6 to any of the clients that my office represents?

7 A. No, sir.

8 Q. You are not here to offer any testimony

9 about my clients in particular?

10 A. Thats correct.

11 Q. We are here to examine what Georgia-Pacific

12 knew about the dangers of asbestos and what

13 it did in response. Do you understand that?

14 A. We are here to talk about asbestos, yes.

15 Q. You were designated by Georgia-Pacific as

16 the person with the most knowledge concerning those

17 issues. Do you understand that?

18 A. I believe my prior testimony at our

19 previous deposition, Im the person most able to be

20 here, most knowledgeable, yes.

21 Q. You are still currently the Vice-President

22 of strategy and new product development for the

23 entire company?

24 A. For Georgia-Pacific Gypsum, yes.

25 Q. And just to be clear, any personal


1 knowledge that you have concerning Georgia-Pacific

2 begins somewhere in 1973 when you went to work

3 there?

4 A. Well, I started in August of 1973. Part

5 of my preparation and learnings for these

6 depositions has been to review other documents and

7 talk to people about prior periods of time.

8 Q. But your own personal knowledge, things

9 that you personally witnessed, event that you

10 personally witnessed, things you personally heard

11 about asbestos and Georgia-Pacific, that started in

12 1973 when you got there?

13 A. Thats correct.

14 Q. And you also indicate, and I want to ask

15 you if you a few more questions about this, that you

16 have reviewed documents that pre-date 1973, correct?

17 A. Some documents, yes.

18 Q. You have spoken to certain former Georgia-

19 Pacific employees whose tenure there pre-dates 1973,

20 correct?

21 A. Thats correct, yes.

22 Q. You have read some of their transcripts?

23 A. Yes, sir, there have been transcripts.

24 Also Ive talked — I started in 1973, I talked to a

25 lot of folks that had never been deposed.


1 Q. Now, you were asked to bring certain items

2 with you here today. I know Mr. Kelly has something

3 to say about that so we are going to take a

4 commercial break right now and we will let Mr. Kelly

5 put his objection on the record while I ask you the

6 questions.

7 MR. PLACITELLA: Do you have the

8 notice that you object to, counsel?

9 MR. KELLY: The second deposition

10 notice?

11 MR. PLACITELLA: Correct.

12 THE COURT: Yes.

13 MR. KELLY: I dont actually believe

14 I brought it with me. Do you have a copy?

15 Q. You were asked to bring samples of the

16 packaging that Georgia-Pacific used for its joint

17 compounds.

18 MR. KELLY: Actually, Mr. Schutte

19 will tell you he never has seen the deposition notice.

20 He wasnt asked to bring anything.


22 MR. PLACITELLA: Wyy dont we mark

23 this. Ill sign it since this one is unsigned. How

24 is that? Mark this P-1.

25 (The above document is marked P-1)


1 Q. P-1 is a notice to take deposition for

2 today. Ill hand it to you to be clear and ask you

3 if you have ever seen it before. Ill take

4 counsels representation, but I want to make sure.

5 A. I have not seen this.

6 Q. Now, the information that I requested

7 included a list of all materials that you reviewed

8 that enable you to testify concerning this case.

9 Did you ever prepare such a list?

10 A. Have I? No, sir.

11 Q. It asked for all documents reviewed by you

12 since the first day of your deposition, but you told

13 me you didnt look at anything else, correct?

14 A. That is correct.

15 Q. Anything additional?

16 A. Anything additional, thats correct.

17 Q. Then it says all documents reviewed by you

18 in any way related to the plaintiffs. You didnt

19 review anything, correct?

20 A. Thats correct.

21 Q. So you actually complied with one to three

22 without even knowing it.

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. Four, representative samples of all

25 packaging of asbestos-containing joint compounds


1 sold by George Pacific. Do representative samples

2 existed to your knowledge?

3 A. I dont know what exactly exists. I dont

4 recall.

5 Q. Do you know whether in your review of the

6 materials in preparing for your testimony in this

7 case and other cases you actually saw packages that

8 Georgia-Pacific used to sell the asbestos-containing

9 products?

10 A. I dont recall physically seeing packages

11 Ive seen lots of photos of packages and marketing

12 information. I dont recall seeing any specific

13 packages.

14 Q. Did you endeavored to ask anybody at

15 Georgia-Pacific for the actual packages themselves?

16 A. I have not.

17 Q. The last thing asks for copies of all

18 Workers Compensation claims filed against Georgia-

19 Pacific where the injury alleged is mesothelioma,

20 lung cancer or asbestosis.

21 Have you endeavored to make that search?

22 A. No, sir, nor do I recall seeing any of

23 those in the documents I looked at.

24 Q. Which is the next question I was going to

25 ask you. The documents that you have reviewed, I


1 forget what room you call, document room or

2 something like that. Who selected those documents

3 for you to review? Who gave you the universe of

4 documents you looked at?

5 A. I dont know who selected them. They were

6 in the lawyers office that works with Georgia-

7 Pacific. I assume that they had been accumulated

8 over time.

9 Q. Do you know what kind of search was done

10 to determine whether that was the universe of all

11 documents in Georgia-Pacifics possession

12 concerning asbestos-containing products sold by

13 Georgia-Pacific?

14 A. Im sorry, the door opened just about the

15 time you asked the question.

16 MR. PLACITELLA: Why dont you read

17 it back.

18 (Record read)

19 A. Well, what I do know is that there were

20 requests made of myself as a plant manager and other

21 of GP employees to provide all the documents that we

22 had back in the 70s, 80s whatever. I dont recall

23 the exact time period. I dont know the specifics

24 of the search per se.

25 Q. Whatever documents you reviewed to prepare


1 you for your testimony were supplied by the lawyers,

2 correct?

3 Q. Thats where they resided. Thats who

4 supplied them. I dont know who supplied them

5 specifically.

6 Q. Did you make any inquiry of anybody at

7 Georgia-Pacific to determine what documents were

8 selected and why?

9 A. No, sir. All I said is I would like to

10 see all the documents and I was directed to that

11 room.

12 Q. So the answer to my questions is you

13 didnt make a an inquiry?

14 A. Well, I made that inquiry.

15 Q. Did you?

16 A. I asked to see all the documents.

17 Q. Did you inquire as to what kind of search

18 was done? What was looked for?

19 A. No, sir.

20 Q. So if there was additional information

21 that was in the possession of George Pacifica you

22 would have no way to know that?

23 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

24 A. Again, I asked to see all the documents.

25 I dont know about the search. I assume that was in


1 fact all the documents Georgia-Pacific had in its

2 possession.

3 Q. What documents did you review during the

4 last session with your lawyers?

5 A. The last session.

6 Q. You said you had a session between the

7 last deposition and this deposition.

8 A. Generally was the OSHA asbestos standard

9 and a couple other related documents.

10 Q. During the last 12 months what was your

11 total compensation from Georgia-Pacific, including

12 bonuses, et cetera?

13 A. Something around $500,000.

14 Q. How much of your time over the course of

15 the last twelve months was spent on asbestos-related

16 matters for Georgia-Pacific?

17 A. Something less than 10 percent probably.

18 Q. Less than 10 percent?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Do you also have any stock options, valued

21 stock options with Georgia-Pacific?

22 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

23 Theres no possible way that can be reasonably

24 calculated to do lead to the discover admissible

25 evidence for a corporate representative given the


1 scope of your notice, Chris.

2 Q. You can answer.

3 MR. KELLY: Off the video record.

4 (Off the video record)


6 MR. KELLY: I going to direct him not

7 to answer that for the reasons I just told you. I

8 think it is confidential information, private

9 information.

10 MR. PLACITELLA: It goes directly to

11 bias, counsel. If he is into George Pacific for a

12 few million dollars, the jury has a right to know

13 that.

14 But, we will move on. You directed

15 him not answer.

16 Please mark on the record every

17 objection and every time the witness is directed not

18 to answer the question, please.

19 (Resuming video)


21 Q. How much money over the course of the last

22 four years have you been paid by Georgia-Pacific?

23 MR. KELLY: Same objection, same

24 instruction.

25 MR. PLACITELLA: You say thats


1 privileged?

2 MR. KELLY: I believe it is. It is

3 private. Privileged. Out of the scope of

4 discoverability.

5 MR. PLACITELLA: Okay. We will —

6 MR. KELLY: If somebody ultimately

7 tells me Im wrong Ill certainly provide

8 it to you.

9 MR. PLACITELLA: If somebody tells

10 you you are wrong, we will do this again.


12 Q. You understand that the jury is going to

13 consider your testimony along with all the other

14 evidence in this case to make a determination in

15 resolving the disputes between my clients and your

16 clients, and your firm, correct?

17 A. I would assume so, yes.

18 Q. And you understand that my clients believe

19 that Georgia-Pacific was responsible, at least in

20 part, for their injuries? Do you understand that?

21 A. Again, I havent reviewed anything

22 relating to your clients. I assume thats why we

23 are here today.

24 Q. This is a pictures of John Picinic. Have

25 you ever been shown a picture of John Picinic?


1 A. No, sir, I dont believe so.

2 Q. This is a picture of John Picinic on the

3 left-hand side taken at his deposition on February

4 26, 2006. Do you see that?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Then a year later in the hospital at

7 Columbia Presbyterian. Do you see that?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Do you understand —

10 MR. KELLY: Let me interrupt you for

11 a minute. Let me object to the form of the question

12 and move to strike the video image. So the record

13 is clear, shown behind us is a Power Point image of

14 two pictures and I — theres certainly no probative

15 value for these questions in a discovery deposition

16 of a corporate designee.

17 I object to the question and any

18 further questioning about pictures about specific

19 clients and move to strike them at the relevant

20 time.

21 MR. PLACITELLA: Thank you.

22 Q. Did you know that Mr. Picnic testified

23 that he used Georgia-Pacific joint compound during

24 the 60s and 70s?

25 MR. KELLY: Same objection.


1 Q. Were you aware of that?

2 A. No, sir.

3 Q. Did you understand Mr. Picinic has

4 mesothelioma?

5 A. I believe I was told that.

6 Q. By whom?

7 A. The attorneys, yes.

8 Q. Now, this is Ronald DeMayo. The picture at

9 his deposition. Do you understand he is a plaintiff

10 in one of these cases?

11 MR. KELLY: Same objection. Chris,

12 will you be kind enough to give an ongoing objection

13 to the showing of the photographs?

14 MR. PLACITELLA: Absolutely.

15 A. Did I realize he is a client of yours?

16 Q. Did you realize he was one of the people

17 suing George Pacific?

18 A. No, sir.

19 Q. Do you know that he testified he used

20 Georgia-Pacific joint compounds in the 60s and the

21 70s?

22 A. No, sir, again, I didnt have any

23 definitive, any discussions about your clients.

24 Q. Did you know that Mr. DeMeo I dont has

25 mesothelioma?


1 A. No, sir.

2 Q. This is Angel Fernandez. Do you know

3 anything about Mr. Fernandez?

4 A. No, sir.

5 Q. Do you know that he has mesothelioma?

6 A. No, sir.

7 Q. Do you know that the testimony in his case

8 was that he used the powder joint compound of

9 Georgia-Pacific in the 60s and 70s?

10 A. No, sir. I dont know specifically about

11 any of these cases.

12 Q. This is Earline and Joseph Klemm. Do you

13 understand that Joseph Klemm gave testimony in this

14 case that he used Georgia-Pacific ready mix joint

15 compounds in the 60s and 70s? Did you know that?

16 A. No, sir.

17 Q. Did you know that he indicates that he

18 bought that compound home on his clothing and the

19 proof in this case will be that Mrs. Klemm now has

20 mesothelioma. Did you know that?

21 A. No, sir.

22 Q. So how much time did you spend preparing

23 for this deposition today and the deposition on the

24 first day?

25 A. For the deposition?


1 Q. Right.

2 A. I guess I feel like I have been preparing

3 for two years as a corporate witness to testify here

4 today.

5 Q. All this time you never bothered to find

6 out anything about these people who are suing your

7 company and alleging that it was your fault?

8 MR. KELLY: Let me object to the

9 form. I think the record will show that the

10 exhibits already marked that included the language

11 from the first Deposition Notice asks this client to

12 testify regarding two topics. None of those topics

13 make reference to anything to do with the

14 Plaintiffs in this case and had he been asked to

15 testify to that, he certainly would have come here

16 today prepared to do that.

17 I think it is unfair to infer these

18 questions were asked, when that wasnt the topic he

19 was asked to come here today to talk about.

20 Q. You understand that the plaintiffs in this

21 cases believe they had a right to know that there

22 was asbestos in the George Pacific joint compound?

23 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

24 A. I dont know anything about these cases.

25 Q. Do you understand that the plaintiffs in


1 this cases believed they had a right to know what

2 you, Georgia-Pacific, knew about the dangers of

3 asbestos?

4 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

5 A. Again, I dont know anything about these

6 particular cases.

7 Q. Now, at the end of this deposition you

8 agree with me that the jury will be in a better

9 position to judge the conduct of George Pacific in

10 light of what we are going to go through?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection.

12 A. I hope my testimony is valuable, yes.

13 Q. What I plan on doing to get there is to

14 ask you straight forward questions and hopefully get

15 straight forward answers, okay?

16 A. Ill try to give the best answer I can,

17 yes.

18 Q. Now George Pacific purchased the Best Wall

19 Company in 1965, correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 A. That is correct, yes.

22 Q. That was a substantial investment for

23 Georgia-Pacific, was it not?

24 A. I would say so, yes.

25 Q. They purchased — after the purchase they


1 had an additional nine manufacturing plants and two

2 mills, correct?

3 A. That sounds about right, yes.

4 Q. And they had a national distribution

5 system of 125 distribution sites, correct?

6 A. I dont know what the exact number is.

7 Again, that seems to be close. Are we are talking

8 1965?

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. I dont know the number, but we had a

11 national distribution group.

12 Q. And within a couple of years of selling

13 the asbestos-containing joint compound it became a

14 very profitable product for Georgia-Pacific to sell,

15 correct?

16 A. No, sir. Again, the purchase in 1965 was

17 all the Best Wall Gypsum. Our primary product was

18 gypsum wallboard.

19 Q. The joint compound itself, that product

20 became very profitable after a couple of years,

21 correct?

22 A. No, sir.

23 Q. This is a document unfortunately it is a

24 very bad copy, but this is how it was produced to

25 us. It is a history of Georgia-Pacific from 1960 to


1 1970. Have you ever seen such a document?

2 A. I cant read a word on it.

3 Q. I apologize for that, but this is the best

4 we have.

5 A. It is.

6 Q. I understand. The section here that says

7 the market for ready mix was for the first couple of

8 years the profitability nil and in the ensuing years

9 the market for ready mix grew by leaps and bounds?

10 MR. KELLY: Let me object to the

11 form. Are you able to identify what the document

12 is.

13 MR. PLACITELLA: Ill mark it at

14 the — Im not going to spend much time on this.

15 MR. KELLY: It will be P-2?

16 MR. PLACITELLA: Ill mark them at a

17 break.

18 MR. KELLY: Can you tell me what it

19 is?

20 MR. PLACITELLA: Its a history of

21 Georgia-Pacific in a document produced by —

22 MR. KELLY: Let me object to the

23 form. I cant read it. Im not sure — the witness

24 indicated he cant, but go ahead. Do the best you

25 can.


1 A. Some of the same question. I dont know

2 what it is. It is not centered, but I think you

3 read it directly. Thats really all I can say.

4 Q. Now, did you, in your research, look to

5 see what kind of due diligence Georgia-Pacific did

6 in its purchase of the Best Wall Company? Do you

7 know what I mean by due diligence?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. When you were doing your research in

10 preparation for this deposition and other testimony

11 you have given, did you do any research into the due

12 diligence that Georgia-Pacific did before it

13 purchased the Best Wall Company?

14 A. No, I didnt.

15 Q. Did you see any evidence in your review of

16 all the material you looked at to determine whether

17 Georgia-Pacific conducted an investigation into the

18 potential health dangers of the components of the

19 products sold by Best Wall?

20 A. I dont recall seeing any documents to

21 that effect.

22 Q. And you, in 1965, when Georgia-Pacific

23 purchased the Best Wall Company, they knew that the

24 joint compounds that Best Wall was selling, that

25 they were taking over, contained asbestos, true?


1 A. I believe that is correct, yes.

2 Q. And they knew with sufficient exposure to

3 asbestos, there was a hazard to human health,

4 correct?

5 A. No, sir.

6 Q. From the 1960s forward Georgia-Pacific was

7 aware that asbestos exposure could cause cancer and

8 kill during the time that it sold

9 asbestos-containing products, true?

10 A. Whats the time frame you are talking

11 about?

12 Q. From 1965 forward.

13 A. 1965 forward. there was a point in time

14 where we knew that, you know, long exposures to high

15 concentrations of asbestos could have ill health

16 effects, yes.

17 Q. You knew about the dangers of asbestos

18 before ever even purchasing the asbestos product

19 line from Best Wall, true?

20 A. I dont know that thats correct, no, sir.

21 Q. Do you recall last time we went through

22 the National Safety Council minutes and you

23 indicated to me that upon review of those minutes

24 that that information was available to Georgia-

25 Pacific and it discussed the dangers of asbestos?


1 MR. KELLY: Let me object to the

2 form. I dont think there was any such testimony.


4 Q. Can you answer the question?

5 A. I thought you were going to show me

6 something.

7 Q. Answer the question first.

8 A. What I recall was in a previous deposition

9 I had seen a publication from the National Safety

10 Council and it was shown at that deposition that

11 there was someone from Georgia-Pacific that was a

12 member of that council. Thats really the extent of

13 it.

14 Q. In fact, in this case in the on page 103

15 of your deposition you were asked the following

16 question and you gave the following answer.

17 But that was talking about before

18 you ever even sold asbestos. Thats what you

19 were talking about before.

20 In other words, Georgia-Pacific was

21 told about the dangers of asbestos based upon —

22 A. It is not centered.

23 Q. Before you ever sold asbestos and you say

24 before we as a company ever sold, you think thats

25 correct.


1 Do you remember giving that testimony?

2 MR. KELLY: The record should reflect

3 thats your question. That is not his answer.

4 A. Now Im confused.

5 Q. Why dont you give him the testimony?

6 MR. KELLY: I can show it to him.

7 What is your question?

8 MR. PLACITELLA: Ill read it.

9 MR. KELLY: Ill have him look at

10 this and that way we have a document in front of us.

11 Q. Could you read for the record, Mr.

12 Schutte, page 103 line 18 to 104 line 4? Can you

13 read that out loud for the record?

14 MR. KELLY: Let me object to the

15 form. Theres no question pending. You want him to

16 read testimony from the first part of his

17 deposition?


19 MR. KELLY: Ill object to the form.

20 What were you interested in having him read?

21 Q. Ill read it. You tell me if I read it

22 correctly. This is your testimony under oath the

23 last time.

24 But that was talking about before you

25 ever even sold asbestos. Thats what you are


1 talking about before. In other words, Georgia-

2 Pacific was told about the dangers of asbestos based

3 upon your review of the documents before day one

4 they ever sold asbestos, correct?

5 Answer, again there was an article

6 published by the Safety Council that referenced

7 asbestos.

8 Question, before you ever sold asbestos?

9 Answer, before we as a company ever sold, this that

10 is correct.

11 Question, George Pacific had information

12 in its possession about the dangers of asbestos

13 before the first day it ever sold an

14 asbestos-containing product.

15 Answers, again, I saw we were a member of

16 the Associations. Im not sure it was established

17 we were there or who was there. Did not know the

18 person, did not know the background.

19 Question, you knew there was a Georgia-

20 Pacific representative at that meeting, right?

21 Answer, I believe we were a member or a

22 representative. I dont recall.

23 Question in 1966 –l

24 Q. Do you recall giving that testimony?

25 A. Yes.


1 Q. You recall being shown at the last

2 deposition and other depositions that Georgia-

3 Pacific was a member of the National Safety Council

4 when information was being distributed to its

5 members about the dangers of asbestos, correct?

6 A. Again, what I testified just earlier,

7 testified I did see a publication from the National

8 Safety Council and that Georgia-Pacific was a

9 member. Thats my testimony.

10 Q. Georgia-Pacific was in fact present at the

11 proceedings when that information was delivered,

12 correct?

13 MR. KELLY: Let me object to the form

14 at that at this point, Chris, we have lost track of

15 the date you are referring with the different

16 proceedings. Objection to the form. Vague.

17 Q. Go ahead.

18 A. I have no idea.

19 Q. So do you agree with me that before 1965

20 Georgia-Pacific had information available to it from

21 the National Safety Council on the dangers of

22 asbestos?

23 A. There was information about asbestos

24 contained in that report.

25 Q. And Georgia-Pacific was a member of the


1 National Safety Council?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Now, in this case — By the way, as part

4 of your function over the course of the last couple

5 of years, have you also certified to the truth of

6 the information provided by Georgia-Pacific in

7 Interrogatory answers?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. How many sets of interrogatory answers

10 have you signed over the course of the last two

11 years certifying to the truth of the information

12 contained in there?

13 A. Well, Ive signed a number of documents.

14 Im not sure if they are all interrogatories per se.

15 Q. What kinds of documents did you sign?

16 A. I believe they were mostly interrogatories

17 yes.

18 Q. In how many in how many jurisdictions?

19 A. I dont know.

20 Q. Did you personally read the

21 interrogatories each time before you signed them?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And did you personally verify the

24 information contained in those Interrogatories was

25 correct?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Why dont we take two minutes so I can fix

3 the resolution so were not straining.

4 (Recess taken)


6 Q. Mr. Schutte, we are back on the record and

7 I fixed my technology problems.

8 Just so the record is clear, Ive put your

9 testimony up from page 103 from your deposition and

10 what it says here is, But that was talking about

11 before you ever even sold asbestos. That is what

12 you have talking about before. In other words,

13 Georgia-Pacific was told about the dangers of

14 asbestos based upon your review of the documents

15 before day one they ever sold asbestos, correct.

16 Answer: Again, there was an article

17 published by the Safety Council that referenced

18 asbestos.

19 Before you ever sold asbestos?

20 A. Answer: Before we as a company ever sold.

21 That is correct.


23 Q. Now, when you answered interrogatories in

24 this case you made no mention in your answers to

25 Interrogatories, did you, that Georgia-Pacific had


1 information before 1965 about the dangers of

2 asbestos?

3 MR. KELLY: Objection. Theres no

4 testimony — objection to the question. The premise

5 is incorrect. Theres absotuletly no testimony that

6 supports the premise of your question.

7 MR. PLACITELLA: Is that an objection

8 to form?

9 MR. KELLY: Yes.

10 MR. PLACITELLA: Read the question

11 back.

12 (Record read)


14 A. Well, I guess maybe we need to back up a

15 bit to make sure we are talking about the same

16 article. Again, my testimony is that at a

17 deposition I was shown an article published by the

18 National Safety Council that had a reference — big

19 article, in it about asbestos. And —

20 Q. And the dangers of asbestos.

21 A. Excuse me?

22 Q. And the dangers of asbestos.

23 MR. KELLY: Objection.

24 Q. The article had information about the

25 dangers of asbestos, did it not?


1 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

2 The article still is not identified that we are

3 talking about. Objection to the form.

4 A. Yes. I would want to see that article

5 specifically before I cement further about it.

6 Q. Do you recall seeing this document in

7 prior depositions and in a trial from 1961 from the

8 National Safety Council general objection?

9 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

10 It is unmarked and unidentified.

11 Q. Do you recall seeing this document before?

12 A. Again, what I recall was seeing an article

13 published by the National Safety Council. I dont

14 recall specifically. Excuse me.

15 Q. Do you recall seeing this specific

16 information in the article when it was shown to you

17 in a trial, I believe?

18 MR. KELLY: Objections to the form.

19 Again, this is excerpt is not identified. It is

20 hard for us to respond or object unless I really

21 have the document.

22 MR. PLACITELLA: Im asking if he

23 members seeing the article. Im trying to move this

24 along Ive got a lot to cover.

