Causation Expert Testimony

News & Analysis as of

Florida Appellate Court Applies State Daubert Test Retroactively to Exclude Expert and Dismiss Case

In his poem “To Summer,” Blake begs the season to “curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat/That flames from their large nostrils!” That is typical Blake; he takes our favorite time of the year and turns it into a satanic...more

Knee Implant MDL Judge Enters Aggressive Lone Pine Order

We love Lone Pine orders. First of all, we love the name. Makes us think of a cowboy eating beans under a scraggly tree. On the prairie. Listening to Dolly Parton. We also love Dolly Parton, whom we saw in concert last week...more

French Supreme Court Ruling Clarifies Liability For Defective Products

A February 25, 2016, decision by the French Supreme Court clarifies some conditions for the imposition of liability with respect to defective products in ways that may be surprising to those more accustomed to U.S. product...more

Defective products liability: new clarifications on the regime’s implementation

In a ruling handed down on 25 February 2016, the Court of Cassation clarified the conditions for implementation of the defective products liability regime. In this case, a patient was prescribed Mediator treatment...more

First Circuit: Plaintiffs’ Specific Causation Expert Fails to Pass Muster in Benzene Case

Last week, we (along with many of you, we assume) attended the DRI Drug and Medical Device conference in Chicago. We re-connected with friends dating to the beginning of our lengthy career (literally – ran into the head of...more

Defendants Secure Rare Summary Judgment in Zoloft MDL

In an unusual turn of events, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe recently granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to over 300 cases in the Zoloft MDL. These cases were consolidated in 2012 and involved allegations...more

Gutsy Gatekeeping: Plaintiffs’ Experts Excluded in Lipitor MDL

This week, as Drug and Device Law Jews, we are preparing for Passover, which, like most Jewish holidays, begins with a multi-generational dinner at the home of the Drug and Device Law Bubbie (our mother). Although we of the...more

So Long Zoloft MDL

The Zoloft MDL has finally collapsed. We started to see the writing on the wall in June 2014, when the MDL judge ruled that none of the plaintiffs’ experts could testify that taking Zoloft while pregnant could cause birth...more

New Jersey Mesh Summary Judgment Hat Trick

We’re pleased to report that good things continue to happen in Atlantic County product liability proceedings following recent judicial turnover. On February 19, 2016, the Reed Smith Bard/Davol defense team scored a hat trick...more

Good Things Sometimes Come in Big Packages: Mirena Daubert Rulings Favor the Defense -- Big Time

We spend a large portion of our professional life preparing motions to exclude the testimony of plaintiffs’ experts in mass tort litigation. Our pleasure in reading today’s decision is no doubt a function of the frequent...more

Statutory Violation Does Not Establish Causation in Wrongful Death Action

In Anthony Toste v. CalPortland Construction, et al. (No. B256946, filed 3/2/16), the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed the power of the jury to determine causation as an issue of fact in a...more

Plaintiffs’ Experts Out in Dietary Supplement Death Case

Recently, some of the more footloose of the Drug and Device Law Relatives auditioned for the game show Family Feud. The first step was a mock “round” of the game, played against another auditioning family. All were...more

Lipitor MDL Judge Dissects Plaintiff’s Expert

Have you ever seen a superbly qualified expert give an opinion that is utterly unsupported? That is what happened last week in In re Lipitor (Hempstead v. Pfizer), No. 2:14-cv-1879, 2015 WL 9165589 (D.S.C. Dec. 11, 2015), and...more

Bookends – Prof. Jewell’s Opinions Also Excluded in Lipitor MDL, and More

April might be the cruelest month according to T.S. Eliot, but the last month hasn’t been very kind to plaintiffs’ expert Nicholas Jewell, Ph.D. As we posted recently, at the beginning of December, Prof. Jewell was booted...more

Another Zoloft Daubert Win: How Many Strikes Before The Plaintiffs Are Out?

Everybody knows that it is three strikes and you are out in baseball. (Bexis and Ken Burns could discuss the history of baseball’s rules on balls and strikes in the nineteenth century, but we will stick with the public...more

A Frye Opinion By Any Other Name: Zoloft Plaintiffs' Experts Excluded in Philadelphia

We spent the weekend in the Boston area, visiting the Drug and Device Law Rock Climber for “parents’ weekend.” Saturday’s schedule was replete with activities: a keynote speech by the university president, lectures on topics...more

Texas Appellate Court Sides with Energy Industry by Requiring Personal Injury Plaintiffs to Submit Expert Testimony in Nuisance...

In a significant victory for the energy industry, on October 7, 2015, the San Antonio Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Marathon Oil Corporation, Marathon Oil EF, LLC (together “Marathon”) and Plains...more

Three Strikes and Out of Court for Breast Implant Opt-Out

Over the weekend, we watched one of our favorite “chick flicks,” a holiday-themed montage entitled “Love, Actually.” One of our favorite characters, played by the ever-brilliant Bill Nighy, is an over-the-hill former pop...more

Making Sense of the Daubert and Summary Judgment Orders in A Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Bellwether Case

We have not posted for a while—that day job can really get in the way sometimes—so we agreed to tackle the ridiculously long decision in Christiansen v. Wright Med. Tech. Inc., MDL No. 2329, 1:13-cv-297-WSD, 2015 U.S. Dist....more

Louisiana Federal Court Rejects Expert Testimony Tying Gasoline to AML

Underscoring the importance of the distinction between a product and its component parts, a federal court in Louisiana refused to allow expert testimony that exposure to gasoline caused acute myeloid leukemia (“AML”) in a...more

Michigan Court Finds Expert Testimony Not Necessary to Show Link Between Chemical Exposure and Injury

Issuing an opinion that could lower the bar for proving toxic tort causation, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that direct expert testimony may not be necessary to prove causation in a toxic tort case and that a plaintiff...more

What Exactly Was Excluded? Proffering Expert Opinions to Preserve Daubert/Frye Challenges

Most practitioners would agree that, if the court excludes an expert based on a Daubert challenge—and that is the only expert opining on a subject—then in most instances there should be no need to proffer the expert’s...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: District Court Finds Expert Proof Insufficient to Prove Causation (1/15)

Causation is often the biggest hurdle a plaintiff must clear in proving a toxic tort case. For that reason, it would be expedient if a plaintiff could get to trial on the issue of causation merely by showing that...more

Correlation Is Not Causation: Class Certification Denied Because Experts’ Methodologies Fail To Show Predominate Antitrust Injury...

A California federal district court denied certification of two nationwide classes, each asserting a price-fixing conspiracy for optical disk drives (“ODD”), because the plaintiffs’ experts failed to provide a viable...more

Eleventh Circuit Refuses to Credit Expert’s Guess on Causation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued an important decision on expert testimony, Hughes v. Kia Motors. Patricia Hughes filed a wrongful death action against Kia Motors after her daughter,...more

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