Mealey's Daubert

  • July 01, 2019

    Expert’s Testimony Limited To Presence, Levels Of Mold, Judge Rules

    NEW CASTLE, Del. — A trial court judge in Delaware on June 27 denied a solar panel installation company’s motion to exclude the testimony of a couple’s expert witness, finding that while he was qualified to render an opinion on the presence and levels of mold in their home, he could not opine as to whether the defective installation of solar panels caused water leakage that led to the mold growth (Dominic P. DiStefano, et al. v. KW Solar Solutions Inc., et al., No. N16C-11-015 CLS, Del. Super., New Castle Co., 2019 Del. Super. LEXIS 310).

  • July 01, 2019

    Rulings On Experts, Judgment For Microsoft Affirmed By Panel In Patent Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Delaware federal court in a patent infringement suit against Microsoft Corp. properly excluded one expert’s survey and another’s opinions for the plaintiff company and did not err in awarding Microsoft summary judgment of no indirect infringement, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided June 28 (Parallel Networks Licensing, LLC v. Microsoft Corporation, No. 18-1120, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 19442).

  • June 28, 2019

    Trade Secret, Patent Experts Vetted By Federal Judge In Wireless Technology Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 25 trimmed proposed expert testimony from both sides in a patent infringement and trade secrets misappropriation suit over a project by Google LLC to provide wireless services through the use of balloons in the stratosphere (Space Data Corporation v. Alphabet Inc., et al., No. 5:16-cv-3260, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106297).

  • June 25, 2019

    Expert’s Testimony Limited To Building’s Design Defects, Judge Rules

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on June 24 granted a woman’s motion to preclude a defense expert from testifying on legal conclusions about her responsibilities as a contractor but found that her challenges to the opinions on design defects in a building went to the weight of his testimony (Janet Jeanes v. Greg McBride, et al., No. 16-1259, W.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105136).

  • June 25, 2019

    2nd Circuit:  Expert Properly Excluded In Estate’s Suit Against Former Attorney

    NEW YORK — With an expert witness’s opinions in support of a woman’s legal malpractice claims properly excluded for lack of reliability, a trial court correctly awarded the defendant attorney summary judgment, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals determined June 20 (Celeste Puppolo v. John J. Welch, Jr., et al., No. 18-2601, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 18493).

  • June 20, 2019

    3rd Circuit:  Expert’s Exclusion Proper In Injured Woman’s Failure-To-Warn Case

    PHILADELPHIA — A New Jersey federal judge properly excluded expert testimony for a woman seeking to hold a personal watercraft maker liable for injuries she received in a fall from a watercraft, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals determined June 17 in also affirming judgment for the watercraft company (Angela Ruggiero v. Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., et al., No. 18-1206, 3rd Cir, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 18143).

  • June 17, 2019

    9th Circuit Reverses Class Denial In Generic Drug Price-Gouging Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — Both named and unnamed plaintiffs in a drug-pricing class action allege the same injury from the same conduct, satisfying the typicality requirements for a class action, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held June 14 in reinstating the class and expert testimony (Christopher Corcoran, et al. v. CVS Health, et al., No. 17-16996, 9th Cir.).

  • June 14, 2019

    4th Circuit Reverses Exclusion Of Experts In Suit Over Woman’s Death

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 12 sent a negligence suit over an elderly woman’s death after taking pills that were mailed to the wrong address back to the trial court to conduct a Daubert analysis for three medical experts because their causation opinions were improperly disallowed (Michael A. Small v. WellDyne, Inc., et al., No. 18-1638, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17545).

  • June 14, 2019

    Judge In Mirena Brain Injury MDL Grants Summary Judgment For Lack Of Causation

    NEW YORK — The New York federal judge overseeing the Mirena brain injury multidistrict litigation on June 11 granted summary judgment to defendant Bayer Corp. after he rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that they can still prove causation even after the court excluded their experts (In Re:  Mirena IUS Levonorgestrel-Related Products Liability Litigation [No. II], Nos. 17-md-2767, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97904).

  • June 11, 2019

    All Experts Allowed In Suit Over Police Use Of Tasers On Man Who Died

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on June 7 turned down requests by both the estate of man who died after being repeatedly shocked by police with stun guns and the county and officers involved to exclude expert testimony in the estate’s excessive force lawsuit (Estate of Mark Roshawn Adkins, et al. v. San Diego, et al., No. 18-cv-00371, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96311).