25 MR. KELLY: I understand. I need the


1 record to be clear. I dont know how this is going

2 to come up. What is shown on the screen now, I

3 dont know how old you are doing the video is one

4 paragraph of something marked page 7 and I have no

5 idea where it is from. I cant read the rest of the

6 page. It is difficult for me to know what we are

7 looking at and the witness is look at the same

8 thing. Thats all.

9 Q. Do you recall seeing this before today?

10 A. I cant draw up a direct recollection of

11 it, no, sir.

12 Q. You dont recall an article –Let me just

13 move on first. When you answered the

14 interrogatories in this case did you indicate in any

15 way that Georgia-Pacific had information in its

16 possession about the dangers of asbestos before

17 1965?

18 MR. KELLY: Objection. Answers to

19 interrogatories are pleadings and speak for

20 themselves.

21 MR. PLACITELLA: Excuse me. I dont

22 want to get into with you counsel. Thats not a

23 proper form objection. Please dont do that again.

24 Q. Go ahead.

25 MR. KELLY: It is absolutely


1 improper. Your question assumes something. I need

2 to protect the record.

3 MR. PLACITELLA: Something this man

4 certified.

5 Read my question back, please.

6 (Record read)

7 MR. KELLY: Objection.

8 A. You would have to show me my interrogatory

9 in response before I can really answer that

10 question.

11 Q. Why is that?

12 A. Im not sure I understand the question.

13 Maybe thats the issue.

14 MR. PLACITELLA: Can you read it back

15 again?

16 (Record read)

17 A. Again, I dont recall what the specific

18 question was that was asked in the interrogatory. I

19 guess I would have to see it before in my mind I can

20 answer the question.

21 Q. In fact what did you say is Georgia-

22 Pacific had no information other than the dangers of

23 asbestos before 1965, correct?

24 MR. KELLY: Objection.

25 A. I dont recall exactly what I said.


1 Q. This is the cover letter sent to me by

2 your counsel in this case enclosing the

3 interrogatory answers. These are the names of all

4 my clients. Do you see that?

5 A. Barely.

6 Q. Barely, okay, and this is your

7 certification in this case, is it not? Thats your

8 handwriting?

9 A. That is my handwriting, yes.

10 Q. And you signed that June 28, 2006?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. You said certify that the foregoing

13 statements made by me in the attached

14 Interrogatories are true and you are aware if they

15 they are willfully false you are subject to

16 punishment, right?

17 A. Thats what is says, yes.

18 Q. And you were asked in Interrogatory number

19 15 —

20 A. I cant read this by the way.

21 Q. Ill read it to you. Since 1964 has your

22 company done any studies or tests or has your cmpany

23 participated in, been the subject of, or been aware

24 of any studies by others concerning the effects of

25 inhalation of asbestos dust and fibers by one using


1 or being exposed to asbestos or asbestos-containing

2 products. Do you see that?

3 A. I said I cant read it.

4 Q. Then it asks for a whole bunch of stuff

5 and in your answer you said without waiving any

6 objections, which Im assuming your lawyer put in,

7 prior to the first sale of asbestos-containing

8 products in 1965, Georgia-Pacific did not know or

9 have any reason to know that any ingredient in any

10 product it made was potentially hazardous.

11 Do you remember giving that information,

12 sir?

13 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form to

14 the extent it taking off an answer he cant read too

15 well.

16 A. I cant read it. I believe what you said

17 is —

18 MR. KELLY: We agree you read that

19 accurately.

20 Q. Thats the information you supplied in

21 this case, correct, under oath?

22 A. Assuming if you read it correctly, yes.

23 Q. Now, since you have been asked questions

24 in these depositions about the National Safety

25 Council and what information was made available to


1 George passes, did you go back and make any

2 corrections to the interrogatory answers?

3 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

4 Theres no obligations. I object to the premise.

5 We will stipulate we have not amended our answers

6 to interrogatories.

7 MR. PLACITELLA: Do you plan on doing

8 that?

9 MR. KELLY: Why would would we?

10 Q. Now, Ambler, Pennsylvania, is that one of

11 the places where you had a factory?

12 A. No, sir. I dont believe so.

13 Q. Where was the Pennsylvania factory for

14 Best Wall?

15 A. As I recall we didnt have one in

16 Pennsylvania.

17 Q. Where was Best Wall located? Where was

18 its corporate headquarters?

19 A. Paoli, Pennsylvania.

20 Q. How far away from that was Philadelphia?

21 Do you know?

22 A. Not for certain. Less than 100 miles, I

23 believe.

24 Q. Far less than 100 miles, correct?

25 A. Yes.


1 Q. And you are aware the Philadelphia Evening

2 Bulletin was one of the main newspapers that was

3 circulated in the Paoli area in the 1964,1965 time

4 period?

5 MR. KELLY: Objection.

6 A. I would have no idea.

7 Q. You have no idea?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Sir, in your review of the documents in

10 possession of Georgia-Pacific, were you ever shown

11 any of the articles that appeared in the newspapers

12 at or about the time that Georgia-Pacific was

13 contemplating buying the Best Wall Company?

14 A. I dont recall seeing any such articles,

15 no, sir.

16 Q. Nothing related to the dangers of

17 asbestos?

18 A. No, sir.

19 Q. You are aware, however, are you not, that

20 from the early 60s forward there were numerous

21 articles in the newspapers and the popular press

22 about the dangers of asbestos and the relation to

23 cancer?

24 MR. KELLY: Objection.

25 Q. Correct?


1 A. No, sir.

2 Q. I have up here an article appearing in the

3 Philadelphias Evening Bulletin entitled Researchers

4 Link Asbestos to Rare Form of Cancers.

5 Do you see that?

6 MR. KELLY: Objection. I cant make

7 it out.

8 Q. You cant make in out? Should we all move

9 up?

10 MR. KELLY: It is a black square.

11 Q. You cant read up top Researchers Link

12 Asbestos to Rare Form of Cancer? You cant read

13 that?

14 MR. KELLY: I can read what you

15 typed. I cant read the article sorry.

16 Q. Can you read that headline, sir?

17 A. Well, when you say headline, headline to

18 your slide or —

19 Q. The headline on the article.

20 A. The headline on the article, yes,

21 Researchers Link Asbestos to Rare Form of Cancer.

22 Q. And the very next day a similar article

23 appeared in the New York Times. Did you, in your

24 review of any of the documents in possession of

25 Georgia-Pacific, see any articles that were


1 published in the New York Times about asbestos and

2 cancer?

3 MR. KELLY: Objection.

4 A. I dont recall seeing any articles.

5 Q. And this article quotes dr. Tyler Hammond.

6 Do you know who he was?

7 A. No, sir.

8 Q. You didnt know that he was the head of

9 the National Cancer Institute?

10 A. I dont know him, no, sir.

11 Q. Did Georgia-Pacific have any offices in

12 New York in 1964 and 1965?

13 A. Georgia-Pacific?

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. We may have. I dont know.

16 Q. You dont know?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Did the New York Times make its way to

19 Atlanta in 1964 and 1965?

20 A. I dont know.

21 Q. Do you have any doubt in your mind, sir,

22 that executives at Georgia-Pacific read the New York

23 Times in 1965 and 1964?

24 MR. KELLY: Objection.

25 A. I dont know what they read or didnt


1 read.

2 Q. If they would read the article, sir, the

3 article says in part occupational exposure to asbestos

4 may be making an extremely rare form of cancer much

5 more common. According to the report yesterday to

6 the annual meeting of the American Public Health

7 Association. Do you see that?

8 MR. KELLY: Let me objection to the

9 form. I cant read this article. Only thing so the

10 record is clear is what I think your office typed in

11 the margin. I cant read the whole thing.

12 Q. Do you see that what I retyped?

13 A. I can read it.

14 Q. So you can read it?

15 A. I agree you read correctly what you

16 retyped, yes.

17 Q. It says the worrisome feature Dr. Hammond

18 and Dr. Selikoff said is the evidence that asbestos

19 once taken into the body stays there. Thus, even a

20 single heavy exposure could conceivably produce a

21 cancer after a latency period of 20 years or more,

22 they said. Do you see that?

23 MR. KELLY: Same objection.

24 A. Same answer. You read correctly what you

25 wrote in that margin.


1 Q. So, before you ever took over the sale of

2 the joint asbestos-containing joint compounds from

3 Best Wall, there were articles in the popular press

4 talking about asbestos and cancer. Would you agree

5 with that?

6 MR. KELLY: Objection.

7 A. Again, I agree you read it correctly. I

8 havent read the entire article to put it in

9 context.

10 Q. Now, the last time we talked about the

11 Gypsum Association. Do you remember that?

12 A. There were questions about the Gypsum

13 Association, yes.

14 Q. The Gypsum Association was an organization

15 that your company became a member of as soon as it

16 bought out the Best Wall Company, correct?

17 A. We became a member in 1965, yes.

18 Q. The representative — one of the

19 representatives at the Gypsum Association meetings

20 was Mr. Fink, true?

21 A. For the safety committee of the Gypsum

22 Association, yes.

23 Q. And he was the head of safety for your

24 division at that point in time, correct?

25 A. Had responsibility for the Western


1 operations.

2 Q. The health safety of the employees?

3 A. His title was safety manager, I believe.

4 Q. Did he have responsibility for health and

5 safety of your employees?

6 A. Generally, yes.

7 Q. Now, the Gypsum Association distributed

8 information to its members from time to time, did it

9 is not?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And when the people from the Gypsum

12 Association got together at the meeting they

13 generally discussed issues that were relevant to the

14 members business, right?

15 A. Well, you are talking about the safety

16 committee?

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. Again, the members, it has been my

19 testimony the members of the committee would bring

20 to the committee, the entire committees attention

21 things that would be of interest to fellow

22 companies, yes, sir.

23 Q. From time to time the Gypsum Association

24 would actually distribute information to the members

25 concerning safety issues related to do their


1 industry, true?

2 A. They could and would, yes.

3 Q. There would be no reason why the Gypsum

4 Association would tell one company something about

5 the dangers related to association member products

6 and not another company. Do you agree with that?

7 MR. KELLY: Objections to the

8 form.

9 A. I dont know what the criteria was for

10 what information was shared and wasnt shared at

11 that time.

12 Q. Did you see anything in your study or

13 review of the documents that indicated that for

14 instance the Gypsum Association would provide you

15 information about potential dangers of your

16 products, but not tell another company?

17 A. The association itself?

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. Im a little confused about what you are

20 talking about. Theres an association with some of

21 the employees of the association are not employees

22 of member companies.

23 Q. I understand.

24 A. But the committee is generally made up of

25 employees of other companies. Im trying to get


1 clarity about the association, how the we are

2 defining the association members.

3 Q. My question is this. Part of the function

4 of the Gypsum Association was to distribute

5 information concerning the products of the industry

6 to members, true?

7 A. Products of the —

8 Q. Products that the gypsum companies made.

9 A. Im terribly confused.

10 Q. Im sorry for confusing you, it is my

11 fault.

12 From time to time the Gypsum Association

13 would provide information concerning health effects

14 related to the ingredients in member products, true?

15 A. It could.

16 Q. And for instance if the Gypsum Association

17 told Georgia-Pacific that, you know, watch out for

18 that asbestos in your joint compound, it could be

19 dangerous, there would be no reason for them to

20 withhold that from say Kaiser Gypsum?

21 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

22 A. Again, I dont know. I believe the

23 association tried to distribute information to all

24 member companies.

25 Q. In 1965, the year that you purchased the


1 Best Wall Company, you, Georgia-Pacific, the gypsum

2 Association actually sent you information about dr.

3 Selikoff, right?

4 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

5 A. I dont recall.

6 Q. This is a business record from the Kaiser

7 Gypsum Company. Who is the Kaiser Gypsum Company?

8 Do you know who they are?

9 A. Not specifically. They were a gypsum

10 company producing wall boards somewhere in the U.S.

11 Im not sure where their plants were.

12 Q. They were one of your competitors, right?

13 A. Not any longer. They havent existed for

14 a long time.

15 Q. But they were in 1965, correct?

16 A. Im not sure.

17 Q. They were a member of the Gypsum

18 Association in 1965, were they not?

19 A. Im not sure of that either.

20 Q. You dont remember?

21 A. No, sir.

22 Q. Do you see this memo date March 1, 1965?

23 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

24 Again, it is unidentified.

25 MR. PLACITELLA: Ill mark it at the


1 break.

2 Q. Do you see this memo, Kaiser Gypsum,

3 March 1, 1965?

4 A. I see the letterhead and I see the date,

5 yes, sir.

6 Q. It says, where I highlighted, Ill make

7 sure you can read it.

8 A. Can you make it a little bigger?

9 Q. I will.

10 A. Thank you.

11 Q. The attached material has been received

12 from the Gypsum Association and is presented for

13 your information.

14 Do you see that?

15 A. Correct.

16 Q. In connection with protection against

17 asbestos dust it is advised to use a respirator with

18 a filter especially designed for asbestos dust. Do

19 you see that?

20 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form of

21 the question.

22 A. Okay.

23 Q. Now, what was attached, and you may have a

24 to move up and take a look, is an article entitled

25 Asbestos is Pointed Out as a Cause of Lung Cancer by


1 Alton Blakeley, A.P science writer.

2 MR. KELLY: Let me object to form of

3 the question before you answer, sir. Understand

4 counsels representation that this document has

5 anything to the with the one we just showed. Again,

6 I have an ongoing objection to questions about

7 unidentified documents that havent been produces

8 here today so we have a chance to look at them and

9 identify them and make sure one flows from another

10 one and they are actually related.

11 MR. PLACITELLA: Its related. I

12 didnt hear what you said about something being

13 attached.

14 MR. PLACITELLA: This was the next

15 page in the document.

16 MR. KELLY: I understand you are

17 saying that.

18 MR. PLACITELLA: I represent as an

19 officer of the court thats how it was produced.

20 MR. KELLY: I dont know what it is.

21 It is hard, but my objection is noted.

22 Q. The title here is Asbestos is Pointed Out

23 as a Cause of Lung Cancer. Do you see that?

24 MR. KELLY: Objection.

25 A. Thats what that says, that slide says.


1 Q. This is the material that was distributed

2 to Kaiser Gypsum as a member of the Gypsum

3 Association. Now, in the first paragraph, the

4 second full paragraph it says this cancer known as

5 mesothelioma involves lining of the abdominal and

6 chest cavities.

7 MR. KELLY: Objection to the

8 questions.

9 A. Again, you offered it for me an

10 opportunity to look at it. Can I read the whole

11 thing?

12 Q. Tell me what you want me to blow up.

13 A. Lets take it paragraph by paragraph.

14 MR. KELLY: Do you have this document

15 with you?

16 MR. PLACITELLA: He is trying to find

17 it.

18 MR. KELLY: Maybe we could take a

19 look at it and he will answer any questions you

20 like.

21 Q. Is that big enough? Take a walk up there

22 and look at it.

23 (Discussion off the record)




1 MR. KELLY: I want to renew my

2 request I made at the beginning of the deposition,

3 first day, that anything, any of the documents the

4 witness is shown on video that we receive copies so

5 we can attach them to the transcript.

6 MR. PLACITELLA: No problem.



9 Q. The document provides in part that a

10 report was presented to the American Health

11 Association by Dr. Irving Selikoff. Do you know

12 who Dr. Selikoff was?

13 A. He was an expert in a number of areas.

14 Q. In asbestos disease?

15 A. That is where Ive seen articles.

16 Q. And Jacob Churg of the Mt. Sinai Hospital

17 in New York and Tyler Hammond, SCD, Director of

18 Statistical Research for the American Cancer

19 Society. Dr. Hammond is known for his studies of

20 cigarette smoking in relation to lung cancer. Did

21 you know that?

22 A. No, sir.

23 Q. It says we previously found that lung

24 cancer and possibly gastro intestinal cancer was

25 marketedly increased in the incidence among asbestos


1 insulation workers. Do you see that?

2 MR. KELLY: Objection.

3 A. Yes. Theres a lot of stuff in between,

4 too, we havent talked about such as the studies

5 related to autopsies of people that were in the

6 insulation business, about the risks and further

7 studies being needed and so on.

8 Q. No problem. I agree with you. It said

9 further mesothelioms must be added to the neoplastic

10 cancer risk of asbestos inhalation and joins lung

11 cancer, 53 out of 307 deaths and probably cancer of

12 the stomach and colon, 34 out of 307 deaths, as a

13 significant complication of such industrial exposure

14 in the United States, the report said. Do you see

15 that?

16 MR. KELLY: Objection.

17 A. You read what I read correctly.

18 Q. It says the cancer may not appear until 20

19 to 30 years after asbestos dust is inhaled or

20 swallowed, they said. Do you see that?

21 MR. KELLY: Same objection.

22 A. I see what you are reading, yes.

23 Q. Since the particles do not dissolve they

24 remain in body tissue as a continuous source that

25 might incite ultimate cancer. Do you see that?


1 Yes. Because I would talk about the risks and

2 further studies and so on.

3 Q. Is there anything you would like to add,

4 that you want me to read, anything else in the

5 record?

6 MR. KELLY: Objection. We would

7 still like to see a copy.

8 Q. Anything else?

9 A. It was a quick review —

10 MR. KELLY: Theres. no question

11 pending.

12 Q. Now, sir, in your review of the documents,

13 you were never told by — you never saw any

14 documents showing that the Gypsum Association

15 distributed information to its members about

16 mesothelioma and asbestos as early as 1965, did you?

17 MR. KELLY: Objection. That fact has

18 not been established. I object to the form.

19 A. Again, Ive not seen this document.

20 Q. No one has — in all the people you have

21 spoken to, they never discussed this with you,

22 correct?

23 MR. KELLY: Same objection.

24 A. Again, Ive not seen this document. I

25 dont know that you established that that came from


1 the Gypsum Association.

2 Q. We will get there at trial, sir.

3 Now, you are aware the Gypsum Association

4 was actually tracking the activities of Dr.

5 Selikoff, are you not? They were watching what he

6 was doing, keeping track of what he was doing?

7 A. I dont recall.

8 Q. You dont know whether the Gypsum

9 Association was monitoring the activities of Dr.

10 Selikoff and his studies on asbestos?

11 A. No, sir.

12 Q. Do you know whether any members of the

13 Gypsum Association ever appeared at the national

14 conference in 1965 on the dangers of asbestos held

15 by Dr. Selikoff?

16 A. I dont know that.

17 Q. Have you ever been shown any documents by

18 any of your lawyers related to the 1965 conference

19 and the publication thereof run by Dr. Selikoff?

20 A. If I have I dont recall.

21 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this.

22 (The above document is marked P-2.)


24 Q. Ill show you what has been marked P-2

25 entitled The Annals of the New York Academy of


1 Sciences by conference chairman Selikoff and Churg

2 dated December 31,1965. Have you ever seen that

3 before?

4 MR. KELLY: Can we go off the record?

5 Can we have a minute to take a look at it?

6 MR. PLACITELLA: I just asked if he

7 has seen it before.

8 MR. KELLY: It is pretty thick.

9 MR. PLACITELLA: Im not going to ask

10 him to read. It he hasnt, Ill give you the

11 opportunity so we are not wasting time, at

12 lunchtime, to read it.

13 MR. KELLY: Note my objection. I

14 would like to take a minute to look at it.

15 A. I dont recall seeing it or any portion.

16 Q. You dont recall that document ever been

17 being supplied to you by George Pacific for your

18 review?

19 A. I dont recall it, no, sir.

20 Q. Ill ask you, if you would take a look at

21 that document in detail at lunchtime so we dont

22 spend more time on it now.

23 By 1966 both the National Safety Council

24 and the Gypsum Association told Georgia-Pacific that

25 asbestos could cause lung cancer, correct?


1 MR. KELLY: Objection.

2 A. No, sir.

3 Q. Im going to show you an article that

4 appeared again in the New York Times on March 2,

5 1966. The title of the article is Asbestos Dust

6 called a Hazard to at least one fourth of the U.S.?

7 MR. KELLY: Same objection to the

8 questions regarding unidentified documents.

9 A. Again, you are reading correctly what you

10 put on the slide.

11 Q. Were members of Georgia-Pacific reading

12 The New York Times in 1966?

13 MR. KELLY: Objection.

14 A. I have no idea.

15 Q. In the article it says in part Dr.

16 Selikoff noted that the the dangers of exposure to

17 asbestos dust were not limited to those who worked

18 directly with this new ubiquitous insulator and

19 filler material. The danger, he said, extend to

20 workers in contiguous trades such as other

21 construction workers and their families.

22 Do you see that?

23 A. Again, you are reading correctly what you

24 provided.

25 Q. And if an executive from George Pacific


1 was reading the New York Times back in 1966, this is

2 something that was available to him or her, correct?

3 MR. KELLY: Objection.

4 A. Like the previous one I read in entirety,

5 the two pages, Im sure theres a lot of other

6 information that may put it all into context. You

7 have read correctly what you provided on the slide.

8 Q. In 1966 you recall that Mr. Burch — who

9 is Mr. Burch?

10 A. He at the time was the head of the sales

11 and marketing for the Gypsum Division of Georgia-

12 Pacific.

13 Q. And you have spoken to him, correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. About the issues that we are discussing

16 right now?

17 A. Well, we havent talked about the article.

18 I have never seen it before.

19 Q. About the issues of asbestos and disease

20 and cancer. You have spoken to him about that

21 issue, right?

22 A. Not specifically. We talked about — only

23 had a few brief discussions frankly and I read his

24 depositions, but I havent talked to him

25 specifically about anything outside of his


1 testimony.

2 Q. You know in his deposition he said that he

3 was aware of the possible relationship between

4 asbestos and lung cancer in 1966, right?

5 MR. KELLY: Objections. Lack of any

6 citation. Objection to the question.

7 A. I dont recall specifically.

8 Q. This is the testimony of Mr. Burch,

9 question and answers from the deposition that you

10 are talking about, I assume.

11 We knew in 1966, the folks at Georgia-

12 Pacific knew that asbestos could cause, possibly

13 cause lung cancer and his answer is possibly.

14 Did you ever see that before?

15 MR. KELLY: Let me object so the form

16 record is clear, the except shown is four lines.


18 THE COURT: Right.

19 MR. KELLY: Of what appears to be a

20 transcript, but it is not identified.

21 A. Well, I recall seeing it at our last

22 deposition.

23 Q. Did you go back after the last deposition

24 to verify that was in there was in fact true, that I

25 wasnt making it up?


1 MR. KELLY: Objection. You havent

2 identified what deposition this is from.

3 MR. PLACITELLA: I believe it is

4 11-18-2005.

5 A. What it says is possibly and the answer is

6 possibly. So I dont know what a possible

7 possibility is.

8 If I can go on, and I dont know how to

9 put it in context without seeing the rest of the

10 document or reviewing the rest of the documents.

11 Q. You read a transcript of Mr. Burch where

12 he testified under oath that he was aware of a

13 possibility of asbestos being related to lung cancer

14 in 1966, true?

15 MR. KELLY: Objection.

16 A. Again, I have reviewed his depositions. I

17 dont recall this specific question and answer, but

18 what Im reading there is, again, it says possibly

19 and his answer is possibly. So it is a possible

20 possibility or Im not exactly sure.

21 Q. Do you quarrel with what he is saying in

22 the deposition?

23 MR. KELLY: Objection. We dont even

24 have the entire transcript. We have four lines

25 taken out of context. Im not sure if your question


1 is — is there a question about what you read on

2 the four lines or whatever. I object to the form.

3 I think it is an unfair question.

4 A. I guess Im confused. I can say that if

5 this is written correctly from that deposition is as

6 you say it is, then you read it correctly.

7 Q. And the National Safety Council, what they

8 did for you is they went back and they said theres

9 so much information in the press in 1966 on the

10 dangers of asbestos and mesothelioma, they actually

11 sent you a was bulletin, true?

12 MR. KELLY: Objection.

13 A. I dont recall that.

14 Q. Sir, do you recall seeing this article in

15 prior depositions and at trial, correct?

