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Eighth Circuit Discusses Daubert And The Process Of Elimination
EIGHTH CIRCUIT DISCUSSES DAUBERT AND THE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION
Mattis v. Carlon Electrical Products, No. 01-2246 (July 10, 2002), the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed
a verdict in favor of an electrician exposed to a noxious chemical agent. After a jury verdict in favor of the
plaintiff, the defendant's appealed arguing the expert testimony was legally insufficient.
The court held a medical opinion based upon proper differential diagnosis was sufficiently reliable to satisfy Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm. Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). Dr. Hansen performed a valid differential diagnosis to determine if the exposure to cement caused the respiratory problems. A proper differential diagnosis is one that identifies the cause of a medical condition by eliminating the likely causes until the most probable cause is isolated. The Doctor ruled out other possible causes and concluded the respiratory problems were caused by the cement fumes. She also relied on published studies linking the problem to organic solvents like the cement. The court held the testimony was proper and the jury could rely on it to find the exposure to the cement was the cause of injury.
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