KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A mathematician can provide expert testimony regarding the suitability of a bath mat that allegedly caused a woman to slip and fall after coming out of a shower stall in a condominium, a federal magistrate judge in Tennessee ruled Aug. 11, holding that the expert was qualified and that the methodology underlying his opinion is reliable (Phyllis G. Barnes, et al. v. Greg Malinak, et al., No. 15-cv-556-PLR-HBG, E.D. Tenn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127600).
NEW YORK — Despite the parties’ Aug. 11 disclosure that they have agreed to resolve Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) secondary perforation claims, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that day denied a motion to adjourn Aug. 14 oral arguments about the exclusion of all plaintiffs causation experts and evidence by a New York federal multidistrict litigation judge (In Re: Mirena IUD Products Litigation, Mirena MDL Plaintiffs v. Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, No. 16-2890 and 16-2012, 2nd Cir.).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge on Aug. 8 awarded summary judgment to a doctor and his employer on an estate’s wrongful death claims after excluding a late-filed expert report as untimely and, therefore, prejudicial (John Faure v. Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation, et al., No. 1:14-cv-559, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125558).
SHERMAN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Aug. 7 declined to exclude testimony from two experts for a pharmaceutical company asserting patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation claims against rival companies, ruling that the experts’ opinions meet all standards for expert testimony (Tech Pharmacy Services, LLC v. Alixa Rx LLC, et al., No. 4:15-cv-766, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124423, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123990).
PASADENA, Calif. — A federal trial court abused its discretion twice when making two expert witness decisions against a California city, and the errors were prejudicial to the city in its claims that its groundwater was polluted by a chemical in a company’s fertilizer products, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 7 in vacating the trial court’s judgment and remanding for a new trial (City of Pomona v. SQM North America Corporation, No. 15-56062, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14491).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on Aug. 4 awarded an insurance company summary judgment on claims for additional coverage for storm damage after finding that the business owners’ expert witness disclosures “were clearly deficient” and that even if they weren’t, the experts’ opinion are unreliable (Advanced Mechanical Services, Inc., et al. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company, No. 3:14-cv-388, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123277).
ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands — A Virgin Islands trial court erred in deciding a motion to substitute one expert for another by sua sponte looking at the qualifications of the first expert and not examining the qualifications and methodology of the substitute expert, the Virgin Islands Supreme Court held Aug. 1 in deciding issues on interlocutory appeal in a worker’s suit to recover for job-related injuries (Francis Edward v. GEC, LLC, No. 2017-0025, Virgin Islands Sup., 2017 V.I. Supreme LEXIS 46).
DETROIT — A Michigan federal magistrate judge on Aug. 2 excluded the opinions and testimony of an expert witness for a man alleging unfair credit reporting after finding that the expert’s opinions are improper legal conclusions and his methods are unreliable (Ibrahim Barakat v. Equifax Information Services, LLC, et al., No. 16-10718, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121377).
SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah federal judge on July 18 vacated a trial date in a heart/lung bypass machine wrongful death case after the plaintiff indicated her desire to get an interlocutory appeal of the judge’s order severely limiting the testimony of her causation expert at an upcoming trial (Buzzie Smith, et al. v. Terumo Cardiovascular Systems Corporation, Inc., et al., No. 12-998, D. Utah, Central Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108205).
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 1 upheld the convictions of five men on cocaine trafficking charges after affirming the trial court’s allowance of expert testimony by a U.S. Coast Guard officer on technology used by law enforcement to detect trace amounts of drugs (United States of America v. Vanston Venner Williams, et al., No. 15-15360, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13906).
RICHMOND, Va. — Plaintiffs alleging that the statin drug Lipitor caused diabetes on July 28 told the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a multidistrict litigation judge erred when he excluded causation opinions of two experts and granted summary judgment against more than 3,000 plaintiffs (In Re: Lipitor [Atorvastatin] Products Liability Litigation, Nos. 17-1140[L], 17-1136, 17-1137, 17-1189, 4th Cir.).
OKLAHOMA CITY — A financial expert can testify for three former shareholders of failed car dealerships in their defense of a company’s claims against them for repayment of a business loan, an Oklahoma federal judge said July 31after finding that the expert’s opinions are reliable and based on sound methods (Southampton, Ltd., et al. v. Vahid Salalati, et al., No. 14-852, W.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119598).
CINCINNATI — Relatives of a man who died in his 93-degree apartment who sued a utility company for wrongful death for denying the man utility services due to lack of a photo ID can present testimony from a medical expert that the man died from “probable heat stroke,” a divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 27 (Dorothy Mae Johnson, et al. v. Memphis Light Gas & Water Division, No. 16-6143, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13765).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals court panel on July 28 reversed the exclusion of two plaintiff experts from the state’s Accutane multicounty litigation, reinstating 2,076 cases that had been dismissed (In Re: Accutane Litigation, Nos. A-4698-14T1 and A-0910-16T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. LEXIS 116).
CHICAGO — An expert in police practices for a woman suing Chicago police after being wrongly convicted of murdering her young son cannot testify at trial about coercive interrogations and false confessions because he is not qualified to offer such testimony, an Illinois federal judge ruled July 27 (Nicole Harris v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 14-4391, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117613).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A medical expert’s opinion that exposure to asbestos in gaskets substantially contributed to the entire dose that caused a man’s mesothelioma simply reiterates scientific fact and is sufficiently case-specific to avoid being the “every exposure” theory, a man told a federal judge on July 24 in asking that he reconsider his ruling excluding the testimony (John E. Haskins and Mary L. Haskins v. 3M Co., et al., No. 15-2086, James Willson Chesher, et al. v. 3M., No. 15-2123, D. S.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113657).
SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 24 removed a Montana federal judge from a case involving an environmentalist who was cited by local police during a buffalo herding operation at Yellowstone National Park, after finding that the judge committed several errors and may have excluded expert testimony just because he disagreed with it (Anthony Patrick Reed v. Doug Lieurance, et al., Nos. 15-35018, 15-35179, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13272).
CLEVELAND — Expert asbestos medical testimony that echoes the requirements in Ohio law is sufficient to make a prima facie case and need not be a signed document, an Ohio appeals court held July 20 (Kevin E. Howell v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. 104554, Ohio App., 8th Dist., 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 2984).
CHICAGO — The Illinois judge overseeing the testosterone multidistrict litigation on July 11 refused to reconsider his ruling allowing plaintiff expert Dr. Hossein Ardehali to rely on adverse event reports (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, No. 14-1748, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106446).
BALTIMORE — Expert testimony that asbestos “cumulates” in the body and leads to disease is indistinguishable from the theory that every exposure to asbestos leads to disease and is inadmissible under federal rules and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., a federal judge in Maryland held July 17 in granting summary judgment in a prominent attorney’s case alleging bystander exposure (Jeffrey Rockman, et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 16-1169, D. Md., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110181).