16 MR. KELLY: Same ongoing objection.

17 Q. What health safety and plant personnel

18 should know about dust fumes, mist, gas vapors and

19 noise by Warren Cook? Do you recall that?

20 MR. KELLY: Same ongoing objection to

21 a document not hear at the deposition.

22 A. I may have. I dont recall.

23 MR. KELLY: Did you say it was by

24 Warren Cook?



1 MR. KELLY: I read the name Jack

2 Ratcliff.

3 MR. PLACITELLA: By Warren Cook,

4 right here, Professor of Industrial Health,

5 Department of Industrial Health, School of Public

6 Health, University of Michigan.

7 MR. KELLY: Same objection.

8 Q. You have never seen this article before,

9 sir?

10 A. If I have, I dont recall seeing it.

11 Q. In this article it says asbestos has been

12 in the daily newspapers over the last year or two.

13 Thats what he just showed you right?

14 MR. KELLY: Objection. He testified

15 he is not familiar with the document.

16 Q. Not so much because its action causing

17 asbestosis, but because of the association of a

18 cancerous condition known as mesothelioma, which has

19 been found among workers with asbestos in far

20 greater incidence in workers than in the general

21 population. Did I read that correct?

22 MR. KELLY: Same Objection.

23 A. You read that correctly.

24 Q. This is 1966, sir, correct?

25 MR. KELLY: Objection.


1 A. I dont know.

2 Q. Lets go back. You dont recall seeing

3 this before today?

4 MR. KELLY: Objection. Asked and

5 answered now a couuple of times. He has never seen

6 it before.

7 A. I dont.

8 Q. In your Answers to Interrogatories you

9 indicate that you had no idea there was any danger

10 related to asbestos until sometime in the later

11 60s, true?

12 MR. KELLY: Objection. Do you mean

13 in these cases?

14 MR. PLACITELLA: Yes, in these cases.

15 A. That sounds correct, yes.

16 Q. Thats not exactly accurate, true?

17 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

18 A. I believe it is correct, yes.

19 Q. Okay. The answer you gave in this case,

20 sir, says that Georgia-Pacific states in the

21 beginning of the late 60s, 1960s, Georgia-Pacific

22 became aware of potential health hazards to persons

23 or industries unrelated to commercial or residential

24 construction who were exposed to asbestos in

25 substantial quantities, correct?


1 MR. KELLY: Let me object to the

2 form. We have only read — you cant read what

3 answers you are reading from. It is one sentence

4 out of —

5 MR. PLACITELLA: It is the answer to

6 to interrogatory B36, I believe.

7 MR. KELLY: It is only a portion of

8 it. I object to the form.

9 A. This gentlemans hand is in the way —

10 Q. Now, sir, in answering interrogatories

11 didnt talk about anything that Mr. Burch testified

12 about, correct?

13 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

14 Q. You didnt mention that Mr. Burch

15 testified that he was aware of a possible

16 relationship between asbestos and lung cancer as

17 early as 1966, true?

18 MR. KELLY: Thats not the testimony.

19 A. We are going to have to slow down a bit.

20 Im confused completely. Still trying to figure out

21 what we are talking about. I look at the slides, I

22 see things I cant read and I see things

23 highlighted.

24 Q. Now —

25 A. Is this the Interrogatories we are talking


1 about?

2 MR. KELLY: Theres no question

3 pending.

4 A. All right. Im apologizing.

5 Q. Dont apologize. I have a lot of

6 material. Im trying to get through it all.

7 Your boss and the Vice-President of

8 Georgia-Pacific discussed the fact that asbestos was

9 a very serious problem, true?

10 A. No, sir. Not certainly. Not in our

11 products, no, sir.

12 Q. This is your testimony on page 129 from

13 the last deposition, sir.

14 And the very next year the president of

15 your company characterized the asbestos in your

16 joint compound —

17 A. Lets start again. Where were we at?

18 Q. At the top.

19 MR. KELLY: What page.

20 Q. 129.

21 A. I think I need to take a few minute break

22 after this.

23 Q. Okay. And the very next year the

24 president of your company characterized the asbestos

25 in your joint compound as a very serious problem,


1 right?

2 Answer: I dont recall that. I would

3 have to see the documents as well.

4 Question: I show you the document. This

5 is a June 21, 1973. Have you seen this document

6 before, and your answer is yes.

7 It is from Glen Wilson, who was at that

8 time Vice-President, correct.

9 Correct.

10 And he is writing to Mr. Carlson at the

11 Gypsum Association.

12 Answer: Yes.

13 And who is ccd on the document?

14 Answer: Bill Leonard.

15 He was your boss, right?

16 Answer: At some point, I dont recall the

17 date, somewhere in the 73 period.

18 And what the vice-president says is the

19 use of asbestos in joint treatment materials is a

20 very serious problem with all manufacturers,

21 correct, and your answer, thats what it says, yes.

22 MR. KELLY: The answer actually an

23 objection which I made at that time, which Im

24 renewing. There were questions about documents

25 which werent produced. I also think it is an


1 improper use of prior testimony.

2 MR. PLACITELLA: Your objections are

3 beyond what are allowed, Counsel, by of the Rules of

4 Court. Please dont it again.

5 MR. KELLY: I completely disagree,

6 but we dont need to have that argument now.

7 MR. PLACITELLA: Absolutely not.

8 MR. KELLY: Whats the question?

9 Q. Did I read that testimony correctly?

10 A. You read it correctly, yes.

11 Q. It says, what the vice-president says that

12 the use of asbestos in joint treatment materials is

13 a very serious problem with all manufacturers,

14 correct, and your answer is, thats what it says,

15 yes.

16 A. But to put it in context, we need to talk

17 about the whole document, but thats what it says

18 yes.

19 Q. Now, Union Carbide was your supplier of

20 asbestos, correct?

21 A. They were a supplier of asbestos for our

22 products, yes.

23 Q. And you are aware, sir, that Union Carbide

24 says that they told you, Georgia-Pacific,

25 specifically, about the dangers of asbestos?


1 A. I believe that is correct, yes.

2 Q. Is that true, sir?

3 A. I dont know.

4 Q. You dont know?

5 A. No, sir.

6 Q. Did you see anything in your review of the

7 documents to indicate that Union Carbide told you

8 specifically about the dangers of asbestos that you

9 were putting in your products?

10 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

11 No timeframe or context.

12 A. If you could be more specific, please?

13 Q. What dont you understand, sir?

14 A. Maybe, again, maybe I need to take a break

15 to get my head clear.

16 Q. Ill finish these couple of questions,

17 then we will take a break. Union Carbide, as your

18 supplier —

19 MR. KELLY: Off the video record.

20 Im going to take a break.

21 MR. PLACITELLA: No, let me finish my

22 question. Right in the middle of a question.

23 MR. KELLY: Finish your question and

24 we will take a break before he answers it.

25 MR. PLACITELLA: No. We cant take a


1 break in the middle of a question.

2 You are leaving in the

3 middle of a question?

4 MR. KELLY: My client indicated he

5 needs a break.

6 MR. PLACITELLA: Ill finish this

7 question and we will take a break.

8 MR. KELLY: I think we are going to

9 take a break now. We are off the video record and

10 we are off the stenographic record and we will take

11 a break out of the courtesy — if the witness

12 indicates he is tired. We should take five minutes.

13 We said we would take a break five minutes ago.

14 MR. PLACITELLA: Fine. Off the

15 record.

16 (Recess taken)


18 Q. Mr. Schutte, in this case, Union Carbide

19 told the court that you had access to information,

20 you, being Georgia-Pacific, had access to

21 information regarding the hazards of asbestos dust

22 and that early 1965 they formulated a toxicology

23 report about asbestos which they gave to you,

24 Georgia-Pacific. Did you see anything to support

25 that allegation in your review of the materials?


1 A. Not as I recall, no, sir.

2 MR. KELLY: Is this our motion fro

3 summary judgement?

4 MR. PLACITELLA: Correct.

5 Q. They say they distributed their toxicology

6 report to make certain that your customers were

7 acquainted with the facts about the dangers of

8 asbestos. Is that true?

9 A. Not to my knowledge, no, sir.

10 Q. In this case Union Carbide says they

11 specifically put a warning on the bags of asbestos

12 that they sold you. When you were working for

13 Georgia-Pacific did you ever see a warning on any

14 Union Carbide bag?

15 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

16 Q. Let me ask you this. While you were in

17 the factories where they were making joint compound,

18 did you ever have the opportunity to see the bags of

19 asbestos that were being used?

20 A. At the time I was in Acme, Texas, yes.

21 Q. Did you have the opportunity to see bags

22 from Union Carbide?

23 A. Yes, sir.

24 Q. Did any of those bags ever have a warning

25 or caution labels on them?


1 A. Not as I recall.

2 Q. Union Carbide maintains that they actually

3 visited with people from Georgia-Pacific and told

4 them to make sure that no dust was ever created

5 during the sanding process. Have you ever seen

6 anything to that effect?

7 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

8 MR. JORDAN: Objection to the form.

9 Q. Let me rephrase the question.

10 Union Carbide has indicated they

11 specifically visited with Georgia-Pacific and told

12 Georgia-Pacific that when sanding asbestos

13 containing joint compound, you should make sure no

14 dust is generated. Have you ever seen anything to

15 that effect?

16 MR. JORDAN: objection to the form..

17 A. I dont recall seeing any — Ive seen

18 some documents from Union Carbide as part of my

19 testimony or at trials and depositions, but I dont

20 recall any specific document to that effect, no,

21 sir.

22 Q. They maintain they told you, Georgia-

23 Pacific, to make sure that the customers knew that

24 any time you were going to sand an

25 asbestos-containing joint compound you had to use a


1 wet sanding method.

2 MR. JORDAN: objection to the form.

3 Q. Do you know anything about that?

4 A. No, sir.

5 Q. Are those statements true or untrue?

6 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

7 A. I dont recall.

8 MR. KELLY: Objection. Which

9 statements?

10 Q. The statements Union Carbide told Geogia

11 Pacific specifically that when sanding, that you

12 should tell your customers that when sanding

13 asbestos-containing joint compounds they should only

14 use a wet sanding method?

15 A. Is there a time frame?

16 Q. At any point in time.

17 A. I dont know what they said or didnt say

18 over — not to my knowledge.

19 Q. At some point in time your suppliers of

20 asbestos fiber did specifically put warnings on

21 their — or caution labels on their bags.

22 Q. Strike that. Let me be specific in my

23 question.

24 At some point in time one or more of the

25 suppliers of asbestos fiber to Georgia-Pacific put


1 information on the bags of asbestos fiber related to

2 the dangers of inhaling asbestos, true?

3 A. Are we talking about all the

4 manufacturers?

5 Q. Any manufacturer.

6 A. Well, during that period of time I was in

7 Texas and working with the material. I dont recall

8 seeing any cautionary labels of any type on those

9 bags of raw asbestos.

10 Q. But it did happen.

11 A. Excuse me?

12 Q. But it did happen. I mean you know in

13 fact it happened, that you were specifically warned

14 about the potential inhalation of asbestos by the

15 companies that were supplying it to you.

16 MR. KELLY: Objection.

17 A. I dont recall. I just dont recall.

18 Q. In the Answers to Interrogatories in this

19 case, that you certified to under oath,

20 Interrogatory B16 asks, Did any of the entities from

21 whom you received asbestos fiber, of any of the

22 entities referred to B6, 7, 8 and 9 ever inform you

23 or your companys employees that asbestos was

24 potentially hazardous to the health of individuals

25 who were exposed to it? Do you see that? Do you


1 remember answering that question, sir?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. What you said was Georgia-Pacific states

4 to the best of its knowledge that companies that

5 supplied Georgia-Pacific with raw asbestos began to

6 place asbestos-related warnings on packages of raw

7 asbestos in the early 70s, right?

8 A. Thats what it says, yes.

9 Q. Thats was testified — thats what you

10 certified as true under penalty of perjury, right?

11 MR. KELLY: So it is clear, the

12 answer does go on extensively.

13 MR. PLACITELLA: You give all kinds

14 of objections. Im asking about this issue.

15 MR. KELLY: Objection.

16 A. Again, your question, I thought was what

17 my personal experiences was. At that time I was in

18 Acme. I didnt see warnings. After that I dont

19 recall if there were communications between our

20 suppliers and Georgia-Pacific.

21 Q. Except, sir, you certified this answer to

22 be true under penalty of perjury that in fact you

23 were told, you, Georgia-Pacific.

24 A. Again, I dont know what the rest of it

25 says.


1 Q. Well, whats true, that you were told or

2 you werent told?

3 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form. I

4 think you asked two different questions. First time

5 you asked what he personally saw.

6 Q. Were you told, you, George Pacific, told

7 about the dangers of asbestos from your suppliers or

8 not?

9 MR. KELLY: You mean at any time?

10 MR. PLACITELLA: At any time.

11 Q. Now is the time to testify and tell the

12 jury the truth.

13 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

14 A. And I said I dont recall.

15 MR. PLACITELLA: Are you going to go

16 back and change his this answer, sir?

17 MR. KELLY: Objection. Thats not a

18 question he can answer.

19 Q. There was more than enough asbestos in the

20 Georgia-Pacific joint compound to kill somebody,

21 wasnt there?

22 MR. KELLY: Objection.

23 A. My testimony has been we believed our

24 products were very safe and that they had a small

25 percentage of asbestos.


1 Q. Yes, sir. Your ready mix asbestos was

2 about 4.6 percent asbestos fiber. Is that true?

3 A. Well, it varied from formula to formula.

4 Q. Do you recall certifying under oath, sir,

5 that it was about 4.6 percent?

6 A. I dont recall the exact percentage, no,

7 sir.

8 Q. What is your best recollection of the

9 percentage of asbestos in Georgia-Pacific ready mix

10 joint compound, sir?

11 A. Again, it varied from plant to plant.

12 Generally around 5 percent on a dry weight basis.

13 Q. Now, on a dry weight basis, what

14 percentage of the ready mix joint compound was

15 water, if you know?

16 A. Roughly 40 to 50 percent.

17 Q. So when you say four to six percent or 4.6

18 to 5 percent on a dry weight basis, what do you mean

19 by that in relation to the total content?

20 A. About half. In terms of the percentage of

21 asbestos in a bucket of ready mix its about 2 1/2

22 percent.

23 Q. So, in other words, if you take out the

24 water, that is the measurement that you did. Thats

25 what you are basing it upon?


1 A. The formulas were set up like recipes .

2 and it was based upon 100 percent of the dry

3 ingredients and about 5 percent of the dry

4 ingredients was in fact asbestos.

5 Q. Thats fair. This is a 62-pound can of

6 ready mix joint compound. Do you see that?

7 A. To the left, yes.

8 Q. And if you assume half of it was water

9 weight, 50 percent, thats what you just told me?

10 A. Correct.

11 Q. So it would come down to about 31 pounds,

12 right.

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. And if you multiply that by 4.6 percent,

15 you get 1.4 pounds of asbestos in every can, right?

16 A. Thats correct.

17 Q. Did you ever tell workers who were using

18 of the ready mix joint compound that every time they

19 used a can of your ready mix joint compound they

20 were potentially exposing themselves to a pound of

21 asbestos fiber?

22 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

23 A. Well, when you say workers, I think about

24 our plants. We were subject to OSHA requirements

25 and so on.


1 Q. What did you tell the people like

2 Mr. Klemm and Mr. Picnic out in the field? Did you

3 ever tell them you had up to a point of asbestos in

4 every can they used? Did you ever tell them that?

5 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

6 A. I didnt have contact with our customers.

7 Q. Im not the asking you, sir. Im asking

8 you Georgia-Pacific. Did Georgia-Pacific ever tell

9 any of these people who now have mesothelioma that

10 there was up to a pound of asbestos in every can

11 that they used?

12 MR. KELLY: Objection.

13 A. My testimony is I dont know what we told

14 customers specifically related to the asbestos

15 content.

16 Q. You are here, sir, to testify about that,

17 arent you, about what you related to customers

18 about your product?

19 A. Well, I guess — not I guess. What Im

20 saying is we had lots of contact with customers

21 across the United States and I havent talked to the

22 majority of those people. They are probably not

23 with us anymore so, so I dont know what was said

24 to the customers.

25 Q. Have you seen any evidence in any of the


1 things that you reviewed in preparation for your

2 testimony that Georgia-Pacific told the people out

3 in the field using your product that there was at

4 least a pound of asbestos in every can of joint

5 compound?

6 A. I havent seen any documents to that

7 effect, no, sir.

8 Q. And what about your conversations with

9 employees? Have you seen anything to that effect

10 that they said to you we told everybody that there

11 was up to a pound of asbestos in every can?

12 A. Again —

13 MR. KELLY: Objection.

14 A. None of the employees I talked to, most of

15 which didnt have contact with our customer base

16 said that.

17 Q. What about Mr. Burch? He was the head of

18 sales? What die he say? Did he tell you that there

19 was up to a pound of asbestos in every can of joint

20 compound and that was told specifically to the

21 customers?

22 A. Did he tell me that?

23 Q. That Georgia-Pacific told the customers

24 there was up to a pound of asbestos in every can?

25 A. I dont recall him — he did not tell me


1 that. I dont recall any testimony to that effect.

2 Q. How much asbestos is there in a dry bag of

3 joint compound, sir?

4 A. Probably the same general range. Varies

5 by formula and product.

6 Q. It is about 4.5 to 5 percent?

7 A. We need to clarify. Joint compound covers

8 a lot of different products. If you could be

9 specific on the product then I can probably be more

10 specific with my range.

11 Q. What about like All Purpose Joint

12 Compound?

13 A. All purpose — dry goods?

14 Q. Right.

15 A. Probably in that same general range.

16 Q. And you understand that thats the

17 products in this case, so Ill represent to you that

18 Mr. Fernandez used it. Did you know that?

19 A. No, sir.

20 Q. And lets see if I have my math correct.

21 If you have a 25-pound — thats the way they came,

22 in 25 pounds bags, right, the joint compound, powder

23 joint compound?

24 A. It was available in 25-pound bags, yes.

25 Q. If you had a 25 pound bag and it was 4.5


1 percent asbestos, there was a pound of asbestos in

2 every bag, right?

3 A. The math is correct , yes.

4 Q. Did you ever tell anybody who was using

5 the powdered asbestos that they were working with a

6 pound of asbestos every time they opened a bag of

7 dry joint compound?

8 MR. KELLY: Objection.

9 A. I havent seen any documents or any

10 deposition where we have stated that, no, sir.

11 Q. Because it never happened, right?

12 A. I dont know. Ive said theres lots of

13 customer contacts. I dont know.

14 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this.

15 (The above document is marked P-3.)


17 Q. Take a minute to look at it. I have a

18 copy for your counsel as well.

19 Before you look at this, your testimony is

20 before this jury re is a pound of asbestos in a bag

21 of joint compound isnt very much? Is that your

22 testimony?

23 MR. KELLY: Objection.

24 A. I said it was a small percentage of the

25 total, yes.


1 Q. So you werent really worried if people

2 were breathing in a pound of asbestos every time

3 they used your product?

4 MR. KELLY: Objection. No such

5 evidence.

6 A. Again, we thought our products could be

7 used safely. We didnt know anyone that got sick

8 either workers at our facilities or customers for

9 extended periods of time. The product has been

10 around a long time. It was mixed with a product,

11 other ingredients that would impact the exposure

12 levels.

13 MR. PLACITELLA: Move to strike.


15 Q. Could you review that document, please?

16 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this.

17 (The above document is marked P-4.)

18 A. Im not an expert in a lot of what is in

19 there.

20 Q. I understand. Im going to ask you to

21 focus on the — have you ever seen this document

22 before, sir?

23 A. Not as I recall, no, sir.

24 Q. This is a document that was supplied to us

25 by Union Carbide. They were one of your suppliers


1 of asbestos fiber, correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. I want to have you focus on the third

4 paragraph. It says here thousands of tiny fiberils

5 –Do you know what a fibril is?

6 A. No.

7 Q. You recognize that, if I go back to the

8 previous exhibit, sir, those little kinds of long

9 things are fibrils, things you can see under a

10 microscope. Do you know that?

11 A. Not specifically, no, sir.

12 Q. It says thousand of tiny fibrils are

13 contained in every pellet of Union Carbide asbestos

14 Do you see that?

15 A. Thats what it says.

16 Q. Each fibril is only a few microns in

17 length. It then continues, these fibrils are so

18 tiny, that of all the fibrils in 1 gram of asbestos

19 were put end to end, they would circle the earth at

20 the equator indicated 40 times. Do you see that,

21 sir?

22 A. I see that, yes.

23 Q. Now, I tried to do some math. By the way,

24 how many times does the earth circle with a pound of

25 asbestos thats in the Georgia-Pacific joint


1 compound?

2 MR. KELLY: Objection.

3 A. You are asking me how many times?

4 Q. Lets see if we can figure it out. 1

5 pound equals 453 grams, sir?

6 MR. KELLY: Are you asking him —

7 A. That is correct.

8 Q. And according to Union Carbide, 1 gram

9 would stretch around the earth 40 times, right?

10 A. Based on this document, yes.

11 Q. And the circumference of the earth, just

12 in case you want to check my math, The circumstance

13 Kim for instance of the earth is 24, 900 miles?

14 A. Pretty close, yes.

15 Q. So if gram circles the earth 40 times, 40

16 times 24,900 miles, thats 996,000 miles,

17 right?

18 A. I believe that is correct.

19 Q. And if we take the 996,000 miles times the

20 number of grams in a pound of asbestos, we come up

21 with 451,778, 000 miles one pound of asbestos can

22 travel by Union Carbides calculation, true?

23 MR. JORDAN: Objection to the form.

24 A. The math is correct.

25 Q. So, sir, assuming theres a pound of


1 Union Carbide fiber in the Georgia-Pacific joint

2 compound, that is enough to reach from the earth to

3 beyond Mars in one specific can of ready mix joint

4 compound, correct?

5 MR. JORDAN: objection to the form.

6 Assumes facts not in evidence and facts contrary to

7 the evidence.

8 Q. Using these calculations, based on that

9 document.

10 A. I can agree —

11 MR. JORDAN: I renew my objection,

12 objection to the form of the question. Assumes

13 facts not in evidence and information contrary to

14 the evidence.

15 A. All I can say is if this is correct, your

16 math is correct. I dont know how far it is to

17 Mars.

18 Q. The asbestos in one can, by this math, of

19 Georgia-Pacific joint compound would reach

20 36 million miles.

21 MR. JORDAN: Follow to the form. Assumes

22 facts not in evidence and facts contrary to the

23 evidence?

24 MR. KELLY: I join.

25 A. Again, I thought I answered the question


1 already.

2 Q. But sir, you didnt just sell a couple of

3 pounds of joint compound on an annual basis, did

4 you?

5 A. Couple pounds? No, sir.

6 Q. You sold about 50,000 tons of asbestos an

7 annual basis, didnt you?

8 A. We put it into products that we believed

9 were safe, low concentrations ,therefore our workers

10 at our facilities, our end customers would be

11 exposed as best as far below levels deemed harmful.

12 MR. PLACITELLA: Move to strike.

13 Q. You sold at least 50,000 tons of asbestos

14 on an annual basis?

15 MR. KELLY: Objection.

16 Q. True?

17 A. I believe Ive seen a document to that

18 effect, yes.

19 Q. Now, sir, thats enough asbestos to cover

20 an entire solar system multiple times, isnt it?

21 MR. KELLY: Objection.

22 A. I dont know.

23 MR. KELLY: Do you want to redo

24 your math?

25 MR. PLACITELLA: Ive got the


1 calculated. Lets move on.

2 Q. Now, sir, Georgia-Pacific was aware that

3 people using joint compound were at risk for injury,

4 true?

5 A. Im sorry?

6 Q. Georgia-Pacific was aware that people who

7 were using asbestos-containing joint compound were

8 at risk for injury?

9 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

10 A. No, sir, I believe our products were safe.

11 Q. Sir, as of 1970 your boss, Mr. Leonard,

12 was aware that people mixing and sanding joint

13 compound were being exposed to asbestos, true?

