CINCINNATI — A trial court properly excluded an expert witness for the estate of a woman who was allegedly injured during sinus surgery, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Oct. 30 in a medical malpractice case that ended in a jury verdict for the operating doctor (Duane M. Mathis v. R. Arturo Roa, M.D., et al., No. 18-4168, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 32460).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — An expert for the victim in a police shooting case can testify about the use of force by police but cannot offer a legal conclusion on the conduct of the accused officer, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Oct. 29 (Erika Eberhardinger v. York, et al., No. 1:16-cv-2481, M.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186982).
DENVER — A mechanical engineer is not qualified enough to opine as an expert that a defective scissors lift caused injuries to a worker who fell off the lift while moving gear off a resort stage, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found Oct. 28 in affirming the expert’s exclusion and resulting summary judgment win for the lift maker (Timothy I. Siegel, et al. v. Blue Giant Equipment Corporation, Nos. 18-5113 and 19-5007, 10th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 32254).
SCRANTON, Pa. — A fire expert’s methods are reliable, and his testimony on the cause of a 2017 blaze that destroyed a vacation home in the Pennsylvania Poconos is relevant, a federal magistrate judge determined Oct. 25 in denying a property management company’s bids to exclude the testimony and for summary judgment (State Farm & Casualty Company v. M&M Services, No. 3:18-cv-01282, M.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184560).
MOBILE, Ala. — In two separate rulings issued Oct. 17, an Alabama federal judge denied an auto dealership’s motion to exclude expert testimony offered by the auto manufacturer after determining that the testimony is reliable and said that based on the testimony, the dealership’s motion for summary judgment must be denied as the testimony creates an issue of fact on the reasonableness of the auto manufacturer’s decision to establish an additional dealership near an existing dealership (GPI AL Inc. v. Nissan North America Inc., No. 17-511, S.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179491, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179494).
DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 16 affirmed summary judgment for Phillips 66 Co. on disability discrimination claims by a former employee in Oklahoma who was fired after he failed a company drug test, finding no error or abuse in the trial court’s expert witness rulings (Richard Turner v. Phillips 66 Company, No. 19-5030, 10th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30880).
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise LLC failed to show evidence on the issue of whether its employee negligently attached a lid to a hot tea cup, a New York justice ruled Sept. 19, denying summary judgment in a personal injury lawsuit (Marie Stegner v. Milfa International Corp., et al., No. 13127/2014, N.Y. Sup., Suffolk Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5189).
RALEIGH, N.C. — A trial court did not err in allowing a firearms expert to opine that bullet casings found at a murder scene came from a handgun found hidden in a field next to the murder suspect’s home, the North Carolina Court of Appeals held Oct. 15 in affirming the suspect’s conviction (North Carolina v. Harold Clyde Griffin, Jr., No. COA18-1164, N.C. App., 2019 N.C. App. LEXIS 845).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An Ohio city and one of its police officers took their fight against a $7.7 million personal injury judgment against them in a car crash suit to the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 8, seeking review of several alleged errors in the case, including the state trial court’s exclusion of expert testimony on drunken driving (East Cleveland, et al. v. Charles Hunt, et al., No. 19-472, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 5463).
SAVANNAH, Ga. — With an expert’s opinion that a defective rifle caused a man’s gunshot injury allowed, the gun’s maker is not entitled to summary judgment, a Georgia federal judge held Oct. 15 (Cody Shearouse v. Remington Arms Company, LLC, No. 4:17-cv-107, S.D. Ga., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178357).
DENVER — An expert witness for the federal government can testify about how child sex abusers “groom” their victims to gain their trust and how the behavior can lead victims to delay disclosure of a sexual assault, a Colorado federal judge held Oct. 11 in mostly denying a defendant’s bid to exclude the testimony from his trial (United States v. Dakota Michael Heller, No. 19-cr-00224, D. Colo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177602).
LAS VEGAS — Only one of an expert witness’s eight opinions on the level of care provided to an octogenarian survived a motion to strike Oct. 11 when a Nevada federal judge ruled that most of the opinions about the conduct of a senior living community amounted to inadmissible legal conclusions (Thomas Hillery, et al. v. Sun City Anthem Community Association, Inc., No. 2:17-cv-02639, D. Nev., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177313).
GULFPORT, Miss. — A medical expert for a Mississippi resort can testify that a woman required hip replacement surgery due to pre-existing health issues, not because of her fall at the resort, a federal judge ruled Oct. 8 in denying the woman’s bid to have the testimony thrown out (Pamela Neessen, et al. v. Beau Rivage Resorts, LLC, et al., No. 1:18-cv-134, S.D. Miss., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174203).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A treating physician can testify as an expert witness that a man’s knee injuries were caused when he was struck by a beverage cart during an airline flight, a New York federal judge decided Sept. 30 after finding that the doctor’s statements raised a disputed issue that a jury must decide (Louis Cantelmo v. United Airlines, Inc., No. 17-cv-1730, E.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173889).
ATLANTA — In a “close” 2-1 ruling, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 8 affirmed a $2.4 million compensatory/punitives judgment in a Mentor Corp. pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation bellwether trial (Teresa Taylor v. Mentor Worldwide LLC, et al., No. 16-17147, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30159).
MUSKOGEE, Okla. — An accounting expert is sufficiently qualified and uses a reliable method to calculate the size of a class of plaintiffs in an oil well royalty owner’s class action alleging that an oil company isn’t paying the required interest on late royalty payments, an Oklahoma federal judge held Oct. 3 (Perry Cline v. Sunoco, Inc. (R&M), et al., No. 6:17-cv-313, E.D. Okla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171969).
BALTIMORE — A Maryland federal judge admitted supplemental expert reports, saying any untimeliness was not prejudicial, found three plaintiffs’ experts’ testimony went beyond the opinion that each and every exposure led to disease, and denied an asbestos-friction defendant’s motion for summary judgment; all three rulings came Sept. 30 (John Dugger Jr., et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 16-3912, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171168).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An Ohio cardiologist convicted of health care fraud lost his bid for U.S. Supreme Court consideration of his challenge to the trial court’s admission of several doctors’ expert opinions, when the high court justices denied certiorari on Oct. 7 (Harold Persaud v. United States, No. 19-216, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a trial court properly excluded expert testimony for an ex-employee asserting a retaliatory discharge claim against brokerage companies will stand after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case on Oct. 7 (Jackie Hosang Lawson v. FMR LLC, et al., No. 19-2, U.S. Sup.).
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Alaska federal judge on Oct. 1 denied a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by a man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, finding that he is not entitled to relief on the ground that the state trial court erred by not holding a hearing under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), to review an expert’s cell phone tower testimony (Bukurim Miftari v. Earl Houser, No. 3:19-cv-00091, D. Alaska, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170018).