NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee federal judge, on the recommendation of a magistrate judge, on Sept. 13 declined to exclude expert opinion testimony for prison officials accused of violating the civil rights of a class of prisoners with hepatitis C (Charles Graham, et al. v. Tony C. Parker, et al., No. 3:16-cv-1954, M.D. Tenn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156296).
NEW ORLEANS — A railroad company accused of causing a worker’s cancer by regularly exposing him to a hazardous and carcinogenic chemical in the course of his work lost its bid for summary judgment in the worker’s lawsuit on Sept. 14, when a Louisiana federal judge held that he presented sufficient expert evidence, which the judge had admitted in separate orders two days before (Alvin J. Porte v. Illinois Central Railroad Company, No. 17-5657, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157007).
HOUSTON — A woman suing an airline in Texas federal court for injuries she suffered in a collision of passenger carts in an airport terminal failed for the most part Sept. 13 at getting expert evidence excluded from her case, the exception being a medical expert’s disparaging statement about her (Judy Ann Shaw v. United Airlines, Inc., et al., No. 4:17-cv-267, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155838).
MIAMI — In two orders, a Florida federal magistrate judge on Sept. 12 denied bids by both sides to exclude expert testimony in an insurance coverage dispute created by the billion-dollar Ponzi scheme of South Florida lawyer Scott Rothstein (Michael I. Goldberg, et al. v. Aon Risk Services, Northeast, Inc., No. 13-21653, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155362, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155363).
AMARILLO, Texas — A Texas trial court properly awarded a tire maker no-evidence summary judgment on product liability claims in a wrongful death car crash case and did not abuse its discretion in excluding all of the plaintiff’s expert testimony evidence, which mandated the summary judgment finding, an appeals panel held Sept. 10 (Brian Jackson v. Michelin North America, Inc., No. 07-16-00325-CV, 7th D. Tex. App., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 7466).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A couple’s expert’s testimony that windows made by Jeld Wen Inc. are defective is reliable, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled Sept. 10, finding that a test that is intended to provide a comprehensive methodology for evaluating water leakage through walls could be used to support his opinion (Ronald Leo, et al. v. Jeld Wen Inc., No. 16-00605-BAJ-EWD, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154002).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — An Indiana federal judge on Sept. 5 agreed with an insurer that a former insurance claims handler is not qualified to testify on environmental matters and said the insured’s expert testimony should be limited to insurance claims procedures (Valley Forge Insurance Co. v. Hartford Iron & Metal Inc., et al., No. 14-6, N.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150478).
PASADENA, Calif. — A quadriplegic former prison inmate accusing a county and medical personnel of mistreating him while he was incarcerated will get another chance to defeat the defendants’ bid for summary judgment after the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 7 vacated and remanded, based in part on improper expert witness rulings (Larry Trujillo v. Los Angeles County, et al., No. 16-56064, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25466).
CLEVELAND — Weight-of-the-evidence methodology passes the Daubert test, and nothing in recent Ohio precedent requires concluding otherwise, a federal judge in Ohio held Sept. 5 in denying a motion to preclude two asbestos experts (Julia C. Alexander, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 17-504, N.D. Ohio).
STATESBORO, Ga. — A widow seeking to hold the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs liable for medical malpractice resulting in her husband’s death lost her case Sept. 6 for lack of expert causation evidence after a Georgia federal judge excluded her two experts and awarded the government summary judgment (Edna R. Dutton v. United States, No. 6:16-cv-90, S.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151769).
CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 4 affirmed dismissal of a professor’s race discrimination claims against a college following his denial of tenure, finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding expert opinions on the academic tenure process (Ray K. Haynes v. Indiana University, et al., No. 17-2890, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25022).
MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on Aug. 29 found the website of General Nutrition Corp. (GNC) to be a place of public accommodation, leading her to grant summary judgment to a blind plaintiff on his claim that the website violates the equal accessibility requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as to liability (Andres Gomez v. General Nutrition Corp., No. 1:17-cv-22747, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149655).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Requiring vocational experts at Social Security proceedings to substantiate their opinions is necessary to provide the mandated “substantial evidence” of job availability and does not run afoul of the bar on federal evidentiary and Daubert standards for such proceedings, an applicant who was denied disability benefits argues in an Aug. 27 U.S. Supreme Court brief on the merits (Michael J. Biestek v. Nancy A. Berryhill, No. 17-1184, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 3117).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A Maryland appellate panel on Aug. 15 ruled that a trial court erred when it precluded a man’s expert witness from testifying about the source of his lead exposure and remanded the case (Kevin Carter v. TAL Associates, No. 00308, Sept. Term 2015, Md. Spec. App.).
HARRIBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania appeals panel on Aug. 29 upheld a home builder’s summary judgment award, finding that the testimony of a couple’s expert on liability and damages from improperly installed stucco was unreliable because it was based only on the reports of experts (Du Phung, et al. v. The Cutler Group Inc., No. 621 EDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3195).
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma federal judge on Aug. 28 barred all opinions by an expert for a man who sued the police officer that shot and killed his son, ruling that the expert’s views on what a police dashboard camera video shows are improper because they “invade the province of the jury” (Charles A. Pettit, Sr. v. James Hill, No. 5:16-cv-1484, W.D. Okla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145860).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Trial counsel for a man convicted of burglarizing a home was not inadequate for not objecting to a police officer’s nonexpert opinions about his police dog’s ability to track fleeing suspects by the different odors they emit because an objection would have been meritless, a Florida appeals court decided Aug. 24 in affirming the conviction (Charles Johnson v. Florida, No. 1D16-3986, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 11997).
FRESNO, Calif. — A man’s attempt to hold a ladder seller and manufacturer liable for injuries he suffered when a step stool he was on collapsed survived summary judgment Aug. 23 when a California federal judge denied a request by the defendants to strike the man’s expert from the case (Christopher Sullivan v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 1:17-cv-00959, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143840).
CINCINNATI — The admittance of expert testimony on the use of cell tower data to track mobile phones of robbery suspects does not taint the convictions of the suspects enough to overcome the wealth of other evidence against them, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 23 (United States v. Shawn Pearson, et al., Nos. 17-1724, 17-1962, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 23797).
CINCINNATI — A trial court properly excluded testimony from two experts about a trailer design that could have prevented severe injuries a woman suffered when her car went underneath a semi-trailer because the design has never been built, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided Aug. 23 (Jamie L. Wilden, et al. v. Laury Transportation, LLC, et al., No. 17-6306, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 23776).