  • June 11, 2019

    8th Circuit Upholds Expert Witness Rulings In Drug-Trafficking Case

    ST. LOUIS — A trial court properly used its discretion to allow, without a hearing under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), expert police officer testimony on the characteristics of drug dealing before finding the defendant guilty and sentencing him to more than 51 years in prison, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals determined May 30 (United States v. Terreall McDaniel, No. 18-1477, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 16096).

  • June 07, 2019

    Judge Denies Motion To Exclude Damages Opinions In Trade Secrets Dispute

    SHERMAN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on June 6 allowed a damages expert’s opinions and reports in a trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit after finding that his methods of calculation are reliable (Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., et al. v. Yiren Ronnie Huang, et al., No. 17-0893, E.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94702).

  • June 04, 2019

    Monsanto: Judgment As Matter Of Law, New Trial Needed In Glyphosate Cancer Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on May 31 filed a brief in federal court in California contending that the judge presiding over the multidistrict litigation for Roundup products liability claims should enter judgment for the company as a matter of law or order a new trial on all claims brought by a man who won $80,267,644.10 when a jury found that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in causing his cancer (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Hardeman v Monsanto], MDL No. 2741, No. 16-525, N.D. Calif.).

  • May 31, 2019

    Missouri Federal Judge OKs Causation Expert For Woman’s Vioxx MDL Case

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri federal judge on May 28 declined a request by drugmaker Merck & Co. Inc. to exclude expert testimony linking a woman’s heart attacks to the arthritis pain drug Vioxx, saying the expert’s opinions “rest upon good grounds” under Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent (Jo Levitt v. Merck & Company, Inc., No. 4:06-cv-00818, W.D. Mo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88454).

  • May 29, 2019

    Exclusion Of Expert Doesn’t Allow Sheriff To Avoid Civil Rights Claims

    CINCINNATI — A Kentucky sheriff must face allegations that he lied about smelling raw marijuana while driving 150 feet away from a home after the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 22 reversed summary judgment in his favor on civil rights claims; however, the suing arrestees still cannot use their expert witness, the court said in affirming his exclusion for lack of qualifications and reliability (Pamela Blevins, et al. v. John Kirk, et al., No. 18-5369, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15290).

  • May 24, 2019

    Couple Can Pursue Building Defects Judgment From Newly Formed Company, Judge Says

    CHICAGO — A couple who was awarded an $800,835 judgment against the developer who built their home for construction defects can attempt to obtain the amount from a development company that was formed shortly after the judgment was entered, a federal judge in Illinois ruled May 23 after granting the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on claims for successor liability and piercing the corporate veil (Anthony Puntillo, et al. v. Dave Knecht Homes LLC, et al., No. 15 CV 11839, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87223).

  • May 23, 2019

    Expert Allowed As Judge Denies Judgment To Insurer For Accidental Death Claims

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 21 denied summary judgment to an insurer on a widow’s breach of contract and bad faith claims over the death of her husband, which she says was caused by a fall, entitling her to accidental death benefits despite her husband’s history of dementia (Susan Vogt v. Minnesota Life Insurance Company, No. 1:17-cv-01580, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85629).

  • May 23, 2019

    Judge Vacates Trial Date After Finding Insurer’s Expert’s Testimony Unreliable

    SOUTH BEND, Ind.— A federal judge in Indiana on May 20 vacated a trial in a suit brought by an insurance company against a subcontractor that installed furnaces in a building’s roof trusses shortly before the roof partially collapsed after finding that the testimony proffered by the company’s structural engineering expert was unreliable (Affinity Mutual Insurance v. Thacker Air Conditioning-Refrigeration-Heating Inc., No. 16-CV-279 JD, N.D. Ind., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84713).

  • May 17, 2019

    Summary Judgment Ruling In Trade Secret Suit Against PepsiCo Affirmed On Appeal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 16 ruled that a federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of PepsiCo Inc. and several of its affiliates on claims that they misappropriated another company’s aroma release technology trade secrets in developing their own in-house technology for failure to plead the necessary causation and damages required to sustain their breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation claims (ScentSational Technologies LLC v. PepsiCo Inc., et al., No. 2018-2091, Fed. Cir. 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14477).

  • May 17, 2019

    Lead Paint Plaintiffs:  Court Should Exclude Defense Expert’s Testimony

    MILWAUKEE — Plaintiffs who sued the former makers of lead-based paint on May 17 moved in Wisconsin federal court to exclude the testimony of a defense expert on grounds that the court has previously excluded most of his opinions, particularly those based on estimates of parental IQ (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).

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