COLUMBUS, Ohio — An economic expert may opine as to whether the market in which a company’s stock traded was efficient during a class period and whether it is possible to calculate damages on a classwide basis for purposes of liability, an Ohio federal judge ruled March 17 (Alan Willis v. Big Lots Inc., et al., No. 12-0604, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38933).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on March 17 decided several motions to exclude testimony in a putative class action against the manufacturer and retailers of a washer that was not energy efficient despite a label on the product (Charlene Dzielak, et al. v. Whirlpool Corp., et al., No. 12-0089, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39232).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois overseeing a trial claiming that a former Reed Smith partner’s use of the antidepressant Paxil caused him to commit suicide in 2010 on March 20 denied the drug maker’s motion to strike portions of testimony from a plaintiff’s expert of the amount of data he had access to that purportedly showed that suicidal events were underreported during studies (Wendy Dolin v. SmithKline Beechman Corporation, d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline, No. 12-cv-6403, N.D. Ill.).
SAN DIEGO — A safety engineer and accident reconstruction expert may not testify regarding Sea World LLC’s liability relating to the safety of an area at the time of a woman’s accident while visiting the park, a California federal judge held March 17 (Eusebia Baltazar v. Sea World Parks Entertainment LLC, No. 15-2893, S.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39039).
MARSHALL, Texas — Although a urologist’s testimony on the inefficacy of natural and herbal remedies was barred in a patent infringement case over a drug’s marketing, a Texas federal judge on March 17 allowed the urologist to testify as to the drug’s marketing (Erfindergemeinschaft UroPep GbR v. Eli Lilly and Co., No. 15-1202, E.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38512).
FRESNO, Calif. — A judge properly admitted expert testimony that every identifiable exposure to asbestos contributes to mesothelioma, a California appeals court held March 17, while also rejecting challenges involving tobacco use and an award of punitive damages (Charity Faith Phillips, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. F070761, Calif. App., 5th Dist.).
TYLER, Texas — A judge did not err in allowing a physician’s testimony that a woman involved in a car accident needed “neurotomies, stem cell injections, and topical cream,” a Texas appeals panel held March 15, because it was reliable under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) (Jeremy Oney and Horizon Cable Service Inc. v. William Crist and Heather Crist, No. 12-16-00045-CV, Texas App., 12th Dist.; 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 2216).
SHREVEPORT, La. — A licensed mechanical and biomedical engineer relied on a sufficient methodology and factual basis to testify in support of proving that an accident scenario “is physically possible,” a Louisiana federal judge ruled March 15, declining to exclude the testimony in a personal injury lawsuit against Greyhound Lines Inc. (Yolanda Dennis v. Ernest Collins II, et al., No. 15-2410, W.D. La.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37614).
TULSA, Okla. — Rendering moot a federal magistrate judge’s report and recommendation that a pilot’s expert testimony in an aviation negligence and products liability lawsuit should be partially excluded under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), an Oklahoma federal judge ruled March 14 that the entire testimony should be excluded for the pilot’s failure to prepare the report himself (James Rodgers, et al. v. Beechcraft Corp. f/k/a Hawker Beechcraft Corp., et al., No. 15-0129, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36131).
TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma federal judge on March 14 excluded testimony from an expert on estimates to repair a master control center (MCC) and electrical costs as a result of insureds’ damages caused by a contractor and subcontractor’s inadequate design and installation of the concrete columns but allowed other estimates to be admitted (Lexington Insurance Co., et al. v. Newbern Fabricating Inc. and Baucom Concrete Construction Inc. & Newbern Fabricating Inc. v. Doveland Engineering Co., No. 14-0610, N.D. Okla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36133).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas federal judge on March 13 granted in part and denied in part motions to exclude expert testimony from both sides involved in a personal injury lawsuit on the issue of causation for injuries a woman allegedly sustained in a vehicle collision (Wendy L. Delgado v. Lyle J. Unruh, et al., No. 14-01262, D. Kan.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35790).
ATLANTA — A trial court did not err in allowing testimony that firearm parts sold by a police officer were of the same type as firearms listed on a police department’s property destruction logs, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 9 (United States of America v. Tammy Lynn Valdes and Rafael Oscar Valdes, No. 14-10252, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4142).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A stucco remediation expert’s methodology for calculating the cost to repair homes made by Pulte Home Corp. that have improperly installed stucco is not reliable or relevant, a federal judge in Florida ruled March 10 in granting the builder’s motion to exclude the testimony (Shaun Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Although the Florida Supreme Court on March 9 rejected a convicted man’s argument that his death sentence is unconstitutionally arbitrary as a result of the Florida Legislature’s adoption of the standard in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., it vacated the death sentence based on other case law and remanded for a new penalty phase (Charles L. Anderson v. State of Florida, No. SC12-1252, Charles L. Anderson v. Julie L. Jones, et al., No. SC14-881, Fla. Sup.; 2017 Fla. LEXIS 508).
NEW YORK — Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. on March 8 told the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the Mirena multidistrict litigation court did not err in excluding the plaintiffs’ three causation expert witnesses and said the plaintiffs’ “proof of general causation” is legally inadequate (In Re Mirena IUD Products, Mirena MDL Plaintiffs v. Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, No. 16-3012, 2nd Cir.).
BEAUMONT, Texas — A Texas appeals panel on March 9 affirmed a jury’s $15,000 award for breach of contract damages but reversed the jury’s $20,000 award of actual damages that resulted from an insurer’s alleged unfair settlement practices and the jury’s award of additional damages of $60,000 that resulted from the finding that the insurer knowingly engaged in unfair settlement practices, rendering judgment that an insured take nothing as to the claims (State Farm Lloyds v. Dennis Webb, No. 09-15-00408-CV, Texas App., 9th Dist.; 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1997).
NEW ORLEANS — An expert’s conclusion that six defendants’ products couldn’t have caused a man’s mesothelioma impermissibly leaps to specific causation from his general causation opinion regarding chrysotile asbestos’ role in the disease, a federal judge in Louisiana held March 6 (William C. Bell, et al. v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., et al., No. 15-6394, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31117).
RALEIGH, N.C. — Although a police officer’s retrograde extrapolation testimony failed to satisfy the “fit” test under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. by not being properly tied to the facts, a North Carolina appeals panel on March 7 found no prejudicial error because there was sufficient evidence that a woman was “appreciably impaired” (State of North Carolina v. Lori Lee Babich, No. COA16-762, N.C. App.; 2017 N.C. App. LEXIS 133).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 21 denied review of a convicted drug dealer’s petition on whether inadmissible layperson testimony was presented from an investigating officer on his own interpretations of language contained in wiretapped telephone conversations (Clarence Williamson Jr. v. United States of America, No. 16-882, U.S. Sup.).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With the admission of a retired prison official’s expert testimony, a Texas federal magistrate judge found March 7 that a prison’s grooming policy requiring short hair imposes “a substantial burden” on prisoners’ religious exercise (Teddy Norris Davis, et al. v. Lorie Davis, director, TDCJ-CID, No. 12-166, S.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31944).