SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on July 10 ruled that the experts for plaintiffs who have sued Monsanto Co. in multidistrict litigation related to the herbicide Roundup should be admitted because the plaintiffs have presented evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, can cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) at “human-relevant doses” (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).
PHOENIX — A franchisor cannot be vicariously liable for the death of a woman who was killed as a result of an automobile accident caused by a woman who was drunk when she left a franchisee’s bar because the jury found that the franchisee was not liable, an Arizona appeals court panel ruled July 5 (Dallas Fisk v. Hurricane AMT LLC, et al., No. 1 CA-CV 17-0256, Ariz. App., 1st Div., 2018 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 970).
CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on June 29 allowed four experts to testify in a dispute between insurers over payment for defense and settlement costs for an underlying suit over an arson fire at a casino construction site, but said their opinions “must be solely limited to the custom and practices” in the insurance industry (Liberty International Underwriters Canada v. Scottsdale Insurance Company, et al., No. 12-4934, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109699).
ROCK HILL, S.C. — A medical expert’s opinion that the amputation of three of a woman’s limbs due to complications from Crohn’s disease could have been prevented had a doctor provided proper treatment when he first saw her in the emergency room fails because it is speculative, but the expert can opine that the doctor’s negligence during a later emergency room visit caused the woman’s amputations, a South Carolina federal judge held June 29 (Zekiya Knox v. United States, et al., No. 0:17-cv-36, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109113).
DENVER — In a wrongful death suit alleging that police and a county jail nurse could have prevented a detainee’s suicide, a forensic psychiatrist expert is qualified to opine on the standard of care for nurses but cannot testify that the man’s death was preventable due to lack of reliability in the opinion, a Colorado federal judge ruled June 26 (Estate of Barton Grubbs, et al. v. Weld County Sheriff’s Office, et al., No. 16-cv-00714, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106775).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on June 27 addressed motions to bar testimony and evidence such as on follow the fortunes and follow the settlements in a dispute over whether the reinsurer is obligated to pay $3.2 million in reinsurance proceeds for the insurer’s defense expenses from an asbestos claims settlement (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Munich Reinsurance America Inc., Nos. 12-00196 & 13-00743, N.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106970).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California magistrate judge on June 26 declined to exclude expert polling and damages testimony in a class action accusing the maker of Canada Dry ginger ale of defrauding California consumers by selling the soda with the phrase “Made From Real Ginger” on its packaging, even though the soda does not any ginger root (Jackie Fitzhenry-Russell, et al. v. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc., et al., No. 17-cv-00564, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106918).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A hearing under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc. to vet a fingerprinting expert in a drug-dealing case in which a man was sentenced to life in prison was not needed because admission of the expert’s testimony did not affect the defendant’s trial rights, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said June 26 in affirming the defendant’s conviction (United States v. Shawn Russell Sorensen, No. 17-1984, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 17366).
CHICAGO — In a class action alleging that an insurance sales company violated federal law by hiding its sales tactics disclaimer on its website, a plaintiffs’ expert can testify that consumers had the same experience with the website no matter what device they used and that the site format did not comply with the industry’s best practices, an Illinois federal judge decided June 25 before certifying the class (John Karpilovsky, et al. v. All Web Leads, Inc., No. 17-1307, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105259).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A panel of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on June 22 affirmed a lower court ruling and held that the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s (KKI) medical expert in a lead-paint poisoning trial was properly admitted and that KKI was not liable for a tenant’s injuries. Furthermore, the panel said KKI owed no duty to the tenant’s relatives who were not enrolled in a lead-paint remediation study (James Ervin, et al. v. Kennedy Krieger Institute Inc., et al., No. 2401, Sept. Term 2016, 2018 Md. App. LEXIS 615).
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 14 affirmed the conviction of a doctor for participating in opioid “pill mills” in Georgia, finding no abuse of discretion by the trial court in allowing a government expert to testify that the doctor’s conduct showed that he was more of a drug dealer than a health care provider (United States v. Romie Roland, No. 17-11058, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15941).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals panel on June 18 agreed with a trial court that a Yaz/Yasmin plaintiff failed to provide a valid expert opinion to support her claim, resulting in dismissal with prejudice (Rhonda Fuller v. Bayer Corp., et al., No. A-4813-1574, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1418).
SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. filed a notice of supplemental authority in California federal court on June 12 that it contends supports its motion for summary judgment based on a failure of general causation proof in the multidistrict litigation for Roundup (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).
PITTSBURGH — A mental health therapist cannot testify as an expert about whether the conduct of mortgage companies caused a man’s depression and anxiety because she admittedly based her opinions on just talking to the man as a friend she had met online, not as a licensed counselor, a Pennsylvania federal judge held June 12 (Francis Vilkofsky, Jr. v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, et al., No. 2:16-cv-01291, W.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97875).
RICHMOND, Va. — Finding no abuse or error in a federal judge’s exclusion of the causation opinions of three experts for thousands of women seeking to hold Pfizer Inc. liable for their diabetes, which they say was caused by using the popular cholesterol drug Lipitor, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 12 affirmed a summary judgment ruling against the plaintiffs (In Re: Lipitor [Atorvastatin calcium] Products Liability Litigation, Nos. 17-1140, 17-1136, 17-1137, 17-1189, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15752).
ST. LOUIS — A police practices expert for a motorist who was run off a highway during a police chase and then mistakenly arrested cannot testify about the reasonableness of the conduct of the officers involved, a Missouri federal magistrate judge ruled June 8, saying the expert’s opinions mostly amount to inadmissible legal conclusions (Joseph Terrell Swink v. Joseph Mayberry, et al., No. 4:17-cv-791, E.D. Mo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96633).
NEW ORLEANS — An oyster biologist has ample qualifications, and his methods to determine whether oil well activity killed most of the oysters in a couple’s oyster beds are sound, a Louisiana appeals court panel held June 6 in affirming judgment for the couple on their negligence claims against a drilling company (Pero Cibilic, et al. v. Cox Operating, L.L.C., No. 2017-CA-0813, La. App., 4th Cir., 2018 La. App. LEXIS 1181).
WAYCROSS, Ga. — An expert for a widower in a wrongful death action against medical personnel had most of his opinions trimmed from his expert report June 6 by a Georgia federal judge due to lack of compliance with Federal Rule of Evidence 702, Fed. R. Evid. 702 (Sredrick Jones v. Wallace Steve Anderson, D.O., et al., No. 5:17-cv-77, S.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95315).
MARSHALL, Texas — Efforts by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and other defendants to bar an expert from testifying that they owe at least $1.5 billion in damages for patent infringement were unsuccessful on June 5, when a Texas federal magistrate judge denied their joint, sealed motion to exclude (Kaist IP US LLC v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 16-1314, E.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93876).
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A federal judge in Alabama on June 4 awarded summary judgment to a pipeline company on plaintiffs’ claims for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), finding that a 2014 spill was not an ongoing violation and that the plaintiffs were unable to produce reliable expert evidence to show that any remaining gasoline vapors presented an imminent threat to human health (Day LLC, et al. v. Plantation Pipe Line Co., et al., No. 16-cv-00429-LSC, N.D. Ala., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93749).