SAVANNAH, Ga. — Two federal reports questioning the validity of fingerprint analysis in criminal investigations do not render a fingerprint expert’s method or opinions unreliable, a Georgia federal magistrate judge held Aug. 16 in denying an accused bank robber’s request for a Daubert hearing (United States v. Robert Kimble, et al., No. 4:18-cr-26, S.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138988).
PHILADELPHIA — A trial court acted within its discretion in tossing medical-monitoring and fear-of-cancer claims filed by a man who drove through a toxic chemical cloud after the 2012 Paulsboro, N.J., train derailment, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided Aug. 15 in affirming exclusion of expert testimony (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, Nos. 16-3172 and 16-3263, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22615).
PHILADELPHIA — A trial court in a land condemnation suit properly excluded expert testimony about the future value of land if developed for residential use because the property owners had no intentions of subdividing or selling the land, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals determined Aug. 9 (Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC v. An easement to construct, et al., Nos. 17-2096 and 17-3312, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22140).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In an Aug. 8 notice of supplemental authority, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. cited the Aug. 1 ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court in In re: Accutane Litigation, No. 2017 079958, N.J. Sup., 2018 N.J. LEXIS 988, as “pertinent” to the Florida Supreme Court’s continued consideration of a dispute over application of the Daubert standard in Florida (Richard DeLisle v. Crane Co., et al., No. SC16-2182, Fla. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS — A trial court properly excluded as unreliable expert testimony about the cause of a fire on a boat, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided Aug. 7 in affirming judgment for a boat maker in a product liability action (Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company, et al. v. Porter, Inc., No. 16-31259, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22093).
PHILADELPHIA — A trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to exclude opinions by a Philadelphia police officer’s bullet-trajectory expert in an excessive force case filed by a man the officer shot while off duty, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held July 31 (Joshua Taylor v. Larry Shields, No. 17-2439, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21147).
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 7 upheld the United States’ seizure of 15 ancient coins that were imported into the country by a coin collectors’ group to challenge a federal law, finding that the trial court in a forfeiture proceeding did not abuse its discretion by rejecting expert testimony for the coin group (United States v. Ancient Coin Collectors Guild, No. 17-1625, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21936).
HOUSTON — With most expert testimony for an injured girl surviving motions to exclude, a maker of sport-utility vehicles lost its summary judgment bid Aug. 6 in a design defect suit in Texas federal court (Doris Denise Norris v. Kawasaki Motors Corp, USA, et al., No. 4:16-cv-2424, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131201).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 1 excluded testimony by an expert for a woman who is asserting unlawful termination claims against her former employer after finding that his opinions amount to impermissible legal conclusions (Robin Jordan v. Temple Health Systems, Inc., et. al., No. 16-5561, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128747).
TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Supreme Court on Aug. 1 unanimously agreed that two plaintiff experts were properly excluded from testifying in the state’s consolidated Accutane litigation, a ruling that reinstates the dismissal of 2,076 cases (In Re: Accutane Litigation, No. 1-25 September Term 2017 079958, N.J. Super., 2018 N.J. LEXIS 988).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge used the wrong method when calculating the value of wind farm assets to determine federal grant eligibility and erred in barring a valuation expert from testifying for failure to disclose five academic papers he wrote “discussing various aspects of socialist thought,” a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held July 27 (Alta Wind I Owner Lessor C, et al. v. United States, Nos. 17-1410, 17-1411, 17-1412, 17-1415, 17-1417, 17-1422, 17-1423, 17-1424, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20931).
MILWAUKEE — A federal judge in Wisconsin on July 18 denied a motion to exclude expert opinion for the former makers of lead-based paint brought by residents who contend that they have been poisoned by it, and the judge also denied summary judgment motions filed by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. seeking to dismiss the case on grounds that it could not have contributed to the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).
SEATTLE — A federal trial judge in Washington did not err in his rulings on testimony from a prostitution expert, so the conviction and 30-year prison sentence for a man who trafficked his 15-year-old daughter for sex at migrant worker camps stands, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 20 (United States v. Roberto Llerenas, Jr., No. 16-30215, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20248).
CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a $750,000 jury award to a man who maintained he contracted salmonella that led to ongoing gastrointestinal problems from eating a hamburger at an Applebee’s, concluding on July 18 that the medical evidence and expert testimony presented supported the award (Brandon Stachulski v. Apple New England LLC, No. 2016-0692, N.H. Sup., 2018 N.H. LEXIS 133).
CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 19 affirmed summary judgment in a Testim testosterone replacement therapy drug case, finding a multidistrict litigation judge properly excluded the plaintiff’s only causation expert witness (Isaac Owens v. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 17-3416, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. 20037).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — An Illinois federal judge on July 3 denied a motion filed by an insurer and others to exclude the testimony of an expert for a group of policy holders seeking payment of a $1.05 billion judgment in their favor, holding that the expert’s opinions were based on generally accepted principles and procedures and that his opinions were reliable (Mark Hale, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-0660, S.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111055).
OPELIKA, Ala. — An Alabama federal magistrate judge on July 9 recommended that a plaintiff’s experts be excluded from offering their causation opinions in a wrongful death lawsuit and that the defendants’ motion for summary judgment be granted because the plaintiff is without competent expert testimony to demonstrate a breach of the standard of care (Latisa Thornton v. John W. Mitchell, M.D., et al., No. 16-829, M.D. Ala., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114393).
DETROIT — A trial court did not err in allowing a police expert to testify that pry marks at a burglary scene matched a crowbar found with the defendant, and counsel for the accused burglar was not ineffective for not seeking to exclude the expert’s opinions, a Michigan federal judge found July 16 in denying the defendant’s petition for writ of habeas corpus (Kolie Lanar McAdoo v. Dewayne Burton, No. 15-12579, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117937).
RICHMOND, Va. — A federal judge in Maryland did not abuse her discretion when admitting the testimony of a ship owner’s expert witness that conflicted with disputed evidence, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 5, holding that the testimony was properly tested by vigorous cross-examination and careful instruction on the burden of proof (Troy D. Price Jr. v. MOS Shipping Co. Ltd., Nos. 17-2101, 17-2167, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 18296).
FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on July 9 found that the methodology underlying a couple’s general causation expert’s study that revealed a link between use of the leukemia drug Tasigna and cardiovascular events was reliable but said the expert could not testify about the severity or rapid progression of the atherosclerosis associated with the drug’s use (Dennis McWilliams, et al. v. Novartis AG, et al., No. 17-cv-14302-ROSENBERG/MAYNARD, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113858).