14 A. I recall that, yes.

15 Q. And as of 1970 your boss —

16 A. Let me go back. Im not sure I do recall.

17 I would have to see the documents for the timing.

18 Q. You testified to that effect the last time

19 we were here, right?

20 MR. KELLY: Objection.

21 A. I just want to be accurate, so I would

22 like to go back to the source document.

23 Q. This is your testimony from the last time,

24 sir, at page 116. Your boss was discussing with the

25 president of the company that if you sanded your


1 joint compound out in the field you had the

2 opportunity to inhale asbestos fibers from that

3 compound. true? Your answer is that would be

4 correct, yes.

5 A. Thats how that reads.

6 Q. Now, sir, —

7 A. This is mine? This is Leonards

8 testimony?

9 MR. KELLY: This is your prior

10 deposition. Theres no question pending.


12 Q. This is Mr. Leonards testimony, sir. You

13 are familiar with this because you reviewed this

14 deposition, correct?

15 A. I reviewed the deposition. I dont recall

16 all the content.

17 Q. The end of this says starting at page 23,

18 line 23 page 236 well, we were told that the

19 potential hazard was inhaling asbestos fibers, and

20 if you sprayed it up in the air, why, you would have

21 an opportunity to inhale it. And if you mixed it,

22 the dry product, you have the opportunity to inhale

23 it. And if you sanded it, again you would have the

24 opportunity to inhale it. So those were exposure

25 possibilities.


1 Do you recall reading that, sir?

2 A. No, sir, not specifically.

3 Q. Now, in 1971, one of your competitors,

4 National Gypsum, specifically warned you about

5 sanding joint compound as a potentially hazardous

6 process, right?

7 A. Well, I would like to look at that

8 document.

9 Q. You dont recall that, sir?

10 A. Well, I recall theres much more to these

11 documents.

12 Q. This is one is a short one. And this is a

13 document I gave to your counsel before the

14 deposition and your counsel gave to me and thats

15 how it got here.

16 MR. KELLY: Let me object to that

17 representation. That document hasnt been produced

18 here at the deposition.

19 MR. PLACITELLA: It was produced to

20 you, sir, long before the deposition so you would

21 know every possible document that I would rely

22 upon — excuse me. This is a document that was

23 produced by you, Georgia-Pacific, in response to

24 discovery, moreover — please, please, please. Let

25 me finish and then you can say whatever you want.


1 MR. KELLY: Fine.

2 MR. PLACITELLA: Thanks. Moreover,

3 sir this is a document that has been previously

4 identified by this witness in other depositions and

5 in a trial. Now you can say anything you want

6 MR. KELLY: Certainly It would be

7 easy for you to bring this document with you since

8 it is a one page. Wouldnt weigh down your

9 briefcase so we could actually sit here and read it

10 together and answer questions. Thats all I asked

11 for, for the last two days, but apparently I know

12 you motioned to your associate to take it out

13 Thats not going to happen.

14 Q. It is a one page document. Have you seen

15 this document before?

16 A. I cant read it.

17 MR. KELLY: I cant read it.

18 Q. Why dont you get up there real close?

19 MR. KELLY: Why dont you give my a

20 copy —

21 MR. PLACITELLA: Why dont you do

22 what I asked him.

23 MR. KELLY: Im here to protect my

24 client from an abusive deposition.

25 MR. PLACITELLA: You are way beyond


1 the rule book. Mr. Kelly, you are way beyond the

2 rule book. I ask you to stop it right now.

3 MR. KELLY: Just so we understand

4 each other —

5 Q. Please get up and go over and make —

6 MR. KELLY: You do not need to gets

7 up from your chair to look at a document. If this

8 is document is being produced we would gladly look

9 at it and answer any questions you have.

10 Q. Have you seen this document before?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. You have testified about it, have you not,

13 in prior depositions?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And at trial, sir, correct?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. This is not an ambush, is it, sir, you

18 know all about this document?

19 A. Well, what I was saying earlier you are

20 paraphrazing what it said and theres more to it. I

21 want to see the document so I can give a full,

22 truthful answer.

23 Q. Here is a copy of the document, sir. It

24 is dated 10-3-1971 and it is from a Mr. Hunt. Who

25 is Mr. Hunt?


1 A. I believe he was the President of Georgia-

2 Pacific at that time.

3 Q. And he sent this to Mr. Leonard. Who is

4 Mr. Leonard?

5 A. Mr. Leonard was the head of R and D for

6 the Gypsum Division.

7 Q. He was your boss at one point in time?

8 A. Yes, he was.

9 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this.

10 (The above document is marked P-5.)


12 Q. Sir, so theres no accusation that you are

13 being unfairly treated here, I would ask you to look

14 at P-5 and tell me if you recognize this document?

15 MR. KELLY: P-5 is actually a

16 two-page document, not a one page.

17 A. Okay.

18 Q. Have you seen this document before, sir?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. This is a document from the National

21 Gypsum Company to the president of your company,

22 correct?

23 A. Thats correct.

24 Q. It is dated September 24,1971?

25 A. That is correct.


1 Q. Correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. In part, the document states our tests

4 indicate that sanding of joint treatment products,

5 and particularly the spraying of wall finishers,

6 offers some substantial potential hazards.

7 Do you see that?

8 A. I see that, yes.

9 Q. Now, sir, who was Mr. Wilson?

10 A. Mr. Wilson was the vice-president of the

11 Gypsum Division.

12 Q. Was he over you?

13 A. He was over everybody in the Gypsum

14 Division.

15 Q. He was your boss boss?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Now, Mr. Wilson, in his heart of hearts

18 believed there was a very serious problem with

19 asbestos in the joint compounds, true?

20 MR. KELLY: Objection.

21 A. Absolutely not.

22 Q. Sir, in preparation for this deposition,

23 or any other testimony, have you ever reviewed the

24 deposition that Mr. Wilson has given concerning what

25 he knew and when?


1 A. I dont believe so.

2 Q. Your lawyers never gave that you to, sir?

3 A. They may have.

4 MR. KELLY: Objection.

5 A. I dont recall seeing it.

6 Q. Now, in his testimony Mr. Wilson

7 indicates, and I guess you have never seen it, but

8 lets see, question. In 1973, in June, did you

9 consider the use of joint treatment, use of asbestos

10 in your joint treatments to be a very serious

11 problem with your company? In what context are you

12 talking about? Context of a health hazard. Yes. I

13 guess we considered it a serious problem.

14 Do you see that, sir?

15 MR. KELLY: Objection to the use of

16 an unidentified portion of an unidentified

17 transcript.

18 MR. PLACITELLA: It is not

19 unidentified. It is the deposition taken of Mr.

20 Wilson in a case that the lawyers for Georgia-

21 Pacific were at, sir.

22 MR. KELLY: Can you identify the

23 transcript?

24 MR. PLACITELLA: Absolutely.

25 MR. KELLY: I need some basic


1 information.

2 MR. PLACITELLA: The transcript is in

3 the case of Glandon, in the United States District

4 Court for the district of Nebraska. Glandon,

5 G L A N D O N. Docket is 84-0-842.

6 MR. KELLY: Thank you.


8 Q. You have seen this before, sir?

9 A. I dont believe so.

10 Q. Now, not only did Mr. Wilson know it was a

11 very serious problem in his heart of hearts, he knew

12 that people that were using the joint compound were

13 at risk, true?

14 MR. KELLY: Objection.

15 A. I dont know whether I agree with the

16 first part of that. We didnt get to see the rest.

17 You went back to —

18 Q. I want to go to another page of his

19 deposition, sir.

20 MR. KELLY: Continuing objection.


22 MR. KELLY: To any questions from

23 this transcript to the extent it implies a fact not

24 in evidence.



1 Q. I put a title on the top of this slide.

2 It says Wilson knew health of people using joint

3 compound at risk.

4 Do you see that?

5 MR. KELLY: Move to strike.

6 Q. Do you see that title?

7 A. I see that, yes.

8 Q. Do you take exception with that title? Do

9 you think it is not true?

10 MR. KELLY: Objection.

11 A. Again, I havent seen the deposition. I

12 wasnt there. I have been trying real hard to learn

13 so I can answer your questions fully and fairly and

14 the best way I can do that is read the entire

15 document and try to put it in context with other

16 things I know. I cant speak to that question.

17 Q. Yes, sir, I appreciate that. I would hope

18 your lawyers would have give you this when they gave

19 you everything else.

20 My question is, it says Wilson knew of

21 health of people using joint compound at risk. Is

22 that a true or untrue statement?

23 MR. KELLY: Same objection. Asked

24 and answered, argumentative.

25 A. Again —


1 MR. KELLY: You can read back the

2 prior answer if you would like. Can you improve

3 upon your last answer?

4 A. No, sir.


6 Q. It says, question, in his deposition,

7 after finding out the results of this study, were

8 you concerned about the health of people who were

9 using your joint compound that contained asbestos?

10 Answer, if they did not use preventive measures

11 during sanding operation, yes.

12 Had you ever seen that testimony before,

13 sir?

14 MR. KELLY: Same objection.

15 A. No, sir, I havent seen that testimony.

16 Q. Now, shortly thereafter, your boss and the

17 President of Georgia-Pacific, learned that there

18 were a bunch of people actually getting sick from

19 using joint compound, true?

20 A. Shortly thereafter? After what?

21 Q. Around 1974. Something like that.

22 A. People were getting sick, what?

23 Q. There were a bunch of people actually

24 getting sick from using joint compound. Your

25 president knew that and so did your boss.


1 MR. KELLY: Objection. Vague

2 undefined.

3 A. I dont recall that.

4 Q. This is from your last deposition. Page

5 130 and I asked you about 1974. Question, now, in

6 the very next year your boss, and the President of

7 Georgia-Pacific, actually learned that theres a

8 whole bunch of people getting sick from using joint

9 compound, right, and your answer is I believe thats

10 correct.

11 MR. KELLY: Let me object to the form

12 of the question. I think you incorrectly mentioned

13 it in your previous it was your last deposition.

14 This was the first day of this continuing

15 deposition. I think it is improper to ask the

16 witness questions in that regard, plus we only have

17 an excerpt.

18 You can answer the question the best

19 you can.

20 MR. PLACITELLA: Do you want to show

21 him the testimony?

22 MR. KELLY: I dont think I have to.

23 You are here to ask questions.

24 Q. Your last deposition you testified under

25 oath, under penalty of perjury, that your boss, and


1 the President of Georgia-Pacific, actually learned

2 that theres a whole bunch of people getting sick

3 from using joint compound and your answer was I

4 believe thats correct. Do you see that?

5 MR. KELLY: Thats an answer after my

6 objection to the question.

7 A. Right.

8 Q. Lets move on, sir. Now, in the last

9 deposition you also learned in the very same year

10 that the president, that the head of sales,

11 Mr. Burch was aware of a link between lung cancer

12 and joint compound, true?

13 MR. KELLY: Objection.

14 A. No, sir.

15 Q. No? Here is your testimony, sir, from

16 page 135 of your deposition given under oath last

17 time.

18 Is today the first time you ever heard

19 that? Mr. Kelly, heard what?

20 That as of May 1974 Mr. Burch was

21 personally aware of at least one case where

22 asbestos, the possible cause was linked to joint

23 compound.

24 All my question is, is today the first

25 time you learned that? Answer, first time I recall


1 reading that, yes.

2 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

3 Q. Do you recall that?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Sir?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. The testimony that you were shown from

8 Mr. Burch said, and so on May l7, 1974 you

9 personally were aware of at least one case where

10 asbestos and possible cancer was liked to compound

11 use. Correct? His answer was yes.

12 MR. KELLY: What is the citation to

13 this?

14 MR. PLACITELLA: Mr. Burchs

15 testimony.

16 MR. KELLY: What you have on the

17 screen, are you suggesting whose testimony are you

18 suggesting that is?

19 MR. PLACITELLA: Mr. Burchs

20 testimony.

21 MR. KELLY: From?

22 MR. PLACITELLA: Ill get you the

23 cite. I think it is volume 2, 11-18-2005, but Ill

24 double check it.

25 Q. Do you recall this, sir?


1 MR. KELLY: What is the question?

2 Q. Do you recall seeing the testimony the

3 last time we were here, sir?

4 A. You lead me to believe the last thing you

5 showed on this was right before this, but they are

6 totally different depositions.

7 Q. The one before that is yours.

8 A. Right.

9 Q. The last time your testimony was that you

10 were — you have found that out for the first time

11 at the last deposition, right?

12 MR. KELLY: Objection. The fact is

13 you just showed him an excerpt and asked if you read

14 it correctly. I think that is unfair and confusing.

15 MR. PLACITELLA: I appreciate your

16 objection.

17 A. Im certainly confused.

18 Q. Im sure you are. Now, the fact of the

19 matter is, sir, as we sit here today you are aware,

20 are you not, that Georgia-Pacific was aware of a

21 study in 1974 where 9 of 17 workers using joint

22 compound developed asbestos disease?

23 MR. KELLY: Objection.

24 A. I would like to see that document because

25 again, theres a lot more to that document that


1 leads us to my interpretation there was no causal

2 effects between joint compounds and illnesses.

3 Q. You told me you were going to go back

4 between the last deposition and this deposition and

5 show me the evidence to support that evidence and

6 you didnt do it, true?

7 MR. KELLY: Let me object. Theres

8 no obligations of this witness to go back and do

9 research for you. Theres an obligation if you are

10 going to ask him questions about a document you

11 should show it to him so he can answer the question.

12 I object to your intimation as to any obligations on

13 the continuing questioning absent documents.

14 Q. At the last deposition did you not tell me

15 between the last deposition and this deposition that

16 you were going to go back and show me the proof for

17 what you just said?

18 MR. KELLY: Counsel, this is witness

19 has no obligation to prove anything. He is here to

20 answer your questions.

21 MR. PLACITELLA: We wll move on, sir.

22 Q. Georgia-Pacific knew —

23 MR. KELLY: Move to strike.

24 Q. During the time it was selling

25 asbestos-containing joint compound, a pound in every


1 can, that people not even occupationally exposed to

2 asbestos could get cancer, true?

3 MR. KELLY: Objection. Undefined

4 time frame.

5 A. What is the time frame?

6 Q. During the time that Georgia-Pacific was

7 selling asbestos-containing joint compound, it knew

8 that people that werent even occupationally exposed

9 to asbestos could get cancer.

10 MR. KELLY: Same objection.

11 Q. True?

12 A. No, sir. We believed our products were

13 safe and could be used safely.

14 Q. Thats not my question. You knew, sir,

15 that people just living in the towns near an

16 asbestos factory were getting cancer, true?

17 MR. KELLY: Objection.

18 A. Again, I would have to look at that source

19 documents. There was some discussion about that at

20 the Gypsum Association safety meeting I recall.

21 Q. Sir, you recall telling me last time that

22 the head of safety for George Pacific was sitting

23 around a table discussing with other people in the

24 industry about people not occupationally exposed to

25 asbestos getting lung cancer?


1 MR. KELLY: Objection.

2 Q. Do you recall that, sir?

3 A. Not specifically.

4 MR. KELLY: Do you have a citation?

5 MR. PLACITELLA: Yes, I do.

6 Q. Page 137 of your deposition the last time

7 let me ask you the question again. In 1967, the

8 people in charge of safety for the Gypsum

9 Association, including your Mr. Fink, sat around the

10 table and talked about people who were not

11 occupationally exposed getting cancer, true? Your

12 answer, I believe thats correct, yes.

13 Do you recall giving that testimony, sir?

14 MR. KELLY: Objection to that. 137.

15 I think I have the wrong —

16 MR. PLACITELLA: I might be off

17 on a —

18 MR. KELLY: Objection to the question

19 regarding the first day of deposition taken out of

20 context.

21 Q. Do you remember giving that testimony sir?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now, what they were discussing, sir, was

24 people who were actually in the neighborhoods of

25 where the asbestos plant was that were getting sick,


1 right?

2 A. Im trying to find.

3 Q. Im asking you in general, sir?

4 MR. KELLY: You want him to try to

5 recall his deposition testimony?

6 MR. PLACITELLA: Im asking what he

7 know.

8 (Recess taken)



11 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this P-6.

12 (The above document is marked P-6.)


14 Q. You have another document in front of you

15 marked P-6. Counsel, here is a copy.

16 MR. KELLY: Thank you.

17 Q. I was hoping not to go over all these

18 documents again, but when you ask for a document,

19 Im trying to show it to you.

20 This is a document from 1967 and you are

21 familiar with this document, are you not?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Can you tell the jury what this document

24 is, sir? I also have it up on the screen. The

25 document in front of you, sir, is minutes of the


1 Safety Committee meeting for the Gypsum Association?

2 A. Correct?

3 Q. And thats 1967, correct?

4 A. Thats correct.

5 Q. That happened right here in New Jersey,

6 right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Saddle Brook, not for far from where we

9 are. And Mr. Fink, he attended on behalf of your

10 company, true?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And he attended as the representative of

13 your company and as head of safety for the western

14 portion of your company?

15 A. That is correct.

16 Q. And when all these people sat around the

17 table they had discussions, according to this, true?

18 A. Its a meeting, yes.

19 Q. Whatever was important enough that was

20 discussed was actually reduced to minutes?

21 MR. KELLY: Objection.

22 Q. True?

23 A. Well, again, the individuals there would

24 bring up matters that they deemed they themselves

25 deemed important for review by the committee.


1 Q. They deemed important for the industry in

2 which they worked, true?

3 A. It could vary.

4 Q. In this case, when we go to the second

5 page, it says one member noted a recent problem

6 involving the asbestos industry and where a number

7 of lung carcinoma cases, thats lung cancers, right,

8 sir? Do you understand that to be lung cancer?

9 A. I dont know the distinction personally.

10 Q. Had been reported by inhabitants of the

11 neighborhoods surrounding an asbestos plant. Do you

12 see that?

13 Is see that, yes.

14 Q. It was further noted that clinical tests

15 and investigations had resulted in legal action

16 against the manufacturers by the claimants. Do you

17 see that?

18 A. Correct.

19 Q. So, when I asked you were there a lunch of

20 people sitting around a table discussing people not

21 occupationally exposed to lung cancer, thats what

22 happened, right?

23 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

24 A. As written, as read for the minutes of the

25 meeting. There was some discussion, yes.


1 Q. And sir, Georgia-Pacific was in fact told

2 by it is own association that minimal

3 non-occupational exposure to asbestos can cause

4 mesothelioma, true?

5 MR. KELLY: Objection.

6 A. I dont see that here, no, sir.

7 Q. I didnt ask you. You can put that down.

8 Im done with that document.

9 My question to you, sir, is, Georgia-

10 Pacific was told that minimal non-occupational

11 exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, true?

12 MR. KELLY: Objection. The question

13 has no time frame.

14 A. I do need to know what time frame we are

15 talking about.

16 Q. Well, I was talking about when you were

17 working there. So let me back up. That is a fair

18 question. Were you working at Georgia-Pacific in

19 1973?

20 A. August of 73, yes.

21 Q. And at that point in time your company,

22 Georgia-Pacific, was told that minimal

23 non-occupational exposure to asbestos can cause

24 mesothelioma, true?

25 MR. KELLY: Objection.


1 A. Not as I recall. Im sorry. Did you say

2 asbestos or asbestos —

3 Q. I said asbestos. Georgia-Pacific was told

4 that minimal nonoccupational exposure to asbestos

5 can cause mesothelioma.

6 MR. KELLY: Objection.

7 A. I dont recall that.

8 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this P-7.

9 (The above document is marked P-7.)

10 Q. Mr. Schutte, you are familiar with this

11 document, are you not?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. You have seen it before?

14 A. Yes. I have.

15 Q. This is entitled Evaluation of Exposure to

16 Asbestos Fibers during the Mixing and Sanding of

17 Joint Compounds and it is by the Gypsum Association,

18 correct?

19 A. Right. With oversight really from OSHA

20 itself and with the help of union contractors.

21 Q. This report was prepared by the Gypsum

22 Associations, correct?

23 A. I believe it was prepared for the Gypsum

24 Association. Let me see if it matters. It may be

25 Clayton did it on behalf of the Gypsum Association.


1 Q. This was ultimately distributed to you,

2 Georgia-Pacific, correct?

3 A. Thats correct.

4 Q. We are going to spend some more time on

5 this later on, but on page 3 of this document, I

6 highlight it here so we can get to it. Do you see

7 that it says down in the middle of the page this new

8 hazard has received much public attention because it

9 has been suggested that very minimal non-occupational

10 exposure can be sufficient to produce the disease in

11 some individuals. Do you see that, sir?

12 A. I see that.

13 Q. And the disease they are talking about is

14 mesothelioma, true?

15 A. I would have to read the rest of the

16 document.

17 Q. It starts out on the top, many recent

18 studies have indicated an association between

19 exposure to asbestos in both industrial and urban

20 atmospheres and an increase in a relatively rare

21 type of lung cancer known as mesothelioma. Do you

22 see that?

23 A. Thats true. Thats where that paragraph

24 starts. Going back to the previous paragraph it

25 says sufficient quantities of fiber inhaled over an


1 extended period of time generalized diffused can

2 develop, so the point is theres to put it in proper

3 context, we have to look at the entire document.

4 Q. Okay, sir, but what it does say that this

5 new hazard has received much public attention

6 because it has been suggested that very minimal

7 non-occupantional exposure can be sufficient to

8 produce the disease in some people, right?

9 MR. KELLY: Objection. Asked and

10 answered.

11 Q. Thats what it says, right?

12 A. You are reading it correctly.

13 Q. In fact, thats what I asked you about in

14 the last deposition and you told me that was

15 correct, right?

16 MR. KELLY: Objection.

17 A. Likely so.

18 Q. You dont want me to go back and find and

19 read it to you, do you?

20 A. I hate when you quote me and then I dont

21 have the proof. I either agree or disagree. I

22 dont know what to do. I dont recall specifically

23 how I answered.

24 Q. Do you have any quarrel with the fact the

25 Gypsum Association told you specifically in 1973


1 that minimal non-occupational exposure may be enough

2 to cause mesothelioma?

3 MR. KELLY: You referring to this

4 document?

5 MR. PLACITELLA: Im asking. Please.

6 MR. KELLY: I need to —

7 MR. PLACITELLA: Im asking him a

8 direct question. I want to get a direct answer.

9 Please dont get involved.

10 MR. KELLY: I object to the form. It

11 is not clear if you are referring to document or a

12 general question.

13 A. Well, what I can say is you read this

14 portion of this extensive document correctly.

15 Q. Now, sir, in fact Georgia-Pacific was so

16 worried about their own employees getting

17 mesothelioma from people bringing it home on their

18 clothing, that they made — they took special

19 precautions to protect their employees and their

20 families, true?

21 A. No, sir. We strictly adhered to the

22 requirements of the OSHA regulations covering

23 asbestos, not necessarily our products.

24 Q. Sir, you provided changing rooms to

25 prevent your employees from bringing asbestos home


1 on their clothing to their families, true?

2 MR. KELLY: Before you answer that

3 question, can I place a general objection? I am

4 trying to give a lot of leeway so we can move along

5 here.

6 MR. PLACITELLA: If this is, leeway,

7 Im in trouble.

8 MR. KELLY: A lot of the issues you

9 have been asking about have been one. I think we

10 have over, ad nauseum the first day so I would

11 object to rehashing too much. I understand you

12 want to keep a theme going. To the extent we are

13 asking the same questions again, it is probably not

14 productive and we are wasting time.

15 MR. PLACITELLA: Thats why I asked

16 the question counsel, and he says I dont remember.

17 I could get through the whole thing in two hours,

18 but I have to keep showing him the document and the

19 testimony.

20 MR. KELLY: You already asked him the

21 question last time. I dont think you need to

22 ask —

23 MR. PLACITELLA: Well, obviously he

24 doesnt remember. Thats why I want to know.

25 Can you read my question back,


1 please.

2 (Record read)

3 A. Yes. Under the OSHA requirements we were

4 required to do so.

5 Q. Thats because you wanted to protect those

6 family members, true?

7 A. Because we were required to under OSHA.

8 Q. You cared about your employers and you did

9 it to protect them and their families?

10 A. Certainly. We felt they were safe, yes.

11 Q. Now, at no time did you tell any customer

12 to make sure that they dont bring the asbestos home

13 on their clothing to their families, true?

14 MR. KELLY: Objection.

15 A. Again, I dont know what was told to our

16 customers. I havent seen any documents or

17 testimony to that effect.

18 Q. You are not aware of any information that

19 was provided by Georgia-Pacific to tell their

20 customers that they should not bring asbestos home

21 on their clothing to go their families, true?

22 MR. KELLY: Objection.

23 A. Not that I recall.

24 Q. The reason I ask that is Ms. Klemm, me,

25 she is dying of mesothelioma and she was exposed to


1 her husbands clothing, but you never told her

2 husband not to bring the asbestos home, did you?

3 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

4 strike.

5 MR. JORDAN: objection to the form.

6 A. Again, I dont know any of the particulars

7 we are talking about. I used asbestos myself. I

8 took it home with me.

9 Q. Im very sorry to hear that, I hope youre

10 healthy.

11 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

12 strike the comment.

13 Q. Even people in your plants who were just

14 stacking the bags of asbestos and doing nothing else

15 you protected, true?

16 A. Again, when the requirements were such

17 that we had to provide changing rooms we did so.

18 Better but, again we were using asbestos, some of us

19 were not –did not use change houses. Our employees

20 at our Decatur lab, excuse me, Tiger lab where

21 asbestos was used and therefore, likely got on the

22 the clothing of Mr. Fink, Mr. Leonard, no, sir, they

23 didnt have change areas. And we are very concerned

24 about their safety.

25 MR. PLACITELLA: Objection. Move to


1 strike your answer.

2 Q. Sir, the people who were stacking the bags

3 of asbestos that you were shipping out to the

4 customers, the asbestos was coming right through the

5 bags and exposing them, true?

6 MR. KELLY: Objection.

7 Q. The very same bags Mr. Fernandez would

8 have used, true?

9 MR. KELLY: Im objecting. Same

10 question that was asked on page 141.

11 MR. PLACITELLA: And what was the

12 answer, counsel?

13 MR. KELLY: You can read it yourself.

14 Thats the whole point. We can all read the

15 transcript and move on to something new.

16 MR. PLACITELLA: All I want is the

17 truth.

18 MR. KELLY: But you asked these

19 questions over and over again.

20 MR. PLACITELLA: Yes, but I keep

21 getting different answers.

22 MR. KELLY: No.

23 Q. Okay, so let me ask the question. The

24 people who were just stacking the asbestos bags, the

25 same bags the customers would handle, were getting


1 exposed to asbestos because the asbestos would come

2 through the bags?

3 MR. KELLY: Same objection.

4 Q. True?

5 MR. KELLY: Fourth time you asked

6 hit.

7 A. Again, what Im saying is when we did air

8 sampling, when required individuals fell under

9 requirements of the OSHA standard in some cases had

10 to go to change losses.

11 At the same time there were employees like

12 myself at the Acme plant who were in and around

13 those bags, had that dust exposure, if you will, and

14 it was not required and we were not concerned about

15 our safety.

16 MR. PLACITELLA: Objection move to

17 strike. Im story you said that, sir.

18 Q. Now, my question you to is simple. The

19 people who were stacking the bags of asbestos, your

20 test in the plant showed they were breathing in

21 asbestos dust coming out of those bags, true?

22 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

23 strike.

24 A. There were exposure tests done throughout

25 the plant and exposure levels were monitored,,


1 determined and where appropricate we took

2 approprioate action under the OSHA standards.

3 Q. And the people who were just stacking the

4 bags going out to the customers, they were being

5 exposed to asbestos from the asbestos coming from

6 inside of the bag out, true?

7 MR. KELLY: Objection.

8 A. No, thats thats technically true either.

9 Typically when them bagging product theres a valve

10 sort of shuts to block out the material from coming

11 out of the bag. You have to fill the bag, but at

12 the same time when that bag drops off of the filling

13 spout, theres an amount of dust that accumulates in

14 the air and the person stacking the bags has that

15 exposure. Thats technically what the exposure is.

16 There are other people, like myself,

17 people that move the finished product to the

18 warehouse and on to the trucks did not have to take

19 any special precautions based on the dust

20 monitoring.

21 MR. PLACITELLA: Move to strike.

22 Q. Sir, I was trying not to do this is and

23 move this along.

24 MR. PLACITELLA: Could you mark the

25 next document?


1 (The above document is marked P-8.)


3 Q. Are you familiar with this document?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. This document you have seen before. It

6 comes from the Texas Department of Health, correct?

7 A. Correct.

8 Q. I apologize for the quality of the

9 document, but this is how it was supplied to us.

10 If you, sir, go to the first full page of

11 the document where it says industrial hygiene

12 survey. Do you see that?

13 A. This page?

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Do you see, sir, on the first — let me

17 see if I can move this along, because I probably am

18 asking I was question I asked last time.

19 Go to page 2, sir. Do you see, sir, where

20 it says one sample was taken at the operation of

21 joint compounds sack stacking, a level of 13.75

22 fibers per cc, per cubic centimeters was recorded?

23 This high level is probably due to dust escaping

24 from the sacks as they are put on the stack and the

25 dispersion of the dust outside of the sacks. Do you


1 see that, sir?

2 A. Yes, I see that, yes.

3 Q. Sir, in this hygiene survey part of the

4 exposure that people were getting who were stacking

5 the bags came from inside the bags. Thats my

6 question to you, according to this document?

7 A. And I take issue with that, yes.

8 Q. Did you write and object at the time you

9 got this document saying it wasnt true, sir?

10 A. I dont know how we responded to the

11 document. We certainly complied with OSHA.

12 Q. And what happened, sir, was you made sure

13 that these people who were stacking the bags,

14 handling the bags, got respirators if they wanted

15 them, right?

16 A. Anyone that wanted a respirator at the

17 plant had access so one, yes.

18 Q. Well, you never gave Mr. Fernandez who

19 handled the bags the same opportunity, did you?

20 MR. KELLY: Objection.

21 A. I dont know what opportunities were given

22 this gentleman.

23 Q. You never told the people handling the

24 bags of joint compound containing asbestos that they

25 should wear respirators, did you?


1 MR. KELLY: Objection.

2 A. Handling the bags, again, I take issue

3 with what you are saying. Once the bag is filled

4 and palletized into to the job site theres no

5 asbestos escaping, no material escaping from the

6 bag.

7 Q. Until they open it, right?

8 A. Thats a different question.

9 Q. And then you throw it in and it makes a

10 hell of a lot of exposure, doesnt it, sir?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection.

12 A. Not necessarily, no.

13 Q. Ill move on. Now, sir, Georgia-Pacific

14 responds to all this information — all this

15 information that we went through this morning was to

16 place profits before consumer safety, true?

17 MR. KELLY: Objection.

18 A. Absolutely not.

19 Q. Sir, you failed to test your products or

20 conduct any medical research whatsoever to

21 investigate the potential hazards in the

22 asbestos-containing products you sold, true?

23 MR. KELLY: Objection.

24 A. Untrue.

25 Q. How is it untrue, sir?


1 A. We conducted, as I testified last time,

2 the Clayton Study itself you just presented had a

3 testing component to it.

4 Q. And that test, as you told me last time,

5 the only test you ever did showed that people who

6 were sanding the asbestos-containing products were

7 exposed above the OSHA limits, true?

8 MR. KELLY: Objection.

9 A. In certain circumstances, certain

10 products, yes.

11 Q. Now, you told me last time, I think, sir

12 that a responsible company has a duty to test its

13 products?

14 MR. KELLY: Objection. Improper

15 question.

16 Q. Thats what you told me last time.

17 A. I would like to see that. This is what my

18 issue is. Are you paraphrasing or are you

19 absolutely quoting me?

20 Q. It says I believe a responsible company

21 tests their products. I believe our products were

22 tested. I cant speak to testing was or wasnt

23 done. Is that your testimony?

24 MR. KELLY: Objection. Thats four

25 lines of an unspecified —


1 Q. You dont remember that? Ill move on.

2 A. I dont remember the question. I would

3 love to see of the question.

4 Q. Sir, this is an excerpt from your anual

5 reporter in 1977 I got from the library. And it

6 shows the sales for Georgia-Pacific from 1968 until

7 1977. 1977 is when you no longer sold asbestos

8 products, right?

9 A. Thats correct.

10 Q. The sales went from roughly $80 million in

11 1968 to three and a half billion dollars in 1977,

12 true?

13 MR. KELLY: Objection.

14 A. I cant read it. I dont know the

15 sales — that total sales for the company?

16 Q. Total sales.

17 A. It is an ascending chart. I cant see the

18 scale.

19 Q. It is in billions. Upper left-land

20 corner, sales in billions.

21 MR. KELLY: Either you know the

22 answers to this —

23 Q. Thats our sales in billions. My question

24 you to is in 1968 what information did you discover

25 that showed in 1968 that when Georgia-Pacific was


1 selling more than $80 million of product that they

2 did any medical research on the hazards of asbestos?

3 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

4 A. I commented to the testing, as a comment

5 to 80 million dollars. When I started with Georgia-

6 Pacific one of the very first conversations I had

7 with Bill Leonard was that we are a very small

8 piece, I think, 3 percent of the sales of Georgia-

9 Pacific and certainly joint compound within that is

10 a single, low digit percentage of our wallboard or

11 gypsum sales.

12 MR. PLACITELLA: Ill object to that

13 and move to strike.

14 Q. Sir, lets move to 1973. Thats when you

15 started?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. The total sales for Georgia-Pacific in

18 1973 were almost 2.4 billion dollars?

19 MR. KELLY: Objection to the

20 question. Theres no basis for that.

21 Q. The question is I asked you before did

22 Georgia-Pacific place profits before consumer

23 safety. What Im trying to figure out is how much

24 money you spent testing joint compound versus how

25 much money you were generating in sales, and to get


1 a sense of whether your statement is true or not.

2 MR. KELLY: Thats not a question.

3 Q. Do you understand why Im asking the

4 question?

5 MR. KELLY: Objection.

6 A. I understand what you just said, yes.

7 Q. As of 1977 can you tell me in 1977, based

8 upon all of your review of all your records and the

9 testimony you read and whatever the lawyers gave

10 you, when there was almost four billion dollars in

11 sales, how much money was spent on medical research

12 related to the dangers of asbestos in 1977?

13 MR. KELLY: Objection.

14 A. I dont know how much we spent, but again,

15 go back to 73 when I started with the company, you

16 know, we believed, we absolutely believed our

17 products could be used safely. Had A long history

18 of use of these products. No one, our employees,

19 our customers, friends, whoever families got sick.

20 Q. When you say could be used safely, what do

21 you mean?

22 A. Were safe.

23 Q. What do you mean could be used safely?

24 A. They were safe.

25 Q. So theres nothing specific you needed to


1 do to use the product safely, you could used just

2 use it under any circumstances and it would be safe?

3 Is that what you are saying?

4 A. Well, what we believed was, absolutely

5 believed it was an issue of dose over extended

6 period of times, long exposures to heavy

7 concentrations. but certainly our products, used

8 with — I dont know what the legal word would be,

9 typical fashion were definitely safe for use.

10 Q. Did you believe a respirator was necessary

11 to use when you were sanding this product?

12 MR. KELLY: Objection.

13 A. I personally didnt use a respirator when

14 I sanded material in my house.

15 Q. Did you, George Pacific, believe a

16 respirator was needed when sanding this product, you

17 Georgia-Pacific?

18 MR. KELLY: Can you give him a time

19 frame?

20 Q. At any point in time when you were selling

21 an asbestos-containing product, joint compound, did

22 you believe a respirator was necessary when using,

23 when sanding that product?

24 A. We believed it was acquired bio OSHA at

25 certain levels. We believed it was a good


1 precautionary measure, but no, sir we felt it wasnt

2 absolutely necessary.

3 Q. Did you believe you Georgia-Pacific, that

4 it was necessary to protect somebody that they wear

5 a respirator when they were dumping dry product

6 before it was mixed?

7 A. Same answer, really. If it was mixed

8 carefully, properly, if it was sanded carefully and

9 properly the exposure would be minimal.

10 Q. Okay, you say — I want to break that

11 down. You say mixed carefully, properly. What Do

12 you mean by that?

13 A. Uses some care, trying to dump it directly

14 into avoid the creation of dust. Like any other

15 product you would mix.

16 Q. Within say use some care, where did that

17 come from?

18 A. Excuse me?

19 Q. You said use some care. You thought you

20 could use some care in how you dump the product out,

21 right?

22 A. Right.

23 Q. What care are you talking about?

24 A. For me personally it would be cutting the

25 bag properly, pour it properly, pour it into the


1 bucket. Typical things that professionals would do

2 or I would do in my own personal use of dry

3 products.

4 I dont try to spill it on the counter or

5 the floor when I use my product.

6 Q. So your sense of properly was to make sure

7 no dust was created when that was being dumped?

8 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

9 A. To minimize the creation of dust, yes.

10 Q. Sir, can you have show me one document

11 that you reviewed anywhere that indicated to the

12 consumer that when they were dumping the bags of

13 asbestos that they should not create any dust?

14 MR. KELLY: Objection.

15 Q. Can you slow me one document?

16 A. I dont recall seeing one specifically to

17 that question, no, sir.

18 Q. Because it never happened, did it, sir?

19 A. I dont know.

20 Q. Why dont you know, sir? You are here to

21 testify on behalf of this corporation, about what

22 you did to protect people.

23 MR. KELLY: Objection. Thats

24 argumentative. That is not a question.

25 Q. Why dont you know, sir?


1 MR. KELLY: Objection.

2 A. What Im trying to say is I have had

3 access to lots of documents, lots of testimony. I

4 said I didnt seen it. It doesnt mean it didnt

5 happen, that we didnt alert people to issues.

6 Q. Did you see any evidence that you told

7 something like mr. Fernandez, who is dying of

8 mesothelioma, that when you dumped the bag of

9 asbestos you better make sure it doesnt generate

10 any dust? Did you see any evidence like that?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

12 strike. This deposition his no bearing on any

13 individual plaintiff.

14 MR. PLACITELLA: It has a hell of a

15 lot of — I object to your characterization. I have

16 five dying people and I have a right to ask this man

17 these questions.

18 Could you please read my last

19 question back?

20 MR. KELLY: This deposition notice

21 doesnt go to anything fact specific on these cases.

22 Q. Le me go to the next question. You

23 indicate that also there had to be proper procedures

24 when sanding the product. What did you mean by

25 that?


1 A. Again, when you could eliminate the

2 sanding by applying it carefully and properly.

3 Q. What do you mean by that?

4 A. Use as little material as possible.

5 Q. Did you ever tell any customer to use as

6 little material as possible?

7 A. It was generally assumed thats what they

8 would do certainly.

9 Q. Well, sir, your job was to sell as much

10 material as possible, wasnt it?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

12 strike.

13 Q. That was your job.

14 MR. KELLY: Same objection.

15 Q. Now, sir, when you say use as little

16 material as possible, did you put that on any can or

17 any bag where you told the customer they should use

18 as little material as possible to avoid from getting

19 sick? Did you ever tell them that?

20 MR. KELLY: Objection.

21 A. Again, a professional would use as little

22 material as possibility so that the sanding would be

23 minimal and their sort of installed cost of the job

24 would be the lowest.

25 Q. Why do we have to worry about the sanding


1 being minimal? I dont understand that. Why is

2 that important?

3 A. It is important because it is a labor

4 intensive operation.

5 Q. What were you worried about when the

6 product was being sanded?

7 A. Escuse me?

8 Q. What were you so worried about when you

9 were saying you wanted to minimize the sanding?

10 A. Im saying if our products required more

11 sanding or more material, the customers wouldnt use

12 it. Thats what Im saying.

13 Q. Tell me what evidence you have that you

14 told the people in the field who were using your

15 products that they should use as little as possible

16 so when they are sanding they dont get any

17 exposure?

18 MR. KELLY: Objection.

19 A. Again I didnt see any documentation of

20 that. It would just be sort of understood.

21 Q. It never happened, did it, sir?

22 A. Again, it should be understood.

23 Q. It should be understood by the guy working

24 in the field that he should know not to use too much

25 of your product?


1 A. No. Im saying professional would put a

2 limited amount. Thats what they are paid to do.

3 They are paid getting the job done. They are not

4 going to put more material than they have to and

5 then have to go through the tedious task of sanding

6 The idea is to minimize or eliminate sanding by

7 doing a good job.

8 Q. So, sir, it is the workers fault if they

9 used too much of your product during the course of

10 the installation of that product and they get

11 exposed it is their fault? Is that what you are

12 telling me?

13 MR. KELLY: Objection.

14 A. Im not saying it is their fault. Im

15 saying they would want to use care to use as minimal

16 amount of amount so there would be minimal amount of

17 sanding.

18 Q. When did you tell them that, sir?

19 MR. KELLY: When?

20 Q. When?

21 MR. KELLY: Objection. Asked and

22 answered.

23 Q. It was never done, was it?

24 A. I dont know if it was done.

25 Q. You havent seen any evidence that you


1 showed anybody that, did you, sir?

2 MR. KELLY: Objection.

3 A. Again, I believe they would know that.

4 Q. How would they know without you telling

5 them, sir?

6 MR. KELLY: Objection. Entirely

7 argumentative.

8 MR. PLACITELLA: No, it is not.

9 Q. How would Mr. Picnic know without you

10 telling him?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

12 strike.

13 Q. How would he know?

14 A. Again, I dont know anything about Mr.

15 Picnic.

16 Q. How would Mr. Klemm know without you

17 telling him?

18 MR. KELLY: Same objection.

19 A. I dont know anything about these cases.

20 Im saying my experience, people would use as

21 minimal material to eliminate or reduce sanding,

22 period.

23 Q. So, in order to use the product safely you

24 had to use as little material as possible to reduce

25 the amount you had to sand. Is that what you are


1 saying?

2 MR. KELLY: Objection.

3 A. No, I didnt say that.

4 Q. What did you say?

5 A. Well, lets read back what I said.

6 MR. KELLY: Objection.


8 Q. Ill move on.

9 MR. KELLY: Off the record.


11 (Discussion off the record)


13 (Luncheon recess taken)


15 Q. Now, Mr. Schutte, continuing your

16 examination.

17 You werent the first person in Georgia-

18 Pacific to blame the worker for not protecting

19 himself, true?

20 MR. KELLY: Objection.

21 A. To blame the worker?

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. I dont know that anyone blamed the

24 worker.

25 Q. You blamed the contractor who the worker


1 worked for.

2 A. No, sir,, he wouldnt blame the worker.

3 Blame the contractor.

4 Q. You blamed the contractor

5 A. I said we would not.

6 Q. Let me show you what is has been marked

7 P-9 for Identification, and a copy your counsel?

8 MR. KELLY: Thank you.

9 Q. Sir, you are familiar with this document,

10 arent you, June 9, 1970?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And this is a document that was sent by

13 your safety supervisor to the Gypsum Association

14 Safety Committee, right?

15 A. That is correct.

16 Q. And what your safety supervisor does is

17 blame the contractor for not protecting the

18 employees, right?

19 MR. KELLY: Objection.

20 A. He makes some commentary to that regard.

21 As I testified last time we met, and this is totally

22 inconsistent with George Pacifics position.

23 Q. Well, that will be for the jury to

24 determine based upon your testimony this morning,

25 sir.


1 A. Right.

2 Q. Now, in that letter that was written on

3 behalf of Georgia-Pacific, Mr. Fink says asbestos is

4 very harmful, true?

5 A. And goes on to say however we question

6 whether the percentage used in a formula after it is

7 mixed ina batch should be considered —

8 Q. Whether a pound of asbestos in every can

9 or bag is enough to get anybody sick, right?

10 MR. KELLY: Objection.

11 A. Im sorry. I dont understand the

12 question.

13 Q. He also says — by the way, have you seen

14 any — he also says we realize some — what is the

15 date of this by the way? June what?

16 A. June 9, 1970.

17 Q. 1970. We realize that someone will be the

18 whipping boy. Also, product liability will be

19 stressed. It is our opinion that the entire blame

20 can be placed on the contractor for not isisting on

21 respirators and dust masks when sanding. Do you see

22 that?

23 A. You read that correctly.

24 Q. He further says we understand that dust

25 samples will be obtained during the sanding


1 operation and analysis made of the samples. We

2 question this approach. The problem would be that a

3 large amount of dust, 10 microns or smaller, that is

4 generated by the sanding operation and breathed by

5 the individual. Do you see that?

6 A. I see that, yes.

7 Q. He says he is writing this on — it says

8 our opinion. Doesnt say his opinion, true?

9 A. Thats what it says, and have said in my

10 testimony repeatedly, that that is totally

11 inconsistent with the position of the company as far

12 as I know.

13 Q. And the jury will make that judgment

14 agreed, sir? The question is —

15 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

16 strike.

17 Q. The question is, sir, have you ever seen a

18 single document anywhere that takes back this

19 statement that your safety supervisor made to the

20 Gypsum Association?

21 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

22 A. No, sir. But again, in 1973 when I joined

23 the company, and talked about issues like asbestos

24 in our products, I can tell you this is totally

25 inconsistent. I dont see any action taken that


1 would suggest this was our position and we acted on

2 it.

3 Q. Yes, sir. I understand thats your

4 position. Let me ask you the question this way.

5 Have you seen any evidence to indicate that this man

6 was reprimanded in any way for taking this attitude

7 with the Gypsum Association?

8 A. No, sir, nor do that I know it would be in

9 the files that were provided.

10 Q. Did you have the opportunity ever to speak

11 — scratch that. Now, the problem with — and by

12 the way, this was in 1970?

13 A. This memo was written in 1970, yes.

14 Q. Tell me after this was written in 1970 did

15 Georgia-Pacific go out and warn people for the next

16 three years that they should wear respirators or

17 dust masks or were they just leaving that to blaming

18 the contractor?

19 MR. KELLY: Objection.

20 A. No, sir. We didnt provide any direction

21 relating to respirators during that period of time,

22 70 to 73.

23 Q. So even though your safety director writes

24 to the association that there are they are a member

25 of saying this is our position, indicating that


1 people can get exposed to large amounts of dust, no

2 respirators, no warnings, no information to any end

3 user, true?

4 MR. KELLY: Objection.

5 A. Again, it says what it says, but at the

6 same time it is totally insconsistent with what our

7 position was.

8 Q. What is in consistent?

9 A. I certainly —

10 Q. In 1970 your safety director writes a

11 letter indicating that theres large amount of dust

12 generated and people should wear respirators and you

13 do nothing to warn the worker, true?

14 MR. KELLY: Let me object. The

15 witness was unable to finish his response in

16 response to the last question. I also object to the

17 form of the question.

18 Q. True, sir.

19 A. Again, I dont know when he talks about

20 large amounts of dust. My assumption, my

21 interpretation is he is not just talking about

22 whatever asbestos in the product, he is talking

23 about dust in general.

24 Q. I understand that. And he also talks

25 about, you know, the contractor should tell the


1 workers to wear respirators and dust masks, right?

2 A. It doesnt directly say that but implies

3 that, yes.

4 Q. But you, Georgia-Pacific, you didnt go

5 tell the workers or the contractors to where

6 respirators and dust masks at this point in time,

7 did you?

8 MR. KELLY: Objection.

9 A. Again, we felt our products were safe and

10 could be used safely.

11 Q. You see, the whole point, isnt i, sir

12 that the decision whether to put a warning on the

13 product or not was all about money, true?

14 MR. KELLY: Objection.

15 A. Absolutely not.

16 Q. Okay, sir. In fact, when it came to

17 labeling the joint compound in the can that had a

18 pound of asbestos in every can, the company position

19 was to delay warning as long as reasonably possible,

20 true?

21 A. Untrue.

22 Q. Untrue?

23 A. Correct.

24 (The document is marked as P-10.)

25 Q. Ill show you P-10 and a copy for your


1 correspondence attorney.

2 Sir, this is an April 23, 1973 memo. You

3 are familiar with this memo, are you not?

4 A. Ive seen it. If I could take a minute to

5 to review it?

6 Q. Please do.

7 A. All right.

8 Q. The subject matter of this April 1973 memo

9 is caution label for joint compounds containing

10 asbestos, true?

11 A. Yes, thats what it is headed.

12 Q. You were working at this time?

13 A. Not quite.

14 Q. Not quite. Your future boss, a few months

15 later, this was written by him, Mr. Leonard, right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Who was he writing this to?

18 A. Jack Rouch, who was the plant manager at

19 our Akron, New York plant.

20 Q. These people that are copied, who are they

21 Collingsworth, Peel, Fink and Ravins?

22 A. As I said, Matt Fink had responsibility

23 for safety or was safety manager for the western

24 region. Hank Peel had responsibility for the eastern

25 region. Eastern operations production was headed by


1 E. B. Hollingworth and Tom Ravins was at that time a

2 specialty salesperson charged with selling these

3 products.

4 Q. And, sir, in this memo does it in fact say

5 your boss indicates, we hope that we dont have to

6 start marking our ready mix for a while. Did I

7 read that correctly?

8 A. Thats what it says, yes.

9 Q. And marking, he means putting caution

10 labels on, right?

11 A. Im not exactly sure.

12 Q. You dont know?

13 A. I dont know.

14 Q. Okay, now the problem, sir, was that was

15 company policy until the lawyers got involved, true?

16 MR. KELLY: Objection.

17 A. Thats not necessarily true either.

18 Q. Not necessarily true?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Okay. The date is again?

21 A. April 1973.

22 (The document is marked as P-11.)


24 Q. Ill show you what has been marked P-11.

25 Ill put that up on the screen so people can see it.


1 Sir, this is a June 7, 1974 memo and again the

2 subject matter is asbestos caution labels. Do you

3 see that?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And down at the bottom are the same people

6 are copied with the exception of Mr. Burch who was

7 the head of sales, right?

8 A. And Bill Leonard.

9 Q. He was your boss?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. At this time he was your boss, right? Who

12 was Mr. Melborne?

13 A. Just for clarification I think he already

14 moved on to Texas about this time.

15 Q. Who is Mr. Melborne?

16 A. This is an intracompany memo, I would say

17 he was a salesperson at — Im not exactly sure he

18 was a sales person or operations person.

19 Q. Mr. Hurd, who was he?

20 A. I believe about this point in time Matt

21 Fink had retired and Jim Hurd was taking his place.

22 Q. What Mr. Hurd, who was head of safety says

23 in this memo is, I appreciate your concern over the

24 changes in the asbestos caution labels, however, our

25 attorneys are also deeply concerned over recent


1 findings of asbestosis in workers in the

2 construction industry, which is a result of working

3 with joint system products.

4 Did I read that correctly?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Now, did you have any discussions with

7 anybody when you were doing your research about this

8 memo?

9 A. I had some discussions, yes.

10 Q. The problem was, sir, the lawyers got

11 involved because they were worried about Georgia-

12 Pacific being sued for not putting warnings on the

13 the product, right?

14 MR. KELLY: Objection.

15 A. No, sir.

16 Q. It says, The fact that the wording

17 respirator protection required when sanding was

18 added will only give us additional protection in

19 liability threats are made against our products.

20 Do you see that, sir?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Sir, if Georgia-Pacific would get sued and

23 have to pay damages, that would cost them money,

24 right?

25 MR. KELLY: Objection.


1 A. If we were to get sued and lose, I guess

2 it cost us money potentially.

3 Q. In fact, sir, product liability was one of

4 those — the worry about getting sued was one of the

5 things that Georgia-Pacific months was taking into

6 account in deciding whether they were going to put a

7 warning on their product or not, right?

8 A. No, sir. At this point in time my

9 understand is the results, preliminary results from

10 the Clayton Study. We had OSHA looking at our

11 labeling and signing off it was correct, however, we

12 were cited about this time in Akron, New York, this

13 very plant and the decisions then were how to, you

14 know, how to properly put caution labels to be put

15 on the product. As Im sure the lawyers, being

16 lawyers, were asked for their input as to what the

17 sizes of the label should be, what the wording

18 should be. We went beyond what we were require to

19 do as a matter of fact.

20 Q. We will get to that, too.

21 MR. PLACITELLA: Move to strike.

22 Q. Product liability was a concern of Georgia-

23 Pacific, was it not, when deciding how to warn and

24 when to warn?

25 MR. KELLY: Objection. Asked and


1 answered.

2 A. I dont think I can offer anything I

3 havent said already.

4 Q. Is that true or not true?

5 MR. KELLY: Objection.

6 A. Again, I said the lawyers being lawyers

7 were asked to chime in.

8 Q. Sir?

9 A. Yes.

10 (Tape played)


12 MR. KELLY: Note my objection to what

13 is happening. An audio of something is being played

14 Note my objection as improper.

15 MR. PLACITELLA: No problem.


17 Q. Sir, you gave testimony in a trial in

18 Tennessee on this very subject, did you not?

19 A. We talked about many of these issues, yes.

20 Q. And somebody asked you in that trial,

21 before a jury, under oath, whether product liability

22 was in the mind-set of Georgia-Pacific in determining

23 whether warnings were appropriate or not, true?

24 MR. KELLY: Objection to the question

25 without the transcript.


1 MR. PLACITELLA: I am going to play

2 the tape.

3 (Tape played)

4 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

5 strike.

6 Q. Do you recall giving that testimony, sir?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Under oath, under penalty of perjury?

9 Yes.

10 Q. Now, sir, once the lawyers got involved

11 then some decisions were made about where to put the

12 labels on the product, correct?

13 A. Yes. As discussed last time, yes.

14 MR. KELLY: Let me also note my

15 continuing objection to the questions, Chris about

16 the same topics we covered the first day.

17 MR. PLACITELLA: I asked him whether

18 money was one of the motivating factors for warning

19 or not warning and he told me know, so Im going to

20 go through the facts to prove my case.

21 MR. KELLY: You can ask whatever you

22 have want. Weve already been over this route.

23 MR. PLACITELLA: I appreciate that.

24 I promised Ill finish by four oclock, as you

25 asked.


1 Q. Now, when it came to doing — putting the

2 labels on, you knew that the labels had to be

3 visible and legible, right?

4 A. There was a requirement in OSHA that we

5 were complying with, yes.

6 Q. You knew it was your decision where to put

7 the label on the container or bag, right?

8 A. It was our decision provided me met the

9 criteria as out lined OSHA.

10 Q. OSHA didnt tell you where you could put

11 the label, true?

12 A. The standard, as you know, was for

13 asbestos products of all types, so, yes, it was our

14 decision based on the parameters set in that

15 regulation where to put the label.

16 Q. So it was your decision where to put the

17 label?

18 A. Yes?

19 MR. KELLY: Objection. Asked and

20 answers.

21 Q. You and the lawyers, right? The lawyers

22 had input in —

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. You and the lawyers decided where to put

25 the label in order to protect yourself from products


1 liability suits, right?

2 MR. KELLY: Objection.

3 A. Well, delayed my answer because you said

4 you and the lawyers. Are you talking about Georgia-

5 Pacific?

6 Q. Im talking about you, Georgia-Pacific, not

7 you personally, sir.

8 A. Including lawyers, part of Georgia-

9 Pacific?

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. Yes. Im sure there were, based on this

12 memo and discussions Ive had there was a group,

13 management group, that included lawyers, talking

14 about the proper size, what the label said and are

15 where they were placed, yes.

16 Q. And OSHA never limited the size of the

17 label you could put on, true?

18 A. I believe the exact language is it the

19 appropriate or you shall. I think it is you shall.

20 Q. You could make it bigger, if you want,

21 right?

22 A. Correct.

23 Q. You could put it in the front of the can

24 if you wanted, right?

25 A. Let me back up. It was limited. It had


1 to be legible. We had to determine a size that was

2 proper.

3 Q. I agree with that. You could put it in

4 front, correct?

5 A. We could put it — no, again there were

6 parameters set and I cant site them specifically.

7 It was determined at least in part where it should

8 go, which is where the lawyers came in to help us

9 determine that.

10 Q. I understand that part. And when the

11 lawyers got involved, what they decided was to put

12 on the cans of asbestos, the first thing they

13 decided was to put the label in the back, right?

14 MR. KELLY: Objection.

15 Q. To protect themselves against products

16 liability suits.

17 A. First of all when you say cans, when we

18 started labeling our buckets of 5 gallon joint

19 compound that contained asbestos, we labeled them

20 appropriately and put them near the directions, yes.

21 Q. Lets do it this way. This is a can of

22 Georgia-Pacific ready mix compound, right?

23 A. I believe so, yes.

24 Q. And do you see over there on the right

25 hand corner in the back where it says caution? Can


1 you see that, sir?

2 A. It see it in the right-hand corner of the

3 picture, yes.

4 Q. Thats on the back of the can, right, sir?

5 A. Well, yes. The logo of the company is on

6 the front. The directions are on the back, which is

7 why it was deemed appropriate to put the labeling

8 there.

9 Q. When you wanted people to know that you

10 had no asbestos in the product, you put that front

11 and center in big red letters, didnt you?

12 A. I dont recall where we put that.

13 Q. We will get to that in a second.

14 Now, sir, after you put it on the back,

15 the lawyers changed the location and then you

16 decided to put it on the side, right?

17 A. I believe thats correct.

18 Q. So if someone was going to read the

19 directions now, or look at the front, they would

20 never see it, your label, right?

21 MR. KELLY: Objection.

22 A. Well, in the real world we put the buckets

23 on a pallet. We didnt worry whether the front,

24 back, where they were on the pallet. When they got

25 on the job site they were sitting generally in the


1 middle of the floor. I dont know if theres a

2 front and back per se on a construction site.

3 Q. Why did you put the directions on the

4 back? I thought you said you did that last time so

5 people would read it?

6 MR. KELLY: Objection.

7 A. What I said was we put the caution label

8 near instructions so people that didnt know how to

9 use the material properly would see it.

10 Q. Except if they used the material before

11 they would have no reason to read the instructions,

12 right?

13 A. I dont believe so, but I think the

14 chances again of them seeing the label or not seeing

15 the label are the same.

16 Q. What does that mean, sir?

17 A. That was poorly answered. Where the label

18 was to the person who had been using it probably

19 wouldnt make any difference.

20 Q. It was —

21 A. The product doesnt show up on the job and

22 sitting against the wall, with the back facing the

23 wall and go out.

24 Q. Let me ask you this. You have to open

25 every can dont you?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. If you put something on the top, every

3 time somebody opened a can they would see it, right?

4 You couldnt avoid it.

5 A. Thats probably correct, yes.

6 Q. You wouldnt have to worry about whether

7 they were seeing it on the side or not.

8 A. Right.

9 Q. What did the label say on the can when you

10 put it on the back?

11 A. What did what did you say?

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. It had the OSHA language plus language

14 regarding use for respirators.

15 Q. What did it say? What were the words?

16 A. I dont recall the specific words.

17 Q. How is that, sir? Didnt you use the

18 product yourself?

19 MR. KELLY: Objection.

20 A. Yes.

21 MR. KELLY: You can probably show him

22 a picture.

23 Q. As you sit here, sir, you dont know the

24 what the label actually said?

25 A. It said caution, contains asbestos fibers,


1 avoid creating dust, use a respirator when sanding,

2 so on.

3 Q. What does so on mean, sir?

4 A. Theres another comment about potential

5 risk. I dont recall the specific language.

6 Q. What is the potential risk you were

7 warning against?

8 A. Anain, I said I dont recall the language.

9 If you show me the label —

10 Q. Well, sir, you are here to talk about the

11 label. How do you expect the workers to know what

12 was on the label if you dont know?

13 MR. KELLY: Because the workers would

14 be reading it. You are not letting the witness read

15 the label. Thats one reason.

16 MR. PLACITELLA: The workers would be

17 reading it? Do you want to take the oath, counsel?

18 MR. KELLY: You are asking an

19 objectionable question.

20 MR. PLACITELLA: So then, sir, if you

21 are not going to take the oath, then please dont

22 object like that.

23 Q. Im going to move on, sir. Now, when you

24 did the warnings on the bags, you didnt put them on

25 the front, right? The lawyers didnt put them on


1 the front, right?

2 A. Generally I think they were on the side of

3 the bags.

4 Q. And they didnt put it on the back, you

5 put it on the side, right?

6 A. Right.

7 Q. Do you agree this is a picture of your

8 topping compound?

9 A. I believe so, yes.

10 Q. And this reflects where the lawyers put

11 the warning on the side, right?

12 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

13 A. Im sorry.

14 Q. The lawyers put the warning on the side.

15 It is not a warning, by the way, it is a caution.

16 There is a difference.

17 MR. KELLY: Objection.

18 Q. Right? Theres a difference between

19 caution and warning?

20 A. It could be a warning that starts with the

21 word caution.

22 Q. We will get to that, too.

23 A. It doesnt say warning, it says caution.

24 Q. The caution was put on the side, right?

25 A. In compliance with OSHAs regulations,


1 correct.

2 Q. Did OSHA tell you to put it on the side?

3 A. No, sir, they told us where — it had to

4 be seen.

5 Q. How many sides did you put it on, on the

6 bag?

7 A. As I recall, just that one side.

8 Q. So if anybody would see the other three

9 sides they would never see the caution label, true?

10 MR. KELLY: Objection.

11 A. If they didnt see that side, they

12 wouldnt see the label.

13 Q. This is what the lawyers decided?

14 A. Again, when we manufactured the products

15 and stack it on pallets, that is the side, it is the

16 sides visible, the caution label would be the most

17 visible on the side of that bag versus anywhere else

18 on the bag.

19 Q. Well, sir, suppose it was turned around

20 and the bags were facing the other way? You would

21 never see it?

22 A. Im saying when we manufactured the

23 products we shipped to it customers. The caution

24 label was clearly visible, the best possible

25 location.


1 Q. Well, it was only on one side of the bag,

2 sir?

3 A. We stacked the bags around. The stacking

4 process was such we generally speaking most of the

5 sides were exposed, had a label on it.

6 Q. So you stacked the bags to make sure that

7 the workers in the field saw the caution label. Is

8 that what your testimony is?

9 A. Im just saying it was very visible on

10 most of the bags.

11 Q. What does that caution label say, sir,

12 that is so visible?

13 A. Im sorry, I cant see.

14 Q. Let me blow it up for you.

15 It is not too visible. Do you know

16 remember what is said, sir?

17 A. Again, it says you know avoid creating

18 dust, contains asbestos fibers and other language

19 which Im not certain of.

20 Q. Does it say use as little as possible,

21 sir, so you expose yourself?

22 A. No. I told you what it said.

23 Q. Does it say dont sand it, only use wet

24 sanding? Does it say that, sir?

25 A. Again, it says what the regulations said


1 it should say.

2 Q. When you went to an asbestos free

3 product — by the way, in looking at the front of

4 this bag or the back of the bag, how is somebody

5 supposed to know theres a pound of asbestos in that

6 bag? How are they supposed to know?

7 MR. KELLY: Objection.

8 A. Well, the caution label says that it

9 contains asbestos.

10 Q. It says caution, we have more than a

11 pounds of asbestos in this bag?

12 MR. KELLY: Objection.

13 A. Is that a form of a question? Im sorry.

14 You have to read it back.

15 Q. It says caution, we have more than a

16 pounds of asbestos in this bag?

17 A. No, it says what we were required to say

18 under OSHA requirements, yes.

19 Q. And looking at it straight on, it doesnt

20 say anything about that it contains asbestos, right?

21 MR. KELLY: Objection.

22 A. Again, depending on where you are looking

23 at it from. If you are looking at the side of the

24 bag, you would see it, yes.

25 Q. Do you see, sir, this is all about the


1 money, right, because when you wanted to sell

2 asbestos free product and brag to everybody that it

3 didnt have asbestos, you made sure everybody in the

4 world could see it, true?

5 A. Absolutely not.

6 Q. Thats not true?

7 A. Absolutely not.

8 MR. KELLY: Can I take a bathroom

9 break?

10 MR. PLACITELLA: No. Not right now.

11 I almost finished.

12 Q. Do you see this, this is for asbestos free

13 bedding cases? Do you see this?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Where are the words asbestos free on the

16 front of the bag, side of the bag or back of the

17 bag?

18 A. On the front of the bag.

19 Q. It is in big red letters, isnt it,

20 asbestos free, so everybody knows that theres no

21 pound of asbestos in this bag, right?

22 A. It is in red letters on the front of the

23 bag, yes.

24 Q. But you never put contains asbestos on the

25 front of the bag when it had asbestos, did you?


1 A. We put the labels that were required to,

2 in fact, went beyond OSHA requirements.

3 (Recess taken)



6 Q. Mr. Schutte, I put on the screen a

7 picture, can you tell us what this picture is, if

8 you know?

9 A. This is a 1 gallon can, pail of ready mix

10 joint compound.

11 Q. And this was a product intended primarily

12 for the consumer versus a contractor, true?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Now, where did you put the warning label

15 or the caution label on this product?

16 A. I believe it was on the — near the

17 directions.

18 Q. On the back?

19 A. I believe so, yes.

20 Q. Not on the front?

21 A. Near the directions.

22 Q. Never other the front?

23 A. If this is the front, it is on the

24 opposite side.

25 Q. Never on the top?


1 A. I dont believe so.

2 Q. The truth of the matter is that up until

3 1974 you were only labeling like every fifth package

4 of this product, true? Every fifth one was getting

5 a label, four were not?

6 A. Thats incorrect.

7 Q. Incorrect?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Who would know better you or Mr. Burch

10 whether that was true or not?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection.

12 A. Probably me.

13 Q. Probably you?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Wasnt Mr. Burch the one who was head of

16 sales?

17 A. Well, we are talking about 1974, I was at

18 the Acme plant. I was charged to make sure the

19 product,including the one gallon ready mix were

20 labeled properly. So I would certainly know what

21 needed to be done and in fact errored in my

22 interpretation and was in fact citted by OSHA for

23 it, so I could speak to this issue with clarity.

24 Q. Well, you didnt make the ready mix joint

25 compound just in the plant you worked in, did you,


1 the one gallon?

2 A. Thats correct, but —

3 Q. Where else did they make it? Didnt they

4 make it in New York?

5 A. I dont know for sure. I assume so, but

6 Im not exactly sure. My point was that OSHA was

7 visiting our plants regularly and to my knowledge it

8 was only our plant that was cited for labeling

9 incorrectly, a mistake I made and the other plants,

10 to my knowledge, were not, which implies that they

11 were labeling it correctly, which would have been

12 each individual bucket.

13 Q. I want to show you Mr. Burchs testimony

14 from his November 17, 2005 deposition. I want to

15 ask you if you ever reviewed this or talked to him

16 about it.

17 He says on page 146, my question was up

18 until the best evidence we have got is that up until

19 May of 1974, Georgia-Pacific was slapping one

20 caution label on the cartons for every six pails up

21 to — object to form. And the witness said at that

22 time, yes.

23 Do you see that?

24 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form of

25 the question in reference to the transcript.


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Have you ever see this transcript before,

3 this testimony before, sir?

4 A. No, sir, I dont recall.

5 Q. I want to show you, it continues on page

6 151, the same transcript, and this says, just so we

7 have the record clear, the fall of 73 until at

8 least May 10th of 1974, it says that 1 gallon pails

9 were not being labeled properly. Objection to form.

10 The witness, thats correct, sir.

11 Question, because the label was going on

12 the carton and not on the pail. Answer, thats

13 correct, sir. Question, the 1 gallon pails were

14 directed at which type of users? Answer, the

15 individual homeowner slash do-it-yourselfer.

16 Question, the individual homeowner slash do it

17 yourselfer typically didnt buy an entire carton of

18 six, did they? Answer. Thats correct.

19 Question, they typically bought up to one

20 or two or three? Answer, true. Question. So we

21 now know that there were asbestos-containing one

22 gallon pails of ready mix that Georgia- manufactured

23 that were going out with no warning whatsoever

24 answer. Thats true. Individual pails.

25 Did I read that correctly?


1 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

2 Move to strike.

3 A. You read that correctly. What is on the

4 screening, yes.

5 Q. Now, there was a time when people in

6 Georgia-Pacific wanted to put the word warning on

7 the cans or bags and the lawyers put a stop to it,

8 right?

9 A. I cant speak to that question. I dont

10 know the answer to that question.

11 Q. You understand that there is a difference

12 in the term warning versus caution, right?

13 MR. KELLY: Objection.

14 A. Words with different meanings.

15 Q. Correct. And warning is stronger than

16 caution, would you agree?

17 A. As an individual word, yes.

18 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this.

19 (The above document is marked P-12.)


21 Q. Have you seen this document before?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. This is a letter or a memo dated May 7,

24 1973, correct?

25 A. Correct.


1 Q. And it was from Mr. Wilson. Who was

2 Mr. Wilson at this time?

3 A. Mr. Wilson was the man in charge,

4 Vice-President Gypsum Division of Georgia-Pacific.

5 Q. He ran your whole operation, didnt he?

6 A. He ran the entire business, yes, sir.

7 Q. And the subject matter is warning labels

8 for asbestos. Do you see that?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And he sent copies of these to your boss

11 along with the safety people, right?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. Were you working at this point in time May

14 7, 1973?

15 A. No, sir.

16 Q. The subject matter is warning labels for

17 asbestos, correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. It said we should proceed to use warning

20 labels on our bagged goods containing asbestos to

21 comply with OSHA regulations. Do you see that?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now, when is it that you first started

24 putting labels on the bagged products, on the sides

25 of the bagged products?


1 A. A little later — around this time in

2 1973.

3 Q. You werent labeling at this point,

4 however, the cans, correct?

5 A. Im sorry.

6 Q. You werent labeling the cans at this

7 point in time in 74?

8 A. No, sir.

9 Q. Because there was a decision made to delay

10 that as long as possible. We saw that in a previous

11 document.

12 MR. KELLY: Objection.

13 A. No, sir. Our interpretation of the

14 regulations was that labeling was not required on

15 those products.

16 Q. So do you think it is pretty important

17 that the guy who runs your entire company tells the

18 safety people that warning labels should be on the

19 bags of asbestos?

20 A. Is it pretty important?

21 Q. Yes.

22 A. What he is sayings he expects us to comply

23 with OSHAs regulations.

24 Q. He wants you to put warning labels on,

25 right?


1 A. He wants us to label our product, yes.

2 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this.

3 (The above document is marked P-13.)


5 Q. Now, I want to show you, and I will this

6 marked as a May 14, 1973 memo. A copy for counsel.

7 Have you ever seen this document before?

8 A. Let me take one second.

9 Q. Sure, please.

10 A. I dont recall seeing this one

11 specifically.

12 Q. This document is from your boss, right?

13 A. From my future boss, yes.

14 Q. Your future boss?

15 A. Right.

16 Q. He also ccs the safety man, right?

17 A. Correct.

18 Q. And what he says in the subject of warning

19 labels for asbestos, he says we should have said

20 asbestos dash precautionary identification,

21 instead of warning labels, in quotes. Correct?

22 A. Thats what is says, yes.

23 Q. So Georgia-Pacific knew the difference

24 between a warning label and a caution label, right?

25 MR. KELLY: Objection.


1 A. Well, in my view the cautionary label can

2 be viewed as a warning label. It has the caution.

3 Q. It was first suggested you were going to

4 use a warning label and that was overruled and you

5 used a caution label, right?

6 A. Absolutely. What it tells me is Len is

7 saying we are going to be begin labeling our product

8 and tying it with OSHA regulations and telling Bill

9 Leonard he should handle this directly, that Bill

10 Leonard should be involved in selecting the proper

11 warding for the labels.

12 And now theres some confusion. I dont

13 know if theres other memos between this memo and

14 that memo but it is sort of coming down to we have

15 settled on the appropriate proper language, which in

16 fact was the OSHA language.

17 Q. It is exactly what you say, sir. What

18 happened was you were using a warning label and a

19 corporate decision was made to use a caution label,

20 right?

21 MR. KELLY: Objection. Asked and

22 answered.

23 A. No, sir.

24 Q. And the problem was, sir, right, you were

25 already were using a warning label on some of the


1 products, right?

2 A. Not to my knowledge.

3 Q. And then what happened, sir, right, was

4 that the lawyers got involved and all the bags that

5 had warning lathes on, they took them off, right?

6 A. No, sir. What we were trying to do —

7 MR. KELLY: Finish.

8 A. No, sir. What Im saying to is Im sure

9 there was some question, concern, maybe even

10 confusion on what the proper wording should be. It

11 was Bill Leonards charge, looking at the OSHA

12 requirements to select the proper language for our

13 labels, which in fact he did and communicated to all

14 of the operations.

15 MR. PLACITELLA: Move to strike.

16 Q. You, Georgia-Pacific, could have used the

17 worlds warning if you wanted to, true?

18 MR. KELLY: Objection.

19 A. The OSHA requirement clearly states you

20 shall put this letter on.

21 Q. The OSHA requirement is a minimum

22 standard. Didnt we establish that the last time or

23 are we going to spend a hour half doing that now?

24 A. Thats a minimum standard.

25 Q. It is a minimum standard. So you could


1 have done more if you wanted to, true?

2 Q. In fact, we did more than we were

3 required.

4 Q. You could have used warning if you wanted

5 to?

6 A. Im not a lawyer. I dont know if we

7 could have.

8 Q. The lawyers decided to take the warning

9 off the product and stick caution on instead, right?

10 A. No, sir. I didnt say we used the word

11 warning. He a warning label.

12 Q. Six months later you have in front of you

13 a document October 3, 1973. Do you see that? Did

14 you ever see this document before?

15 A. Not that I recall. I cant say I have. I

16 dont recall seeing it.

17 Q. Do you any any issue that it is in fact a

18 Georgia-Pacific document, sir?

19 A. Looks to be a Georgia-Pacific document

20 yes.

21 Q. And the document is from Mr. Ayson. Who

22 is he?

23 A. He was the purchasing manager for the

24 Gypsum Division.

25 Q. Did he it for the entire company, right?


1 A. He bought those things we brought

2 across — not across the company, across the Gypsum

3 Division.

4 Q. Which is not an insignificant position,

5 true?

6 A. Not an insignificant position, correct.

7 Q. Who is Don Neesin?

8 A. I dont know.

9 Q. Your purchasing manager says, he writes to

10 Mr. Neesin and says, This is confirm my telephone

11 conversation with you today requesting that your bag

12 plant delete the asbestos warning on the multi-joint

13 system bags. Do you see that?

14 A. Right.

15 Q. So take the warning off the bags because

16 we dont want warnings, right?

17 MR. KELLY: Objection.

18 A. No, sir.

19 Q. What did you eventually put on the label,

20 sir, caution or warning?

21 A. The word caution.

22 Q. Thank you, sir.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Georgia-Pacific made a conscious decision

25 not to communicate all it knew about the dangers of


1 asbestos-containing joint compound to the consumer,

2 didnt it?

3 MR. KELLY: Objection.

4 A. Thats incorrect.

5 Q. It is incorrect?

6 A. Incorrect.

7 Q. Okay. Lets just be straight for the

8 record. From the time that you started selling

9 asbestos-containing joint compounds until 1973,

10 there wasnt a caution, there wasnt a warning,

11 nothing, on any joint compound, true?

12 A. Thats true, nor was there in our view a

13 need to because our products were safe.

14 MR. PLACITELLA: Objection. Move to

15 true.

16 Q. Ill ask it again. From 1965 until 1973

17 there was never a caution or a warning on any joint

18 compound manufactured by Georgia-Pacific.

19 MR. KELLY: Objection. Asked and

20 answered.

21 A. Same answer.

22 Q. There was never a warning on any Georgia-

23 Pacific product about cancer, true?

24 A. Well, we talked about what the cautionary,

25 warning labels said. That is what we put on our


1 products.

2 MR. PLACITELLA: Objection. Move to

3 strike.

4 Q. Would you agree with me that an honest and

5 unbiased witness would supply a straight answer to a

6 straight question?

7 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

8 strike thats not a question.

9 Q. Do you agree with that, sir?

10 A. Yes.

11 MR. KELLY: He provided —

12 Q. Sir, did you ever put cancer anywhere on

13 your warning or caution label? Thats my question.

14 A. No, sir.

15 Q. Now, you were aware, were you not, you,

16 Georgia-Pacific, that is, that after products were

17 used that contained asbestos there was a likelihood

18 that some of it would end up on the floor, true?

19 A. Im sorry. Go through that one more time.

20 Q. When somebody was sanding

21 asbestos-containing joint compound in the field, you

22 were aware there was a likelihood that some of that

23 would end up on the floor, right?

24 A. Correct.

25 Q. And you were also aware of the fact that


1 when people walked through the area where that

2 happened it could stir the dust up into the air,

3 true?

4 A. If there was dust there it would get

5 stirred up, yes.

6 Q. In fact, in your own plants when you

7 warned your own workers to protect themselves

8 against that process, right?

9 You warned your own workers to be careful

10 not to kick up the dust that was generated that

11 contained asbestos, right?

12 A. No, sir. Thats not exactly correct.

13 Q. You, in fact, told your workers to make

14 sure you never use a broom, use a special vacuum

15 cleaner, right?

16 A. I think that was a recommendation made,

17 but not — it didnt become policy.

18 Q. Well, thats what you did though, inside

19 your plants?

20 A. No, sir.

21 Q. You didnt?

22 A. No, sir.

23 MR. KELLY: Let me interject an

24 objection this topic has been covered extensively

25 around page 160 through 180.


1 MR. PLACITELLA: What did he say,

2 counsel?

3 MR. KELLY: You can read it. Thats

4 my point.

5 MR. PLACITELLA: Why dont we just

6 read it? Im trying to move through.

7 MR. KELLY: Because were just —

8 MR. PLACITELLA: He just testified to

9 something different than the did the last time.

10 MR. KELLY: You know that thats not

11 true.

12 MR. PLACITELLA: Absolutely true.

13 Can you give swear in the lawyer, please. It is an

14 improper question.

15 MR. KELLY: You are denying you

16 covered this?

17 MR. PLACITELLA: Im denying I

18 covered it in this way. If you want to stop now, do

19 you want me to finish by four oclock, let me ask my

20 questions.

21 MR. KELLY: Again, we could have been

22 finished by four oclock last time.

23 MR. PLACITELLA: Yes, sir, I

24 understand.

25 Q. This is marked P-7. Take another look at


1 that, sir. Do you remember, sir, I asked you

2 whether you made a conscious decision to communicate

3 what you knew — not to communicated what you knew

4 to the workers. Do you remember that, and you told

5 me the answer was no, right?

6 A. Thats what I said, yes.

7 Q. Now, this document before you, this is

8 what the Gypsum Association told you you should tell

9 people when they were working with your product,

10 right?

11 A. I dont believe it says that.

12 Q. It doesnt say that?

13 A. No, sir. Ill have to look at at?

14 Q. Please. 183 the Bates number.

15 This is the document, sir — look at the

16 last page, it is signed by the Vice-President of

17 Industrial Hygiene Services. Do you see that?

18 A. Um-hum.

19 Q. This is the document that you told the

20 jury that you did this great test and you found out

21 certain things and then you followed them, right?

22 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

23 A. I said we, in conjunction with OSHA, in

24 fact with their overall full support conducted this

25 study.


1 Q. I understand that.

2 A. Union trades. Thats what I said.

3 Q. The last page says — this is 1973, right?

4 A. Right.

5 Q. The first recommendation they make in order

6 to use the product safely is to get the asbestos out

7 of it all together, right?

8 A. At this point in time we have taken it out

9 of all of our textured products and the bulk of our

10 bag products and in fact, some of our ready mix

11 products.

12 Q. But you sold ready mix with a pound of

13 asbestos in every bucket for another four years,

14 didnt you?

15 A. We sold some ready mix with 1 pound of

16 asbestos, yes.

17 Q. It was a lot more than some, it was tons

18 and tons and tons of it, wasnt it?

19 A. It was tons and tons, yes.

20 Q. What this report tells you in 1973 is if

21 you want to protect the workers, get the asbestos

22 out of the product, right?

23 MR. KELLY: Objection.

24 A. It says the most effective way of

25 eliminating the asbestos from, or obviously would


1 be to eliminate asbestos from the joint compound

2 formulations, if this is feasible, although the

3 specific role asbestos plays in the joint compound

4 formulation is not clear, it is understood

5 manufacturers of joint compound consider it

6 necessary that asbestos be in such formulations.

7 Thats what it says and Im also adding to

8 that, we were very far down along the line of taking

9 asbestos out of our line of products.

10 Q. But you kept selling it because you wanted

11 to make the money, right?

12 A. We felt we kept selling because first and

13 foremost because they were safe.

14 Q. Well, were going to get to that in a

15 little bit, but the first thing you were told was

16 get the asbestos out and you took four years to do

17 it, right?

18 MR. KELLY: Objection.

19 A. We had considerable success in the first

20 year of getting asbestos out of the texture

21 products. It posed more much — it was much more

22 difficult as I can attest on the ready mix products.

23 Q. Well, we are going to talk about that

24 later, but the truth of the matter is as of 1973 you

25 had a ready mix formulation that didnt require


1 asbestos, right?

2 A. I, in fact, myself, worked on the

3 formulation of a successful formula for a particular

4 customer in a particular market, but failed dismally

5 in terms of its use elsewhere.

6 Q. 1973?

7 A. Thats correct.

8 Q. Now it also says, lets go down to from

9 what an engineer recommends in order to protect

10 people out in the field.

11 It says from an engineering standpoint it

12 may be necessary to implement the following measures

13 in conjunction with mixing and sanding of the joint

14 compound containing asbestos. Thats what went out

15 in the field, right?

16 A. I believe thats correct.

17 Q. Thats what the guys using your joint

18 compound everyday were doing, mixing and sanding

19 asbestos. And it says, sir, mixing of the joint

20 compounds could be done in such a way that the

21 material is more effectively wetted as it is removed

22 from the containers or could be done within an

23 enclosure with or without mechanical ventilation so

24 as to minimize the amount of asbestos fibers

25 released into the breathing zone of the workers. Do


1 you see that?

2 A. That is what is says, yes.

3 Q. But, sir, you never warned anybody who was

4 using your product that they should only — that

5 they should wet down the material or use it in an

6 enclosure or with mechanical ventilation, did you?

7 A. Well, again, we were properly labeling our

8 products at this time, certainly, and as OSHA was

9 directing us to do, and I guess Im not the person

10 to talk about what we communicated. I just dont

11 know.

12 I know that the union trades themselves

13 were involved in this study. I assume they were

14 given the results of the study so they could use

15 them as they see appropriately.

16 Q. Were blaming the workers again?

17 MR. KELLY: Objection.

18 Q. Now, sir, you say you are not the person

19 but you are the person designated by Georgia-Pacific

20 to testify about this very subject. Did you know

21 that?

22 A. I know my role very well. I also said

23 clearly earlier today, I think and certainly at the

24 last deposition, I dont know everything about

25 everything, but Im the best person to answer most


1 of the questions you outlined that you would like me

2 to talk to that was available to testify. Thats

3 what I am.

4 Q. The Gypsum Association, and this expert,

5 says to you is that if you are going to sand the

6 product, wet it down, right?

7 MR. KELLY: Objection.

8 A. It says from an engineering standpoint

9 point it may be necessary to implement. So this

10 individual is making these recommendations. I

11 cant — again, I said I cant speak to anything

12 more than on the documents than what it says.

13 Q. Thats what I want to ask you.

14 A. If you want me to speculate.

15 Q. I dont want you to speculate, sir, I want

16 you to answer questions.

17 A. All right.

18 Q. Did you ever tell the workers in the field

19 that they should only — that they should use water

20 when they are sanding the joint compound to minimize

21 the dust? Did you ever tell them that?

22 A. What Im saying, I cant answer that

23 question from Georgia-Pacific. I dont know.

24 Q. Have you ever seen any evidence anywhere

25 in all the stuff you looked at, everything the


1 lawyers gave, to indicate that you told the workers

2 that they should only sand your joint compound when

3 there was water present?

4 A. I dont recall seeing a document to that

5 effect, no.

6 Q. Somebody made a conscious decision, sir,

7 not to tell the workers, didnt they?

8 MR. KELLY: Objection.

9 Q. Because you were specifically told this is

10 what you were supposed to do and it was never

11 done?

12 MR. KELLY: Objection. Improper

13 premise.

14 Q. Isnt that so?

15 A. Thats incorrect.

16 Q. Sir, did you ever tell any of the workers

17 in the field that they should only sand your product

18 or mix your product in an enclosure with ventilation

19 in place?

20 A. Again, I can only speak to what the

21 document says. They may have communicated that in

22 some other way. There may have been some other

23 documentation and I have not seen any documents that

24 suggest that we said that.

25 Q. Sir, are you aware of any information as


1 you sit here today testifying on behalf of Georgia-

2 Pacific that indicates that you told the workers in

3 the field that they should only use your products in

4 a ventilated area, an enclosed ventilated area?

5 A. I have not seen any documentation to that

6 effect.

7 Q. Can you tell this jury why these — in the

8 face of these recommendations made by the expert

9 that you said you hired, why you never warned the

10 worker about any of these things?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

12 Q. Can you tell this jury why?

13 MR. KELLY: I also object to the

14 reference of talking to the jury since this is not a

15 de bene esse deposition.

16 MR. PLACITELLA: The jury is going to

17 see this.

18 MR. KELLY: Maybe, maybe not.

19 MR. PLACITELLA: Well see.

20 A. Can you repeat the question, please?

21 (Record read)


23 A. Again, as Ive said repeatedly, our

24 products were in our view were safe.

25 A. And as I said —


1 MR. KELLY: Let me finish.

2 A. As it relates to this document, I dont

3 know what we did or didnt do going forward after

4 these — this was published, however, I have not

5 personally seen any documentation or had any

6 information I can provide about what we did or

7 didnt do.

8 Q. You never saw anything on any package, did

9 you, that said only do wet sanding?

10 A. No, sir.

11 Q. Even though Union Carbide maintains thats

12 what they told you to do?

13 MR. KELLY: Objection.

14 Q. Thats what they say. They say they told

15 you specifically, Georgia-Pacific, dont use this

16 product unless you do wet sanding. Even though they

17 told you that and even though this expert told you

18 that, you didnt put anything on your products, did

19 you?

20 MR. KELLY: Objection.

21 A. Again, I dont know what Union Carbide

22 said. I havent seen any of that.

23 Q. You never put anything anywhere on any

24 can, on any bag that said only use wet sanding?

25 A. We put what we were required to do under


1 the OSHA requirements and the asbestos 101 standard.

2 Thats what we did.

3 Q. Im not going to do that again. Let the

4 jury decide.

5 Sir, when protecting the families —

6 strike that.

7 Do you remember I told you that

8 Mrs. Klemm, she is home suffering from mesothelioma

9 because her husband brought asbestos home on his

10 clothing? Do you remember that?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

12 strike.

13 Q. Do you recall that?

14 A. Ill recall you saying something to that

15 effect, yes.

16 Q. When it came to protecting the families

17 that worked for Georgia-Pacific you went so far as

18 to take the clothing of the people who were exposed

19 to your asbestos, put it in an air tight bag and

20 send it out so it would never have a chance of

21 getting home to a family member, true?

22 A. What I said was there were employees at

23 the Acme plant in 1973, like myself, that had daily

24 exposures to asbestos and we didnt have change

25 houses. We didnt have disposable clothes, we


1 didnt go out to the laundry.

2 There was a specific requirement in OSHA

3 when certain dust, the dust monitoring so deemed it

4 appropriate that we did in fact take those actions.

5 MR. PLACITELLA: Objection. Move to

6 strike.

7 Q. Sir, you agree with me an honest unbiased

8 witness will provide a straight answer to a straight

9 question?

10 MR. KELLY: This has been going on

11 for two days. I objection to your characterization

12 and argument.

13 MR. PLACITELLA: Im not arguing.

14 MR. KELLY: You absolutely are.

15 MR. PLACITELLA: Im not arguing. My

16 tone is quiet and Im just asking a question.

17 Q. And my answer to that same question was

18 yes.

19 Q. Although you protected Georgia-Pacific

20 employees by bagging the clothes that were

21 contaminant, up never told anybody out in the field

22 that was using your products to do the same thing,

23 right?

24 A. What I said was stated somewhat different,

25 I understand theres a did specific criteria set out


1 for the asbestos sander. Employees that worked in

2 work areas where it was required to do so, we

3 provided either disposable clothing and sent it the

4 laundry and took various other steps, but there were

5 numerous other — the majority of the employees were

6 not required to do so.

7 Q. Im sorry to hear that, sir. The fact of

8 the matter is, sir, that you had a procedure to

9 protect the families of your workers and you took no

10 steps whatsoever to warn the families who were using

11 your products, true?

12 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

13 strike the comment.

14 A. Our products were safe and there was a

15 requirement under OSHA and we complied.

16 MR. PLACITELLA: Move to strike.

17 Q. Sir, I put a slide up here for you.

18 Whats the left-hand side?

19 A. Thats the Georgia-Pacifics headquarters

20 in Atlanta, George.

21 Q. When was that built?

22 A. Nineteen — Im not sure when construction

23 started, but the operations moved there in 1982.

24 Q. And how much did it cost to build that?

25 A. I dont recall.


1 Q. Multi millions, sir?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you work in that building?

4 A. I do now, yes.

5 Q. Thats the face of Georgia-Pacific, sir?

6 A. The face of Georgia-Pacific.

7 MR. PLACITELLA: Objection.

8 Q. The sales chart to the right, you saw that

9 before, right?

10 A. I saw that chart, yes.

11 Q. I told you that comes from your 1977

12 annual report that you filed with the SEC. Do you

13 hear that?

14 MR. KELLY: Objection. No basis for

15 that.

16 MR. PLACITELLA: The basis is Im

17 representing it.

18 Q. The truth of the matter, sir, is that

19 although you were selling almost four billion

20 dollars worth of product across George Pacific, not

21 one penny was ever spent on worker education out in

22 the field, true?

23 MR. KELLY: Objection.

24 A. I cant speak to that. I dont know what

25 we did across Georgia-Pacific.


1 Q. Not one penny was ever spent going to

2 union halls telling them how to work safely with

3 your joint compound product, right?

4 MR. KELLY: Objection.

5 A. I cant peek to that. I dont know the

6 answer to that.

7 Q. You havent seen a single document or any

8 evidence to indicate that you spent one penny going

9 out to the union halls and telling these workers how

10 to use your product safely?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection.

12 Q. Right?

13 A. I have not seen a document to that effect.

14 Q. You havent — theres no evidence

15 whatsoever to show when you were generating almost

16 four billion dollars in sales that you sent notices

17 out through the media telling people how to protect

18 themselves if they were using your products, true?

19 MR. KELLY: Same objection.

20 A. I dont know again overall what we did or

21 didnt do.

22 Q. And when the people specifically asked you

23 out in the field am I going to get hurt using this

24 stuff, you were far less than truthful with them,

25 werent you?


1 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

2 strike.

3 A. Thats incorrect.

4 Q. It is not? Okay. I think you agree with

5 me last time that a comsumer should never ever be

6 mislead in any way about potential dangers

7 associated with a product you might sell?

8 MR. KELLY: Objection.

9 Q. True?

10 A. I would like to see that testimony.

11 Q. You dont agree with that, sir?

12 MR. KELLY: Different question.

13 Q. Would you agree with me, sir, that a

14 consumer —

15 A. You said I said. You said that I what,

16 agreed with you?

17 Q. Ill ask you the question different.

18 A. Please.

19 Q. Do you agree with me now you should never

20 mislead a consumer in any way about the potential

21 dangers associated with the use of your products?

22 A. Thats a reasonable thing for us to do,

23 yes.

24 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this P-15.

25 (The above document is marked P-15.)



2 Q. Sir, you have in front of you a document

3 dated October 10, 1972, correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And it was sent to you by the Chase Bag

6 Company, right?

7 A. It appears so, yes.

8 Q. This is the company that was making, was

9 bagging your products, right?

10 A. Let me take a minute to look at it.

11 Q. Please. Take your time.

12 A. You want me to read all these, I assume?

13 There are several documents attached.

14 Q. Please. Make sure you have them all in

15 context.

16 A. Okay.

17 Q. Do you recognize Chase Bag Company? Have

18 you ever seen this document before?

19 A. I believe so, yes.

20 Q. And that the people who made the bags for

21 your product, they wrote to Mr. Rouch, and who is he

22 again?

23 A. Jack Rouch was the plant manager at our

24 Akron, New York plant. Let me take one more minute

25 to read the first sentence to make sure I got the


1 relationship here on what they were doing.

2 Q. Please.

3 A. Okay.

4 Q. He is Buffalo plant manager, sir?

5 A. Akron, New York.

6 Q. Akron, New York is where they distribute

7 the product to New Jersey from, right?

8 A. Likely, bagged products, yes.

9 Q. And what he asks point blank is our

10 Buffalo, New York plant contract packages, your

11 joint compound and patching plaster. We would

12 appreciate knowing if your product contains talc or

13 asbestos materials. Do you see that?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Also, would your products be classified as

16 hazardous or toxic and should we be using any

17 precautionary procedures. Do you see that?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And what you told them was no hazard, no

20 talc, no problem, right?

21 MR. KELLY: Objection.

22 A. First of all Jack Rouch communicates back

23 very promptly that he cant provide any information

24 about the formulations. That would have to come

25 from Bill Leonard, and Bill Leonards response is


1 this will answer your letter dated October 10, so

2 within a week, to Mr. Rouch, manager of our Akron,

3 plant, our joint compound and patching plaster do

4 contain small quantities of asbestos. They do not

5 contain talc nor do they contain any other

6 ingredients which would be considered hazardous or

7 toxic. So thats how he responded.

8 Q. Yes, sir. Small quantities of asbestos,

9 did you tell them up to a pound of asbestos was

10 included in every can of joint compound?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection.

12 A. Doesnt look like its ready mix products,

13 for record. He does say it is small quantities. He

14 doesnt comment to one pound or anything else.

15 Q. Does he say if it is not a ready mix

16 product that you have up to a pound of asbestos in

17 every 25-pound bag you sell?

18 A. No, sir. I read it. Thats how it reads.

19 Q. He says nothing in there thats toxic.

20 Isnt that what he says, sir?

21 A. Again, it says they dont contain talc nor

22 do they contain any other ingredient which would be

23 considered hazardous or toxic. Thats what it says.

24 Q. By the way, they did contain talc, didnt

25 they? You had a talc in that product, didnt you?


1 A. I would have to refer to the formulas. Im

2 sure they did.

3 Q. I dont want to go through all that again.

4 By the way, they were worried, werent

5 they, sir, that their employees were handling your

6 stuff, so they wanted to know whether their

7 employees could get sick. Wasnt that the essence

8 of why they were asking the questions?

9 A. I could speculate, but you have asked me

10 not to. So I dont know.

11 Q. You had a couple of actual consumers that

12 asked you point blank whether they were at risk or

13 not, true?

14 A. There were. Well, apparently you have

15 some letters. There were some memos written to

16 customers.

17 Q. In fact, consumers wrote you the letters,

18 they were worried about protecting their families,

19 werent they?

20 A. We did get at least one I think, two

21 letters from consumers handwritten.

22 Q. Just to go over whether you were truthful

23 and honest in all respects with consumers, sir, I

24 want to have you look at this January 21, 1977 memo.

25 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to


1 strike.

2 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark, that. Marc.

3 (The above document is marked P-16.)

4 Q. Are you familiar with this document?

5 A. Ive seen this document.

6 Q. This was a document marked P-16, a letter

7 sent by the head of sales to a consumer, right?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And copied on this document, again, was

10 Mr. Leonard, right?

11 A. Correct.

12 Q. And he is responding to a letter that he

13 got to accelerate things, asking questions about

14 your product, right?

15 A. To accelerate things?

16 Q. Yes. Im trying not to go through every

17 document.

18 A. Okay. He is responding to a letter from

19 Mr. Birmingham.

20 Q. What he writes is your letter of

21 January 14,1977 has been forwarded to me. I assure

22 you that you need not concern yourself over the

23 possibility of harm due to the asbestos fiber

24 content in the joint cement product you recently

25 used.


1 Did I read that correctly?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. He says to our knowledge theres been no

4 known case of harm from joint cement containing

5 asbestos fiber even after prolonged exposure.

6 I cant read that — number, in many

7 years, correct?

8 A. Thats the way I read it.

9 Q. Then theres no truth to your information

10 that since 1973 the EPE has barred materials

11 containing more than 1 percent asbestos fiber, true?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. There is no asbestos fiber in gypsum

14 wallboard with all OSHA and EPA o the use of

15 asbestos fiber in joint cement products. Do you see

16 that?

17 MR. KELLY: I think you you missed.

18 Q. Read it for me. It says theres no

19 asbestos fiber in gypsum wallboard manufactured by

20 Georgia-Pacific nor to our knowledge in other

21 domestic gypsum wallboard manufactured. Do you see

22 that?

23 A. Thats correct, yes.

24 Q. That is not exactly true, is it?

25 A. Again, we have didnt have any asbestos in


1 our wallboard products.

2 Q. So we went through a long time, a lot in

3 the prior day of deposition indicating that you had

4 talc on your wallboard products, right?

5 MR. KELLY: Objection.

6 A. My testimony is I said yes, did use talc

7 as a sort of slip agent on our wallboard at some

8 time at some of our plants.

9 Q. We also find out in the last deposition

10 that your talc supplier in 1975, R. T. Vanderbilt,

11 warned you about talc because they said there was

12 asbestos in the talc, right?

13 MR. KELLY: Objection.

14 Q. Do you remember that?

15 A. I remember you showing me a letter from

16 Vanderbilt.

17 Q. So to say theres no asbestos fiber in the

18 gypsum wallboard is not exactly being straight with

19 this customer, is it?

20 MR. KELLY: Objection.

21 A. I believe that was Gene Burchs

22 understanding when he wrote this letter, yes, I do.

23 Q. Gene Burch testified, Ill represent to

24 you, that he knew there was talc used on gypsum

25 wallboard.


1 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

2 strike.

3 A. As I said at that time and as I told you

4 earlier, I havent been reviewed any documents any

5 further so I cant speak to that.

6 Q. As we sit here today we know this

7 statement that there was no asbestos in gypsum

8 wallboard is misleading, true?

9 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

10 strike.

11 A. No, sir.

12 Q. Now, sir, anywhere in this document did

13 you tell this man that you had up to a pound of

14 asbestos in your product?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Did you tell him any of the things that

17 the Gypsum Association told you to relate to the

18 customers?

19 MR. KELLY: Objection.

20 A. The Gypsum Association didnt tell us to

21 tell anything to customers.

22 Q. Remember all those recommendations the

23 Gypsum Association said you should do to make sure

24 that the product was used safely in 1973? Do you

25 remember that?


1 MR. KELLY: Objection.

2 Q. Four years earlier?

3 A. I guess Im confused. What we were

4 talking to I believe at that point in time was the

5 Clayton Study that was directed by the Gypsum

6 Association in support of OSHA and so on.

7 Q. Right.

8 A. These were not Gypsum Association

9 recommendations.

10 Q. They were recommendations made by the

11 expert who did the report for you?

12 A. They were made by an expert.

13 Q. With OSHAs blessing?

14 A. OSHA blessed the study. Im not sure

15 again whether they knew about the results or not.

16 Somebody else would have to speak to that.

17 Q. Do you have any evidence you related any

18 of the information that that expert told you about

19 how to safely use your joint compound?

20 A. Do I have any evidence?

21 Q. Yes.

22 A. Again, I cant speak to that. There may

23 have been. I havent seen any document to that

24 effect.

25 Q. Because what you said, sir, was to our


1 knowledge theres no known cases of harm from joint

2 cement containing asbestos fiber even after

3 prolonged exposure, many years. Do you remember

4 that?

5 A. That is what Gene Burch says in the memo,

6 yes.

7 Q. Do you remember the document where it said

8 your lawyers were worried because they knew people

9 were getting sick from joint compound? Do you

10 remember that, sir?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection.

12 A. No, sir, I dont remember it being tied

13 directly to use of our products.

14 Q. It said joint compounds, sir, didnt that

15 memo?

16 A. It may have contained some language about

17 joint compound, but it wasnt tied directly to this.

18 I believe when Gene wrote this letter this is

19 exactly how he felt based on the information he had.

20 Q. Yes, sir, sad, isnt it?

21 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this P-17.

22 (The above document is marked P-17.)


24 (Recess taken)




2 Q. Sir, you have 17 before you. This is the

3 letter that this man wrote to you that we just read

4 the response to, right?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And what he says is, in the interest of

7 time, is that I have been sanding the ready mix

8 joint compound on new sheetrock I installed and

9 theres fine dust getting all over my house, right?

10 A. Correct.

11 Q. And I got small children that are living

12 in our home while I was remodeling it. Do I have

13 anything to worry about? Isnt that what he asks

14 you?

15 A. Concerned about their welfare.

16 Q. This man wants to protect his family and

17 your response is no hazard, right?

18 MR. KELLY: Objection.

19 Q. Sir?

20 A. We have read the response and again, Gene

21 is a very honest and truthful man and Im sure that

22 his response was honest and truthful.

23 Q. Not true was it, sir?

24 MR. KELLY: Objection.

25 Q. Lets move on, sir. Did you tell this man


1 who was worried about having dust all over his house

2 that if he walked through the dust he was and chance

3 of kicking it up he had had the chance of having his

4 family inhale it? Did you him that?

5 MR. KELLY: Objection.

6 A. Again, what I know is he sent the letter

7 and Gene Burch responded to it.

8 Q. Theres no evidence they actually told

9 everything they knew, Georgia-Pacific, at this point,

10 is there?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection.

12 Q. Because it was all about the money, right?

13 A. Absolutely not.

14 Q. Now, sir, do you have the next document

15 another consumer wrote to you.

16 P-16, somebody else wrote to you. Are you

17 familiar with this document?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. This was written by the personnel manager

20 with a copy to the president of the company, right?

21 A. And others, yes.

22 Q. Is it peculiar that the president of the

23 company would get copied on a document to a

24 consumer? Is that a little peculiar?

25 A. I dont know what the policy was in 1977.


1 Q. Sir, this talks about, again, the ready

2 mix compound and in response to his questions —

3 A. Do you have the other letter?

4 Q. I dont have the letter in front of me,

5 sorry. It says to our knowledge theres no known

6 case where harm has come to someone from their use

7 of our ready mix joint compound containing asbestos

8 fiber even after prolonged exposure numbered in many

9 years, correct?

10 A. Thats what is says.

11 Q. On the bottom two paragraphs it says as

12 indicated on the can precautions should be taken

13 when sanding this product. Sanding will produce

14 dust which includes airborne asbestos fibers.

15 Therefore, dust masks should be worn during any

16 sanding operation.

17 Did I read that correct?

18 A. Yes, thats correct.

19 Q. Did you tell him, you and the president of

20 Georgia-Pacific, did you tell this person that you

21 should use as little of your product as possible in

22 order to use it safely? Did you tell him that in

23 this letter?

24 A. No, sir.

25 Q. This is coming from the president of the


1 company to a consumer, but you didnt have the

2 decency to tell him the same thing that did you

3 everyday in your home, true?

4 MR. KELLY: Objection.

5 A. Im sorry.

6 Q. Ill move on, sir.

7 Did you tell this person that when he was

8 going to sand the product that he should do it with

9 wet sanding only so there would be no dust created,

10 sir?

11 A. What was told to him was consistent with

12 the caution label and what OSHA requirements were.

13 Q. Thats the concern.

14 A. For use of the product.

15 MR. PLACITELLA: Objection. Move to

16 strike.

17 Q. This letter, in essence came from the

18 president of Georgia-Pacific, didnt it, he was ccd

19 on it?

20 A. Until I see the other letter, the consumer

21 may have written it to Glen Wilson. It says he was

22 copied.

23 Q. This an official statement from the

24 president of your company, right?

25 MR. KELLY: Objection.


1 Q. You have nine plants, 125 distribution

2 outlets or more, making millions of dollars and the

3 president of the company gets ccd on this letter

4 where you tell people that theres no problem with

5 your product, true?

6 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

7 strike.

8 A. Theres a number of untruths in what you

9 just said.

10 Q. Okay. Sir, the president of your company

11 sending this letter to this man never told him to

12 only use the product with wet sanding, right?

13 A. Doesnt comment to that. Thats correct.

14 Q. Mr. Wilson, when asked under oath, was

15 asked the following question as we went over before.

16 After finding out the results of this study, this is

17 1973, were you concerned about the health of people

18 who were using your joint compound that contained

19 asbestos? Answer. If they did not use preventive

20 measures during sanding operations, yes.

21 Q. Thats what Mr. Wilson knew back in 1973,

22 right, sir?

23 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

24 strike.

25 A. I think this is where I got confused


1 before. I dont know when this deposition was taken.

2 You are referencing this study. You are assuming it

3 is a particular study. I cant — I am trying to

4 logically put things in context and I dont have

5 enough information to answer your question. All I

6 can say is it says what it says.

7 Q. It says what it says. But this

8 information — lets move on, sir.

9 Your testimony, sir, is that your boss and

10 the president of Georgia-Pacific actually learned

11 there was a whole bunch of people getting sick from

12 using joint compound and you said, I believe, thats

13 correct. Thats your testimony, sir, right?

14 MR. KELLY: Objection. Improper

15 question.

16 Q. 1973, sir.

17 A. Thats my testimony?

18 Q. Yes, sir.

19 A. From when?

20 Q. The last time we were together, sir.

21 MR. KELLY: Im not sure what the

22 question is then.

23 Q. This is your testimony, sir, that in 1973

24 your boss, and the president of Georgia-Pacific,

25 actually learned there was a whole bunch of people


1 getting sick from using joint compound. Your answer

2 is I believe thats correct, right, sir?

3 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

4 A. Im sorry. We looked at this earlier.

5 Doesnt this relate to another document?

6 Q. It relates to the June 21,1973 document.

7 My question to you, however, sir, is in 1973 your

8 boss, and the president of Georgia-Pacific, knew

9 people were getting sick from joint compound, yet

10 you told this consumer, the president of your

11 company told this consumer, dont worry about it,

12 you will never get sick, right?

13 MR. KELLY: Objection.

14 Q. Isnt that what happened, sir?

15 A. No, sir.

16 Q. Sir, I asked you before whether it was all

17 about the money and you said it wasnt.

18 A. I remember you referencing it about the

19 money.

20 Q. It was about making money and selling

21 asbestos-containing products, no matter who was

22 going to get sick. Isnt that what happened, sir?

23 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

24 strike.

25 A. Absolutely not.


1 Q. Sir, despite everything George Pacific

2 knew about asbestos they chose to sell

3 asbestos-containing products for as long as they

4 possibly could, true?

5 MR. KELLY: Objection.

6 A. No, sir. Thats incorrect.

7 Q. When the directive came from headquarters

8 in 1970, research was started to try to find an

9 asbestos free joint compound, true?

10 A. We began the substitution effort in 1970,

11 yes.

12 Q. In 1970, Georgia-Pacific had a choice it

13 could have made. It could have stopped selling

14 asbestos all together or it could have kept selling

15 asbestos until they got an asbestos free product.

16 That was the choice that had to be made, true?

17 MR. KELLY: Objection.

18 A. Again, we worked hard to get asbestos out

19 of our products. Be thought our products could be

20 used safely, but we took the matter seriously and

21 tried to formulate the products to be asbestos free.

22 Q. And by using it safely, you mean dont use

23 too much of it at one time.

24 A. No, sir.

25 Q. Now, sir, you had a choice to make in


1 1970, either stop using asbestos altogether or not,

2 and you close to keep selling it, true?

3 MR. KELLY: Objection. I believe

4 thats asked and answered several times. Objection

5 to the form.

6 A. I dont think I can add anything more to

7 the previous answers.

8 Q. Okay, sir. And in fact from 1970 forward

9 you were selling what about 50,000 tons of joint

10 compounds per year?

11 A. I dont recall.

12 Q. And the reason you kept doing it is

13 because you didnt want to lose revenue, right?

14 A. No, sir.

15 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this P-18.

16 (The above document is marked P-18.)


18 Q. I want to give you what we marked as P-18,

19 and give a copy to your counsel.

20 Sir, have you seen this document before?

21 A. Looks like it is, but I cant — the other

22 documents I can. I cant read most of this.

23 Q. I apologize. This unfortunately is the

24 condition it was provide to do me by Georgia-

25 Pacific.


1 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

2 strike.

3 MR. PLACITELLA: You move to strike

4 my apology?

5 MR. KELLY: Move to strike your

6 reference.

7 MR. PLACITELLA: I withdraw my

8 apology.

9 MR. KELLY: I move to strike your

10 inference that it was our copying error and not

11 yours.

12 MR. PLACITELLA: I dont think so .

13 Q. And does it not say in this document at

14 the bottom that they have want to keep selling

15 asbestos for as long as possible so they dont loose

16 any business?

17 MR. KELLY: Objection to the form.

18 A. What I said is important. It is important

19 for me to put it in context to know who authored the

20 letter, what level they are in the organization.

21 Q. It was copied.

22 A. I believe it is W.D. Brooks and he is a

23 salesperson.

24 Q. Copy to Mr. Leonard.

25 A. His perspective may be different than in


1 management who may feel very differently, in fact,

2 in my view felt very differently about this matter.

3 Q. What evidence do you have of that, sir?

4 A. It is consistent through all of it. We

5 were trying to get asbestos out. We were concerned

6 about our employees.

7 Q. You were really worried about losing

8 business and thats why you didnt get it out, true?

9 A. No, sir.

10 Q. Who would know more about that, you or

11 Mr. Burch?

12 MR. KELLY: About what?

13 Q. The motives for keeping asbestos in the

14 product.

15 MR. KELLY: Objection.

16 A. When it comes to sales and marketing and

17 so on, obviously he was in a much higher position of

18 authority than I was.

19 Q. I want to show you his sworn testimony

20 under oath in a 7-20-06 deposition and what he says

21 is that you kept selling asbestos because you were

22 afraid somebody else was going to make the money if

23 you stopped selling it, right?

24 MR. KELLY: Objection.

25 A. Again, I would have to look at the


1 testimony. I havent seen it at least as I recall.

2 Q. The lawyers never showed you this, sir?

3 A. As I recall. I may have seen it.

4 Q. It says, question to Mr. Burch, now

5 beginning in at least 73, if Georgia-Pacific had

6 chosen to sell only safer asbestos free joint

7 compounds, then you believe professional applicators

8 would have used that product once and taken their

9 business elsewhere and bought other products from

10 other companies. Answer, I believe a lot of them

11 would have. Question, so Georgis-Pacific, if it had

12 chosen to sell only the safer asbestos free joint

13 compounds during the 73 to 77 time frame would

14 have lost those sales to other companies. Answer, I

15 believe thats the case. Question, and Georgia-

16 Pacific would have lost the revenue that would have

17 come from those sales. Answers, they would have

18 lost what, sir? Question, would have lost the

19 revenue that comes from those sales. Answer yes,

20 sir.

21 Did I read that correctly, sir?

22 MR. KELLY: Objection. Move to

23 strike.

24 Q. You were never shown this by the lawyers

25 in preparing for your testimony, sir?


1 A. I may have have been.

2 Q. Let me ask you this. After the State of

3 New York banned asbestos in joint compound, you kept

4 selling it, right?

5 A. Excuse me?

6 Q. After the State of New York banned

7 asbestos in joint compound, you kept selling it?

8 A. After they banned? I dont know that to

9 be correct.

10 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this 19.

11 (The above document is marked P-19.)


13 Q. This is a document October 11, 1974 from

14 Mr. Denny? He is from Sherwin Williams, and he is

15 writing to who?

16 A. Branch manger for Sherwin Williams, as I

17 understand this. And he was writing to somebody in

18 Model Cities Painting Company, Rochester, New York.

19 Q. It is a little confusing, sir. In the

20 interest of time, we will pull up that at trial.

21 After ready mix was sold in Canada and

22 banned and you could only sell asbestos free ready

23 mix in Canada, you continued to keep selling

24 asbestos-containing joint compound in the State of

25 New Jersey, true?


1 A. Again, I dont know about the ban in

2 Canada. Thats the first I heard of it. I dont

3 recall seeing this document before.

4 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this.


6 (The above document is marked P-20.)


8 A. It has an attachment, which I dont know.

9 Q. This is a separate document. We will move

10 to the next document.

11 Have you ever seen this document before,

12 sir?

13 A. I dont believe so.

14 Q. This was not supplied you to by the

15 lawyers for Georgia-Pacific?

16 A. It may have been, but I dont recall

17 seeing it.

18 Q. Here doesnt it indicate that the product

19 was banned in Canada?

20 A. That is what it says. I dont know if

21 this gentleman knew that that was correct or not.

22 Thats what it says.

23 Q. It is ccd to Mr. Burch, correct?

24 A. It was TWX or teletype.

25 Q. It says branches are receiving request for


1 asbestos free ready mix, Sacramento, San Jose,

2 Seattle who have orders for an asbestos free

3 material. As of March 1, 1975, all ready mix orders

4 into Canada are on asbestos free.

5 Do you see that, sir?

6 A. Did you imply there was a ban? I dont

7 know what it says. It says what is says.

8 Q. After the people in Canada started getting

9 only asbestos free ready mix, you kept selling it to

10 the people in New Jersey, right, sir?

11 MR. KELLY: Objection.

12 Q. Is that right?

13 A. Again, I cant speak to this. This was a

14 memo from the sales manager of the Southwest –excuse

15 me, Southwest United States. I dont know how it

16 pertains to whether it is correct or not. I dont

17 know if how it would pertain to New Jersey.

18 Q. And sir, when finally Georgia-Pacific

19 learned that the product was going to be banned in

20 the United States, what they were really worreid

21 about was the money, right?

22 A. No, sir. In fact, we were — one of the

23 final letters we wrote was we were in total support

24 the ban across all products and in fact discontinued

25 manufacturing before we were required to do so and


1 discontinued sales before we were required to do

2 so.-

3 Q. Well, sir, in all fairness, after you

4 found out about the ban you sold

5 asbestos-containing joint compound for another six

6 months, didnt you?

7 A. After we knew about the ban, yes.

8 Q. And then when you knew you couldnt sell

9 anymore asbestos because it would be illegal, you

10 found a way to dump the asbestos over on

11 Johns-Manville and made more money on asbestos,

12 right?

13 MR. KELLY: Objection.

14 Q. You didnt just discard the asbestos, you

15 sold to it John-Manville so they could sell it to

16 somebody else. Isnt that so?

17 A. I dont know recall what happened to all

18 the asbestos.

19 Q. Now, sir the problem was it was going to

20 be a tremendous blow if you really had to stop

21 selling asbestos. It was going to be a tremendous

22 blow to Georgia-Pacific and their bottom profit

23 line, right?

24 A. A tremendous blow?

25 Q. Yes, sir.


1 A. At what point? Im a little confused what

2 time frame we are talking about. You were talking

3 about the ban earlier, now you are talking about. —

4 Q. Even as of 1975, sir, when Georgia- Pacifid

5 started to worry about whether asbestos would be

6 banned they considered it to be a tremendous blow if

7 that would happen, right?

8 A. I dont know that we contemplated a ban in

9 1975. Is that what you said? Im a little lost

10 with the document or your question, sorry. Maybe it

11 is getting late.

12 Q. Couple more minutes.

13 A. Okay.

14 MR. PLACITELLA: Mark this P-21.


16 Q. At trial, sir, Ill try to get a cleaner

17 copy.

18 This is a 1975 document related to

19 asbestos. Are you familiar with this, sir?

20 A. I believe Ive seen it once or twice, but

21 I dont really —

22 Q. You were actually copied on the document,

23 werent you?

24 A. Yes. Well, I got to read the document.

25 Maybe thats my issue. I really cant read the


1 document.

2 Q. Down at the bottom it says it would be a

3 tremendous blow if you are faced with a January

4 deadline for no more asbestos?

5 A. Theres all sorts of verbiage missing.

6 Q. It says tremendous blow if you had to stop

7 selling asbestos. Isnt that the import of the

8 document, sir?

9 A. If I could, Id like to at least try to

10 read it.

11 Q. Please, sir.

12 A. That is going to take not a hot of time,

13 but it is going to take me a few minutes, I think.

14 Q. Sure.

15 A. I cant make out who it is to. It is kind

16 of important as well.

17 Q. We know it is to you, right?

18 A. The letter is not to me. I was copied,

19 but who it was to.

20 Q. It is important that you were got it, isnt

21 it?

22 A. It is important I got it, yes.

23 Q. The sum and substances of it, sir, in the

24 interest of time is that Georgia-Pacific was

25 concerned about a ban on asbestos and joint compound


1 and it was going to be a tremendous blow to their

2 profit line, right, sir?

3 A. I think the issue was being able to supply

4 a product that our customers could use.

5 Q. And if you couldnt, it was going to be a

6 tremendous blow, isnt that what it says?

7 A. I dont know if I would interpret it that

8 way. Yes, if we didnt have a product our customers

9 could use, it would be a concern or ours.

10 Q. Sir, it says it would be a tremendous

11 blow. Did I read that correctly?

12 A. You did.

13 Q. Now, sir, in 19777, seven years after you

14 decided that you were going to try to sell some non

15 asbestos product, in all five plants that were

16 making joint compound, you were still selling more

17 asbestos than non-asbestos products, true?

18 MR. KELLY: Objection.

19 A. I dont think thats correct necessarily,

20 no.

21 Q. In 1977, sir?

22 A. You are talking about our full line of

23 joint compound products?

24 Q. Im saying that overall in the five plants

25 that were making, you were still selling more


1 asbestos than non-asbestos joint compound.

2 A. I believe thats true on ready mix. Im

3 not sure about the total tonnage for all products.

4 Q. Ultimately the reason that you stopped

5 selling asbestos was because it was banned, true?

6 A. No, sir.

7 Q. And then what you did, sir, is you

8 continued to attempt to dump the asbestos on the

9 open market that you couldnt sell anymore, right?

10 A. No, sir.

11 MR. PLACITELLA: Thats all the

12 questions I have. I have a lot more, but Ill stop

13 for now and try to keep to my word. Thank you for

14 your time.

15 (The deposition is adjourned at 4:00

16 p.m.)











1 C E R T I F I C A T E


3 I, MARC BRODY, Notary Public and

4 Certified Shorthand Reporter of the State

5 of New Jersey, do hereby certify that prior

6 to the commencement of the examination


8 was duly sworn by me to testify the truth,

9 the whole truth and nothing but the truth.


11 foregoing is a true and accurate transcript

12 of the testimony as taken stenographically

13 by and before me at the time, place and on

14 the date hereinbefore set forth.

15 I DO FURTHER CERTIFY that I am neither

16 a relative of nor employee nor attorney nor

17 counsel for any of the parties to this

18 action, and that I am neither a relative

19 nor employee of such attorney or counsel,

20 and that I am not financially interested in

21 the action.


23 Notary Public of the State of New Jersey

As a leader of the plaintiffs' bar, Chris Placitella is known for helping to establish a national asbestos litigation group dedicated to successfully and effectively representing individuals suffering from asbestos-related diseases and their families.

Helping families suffering with mesothelioma for over 35 years. Listen…