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Breaking Legal Developments

07-15-2002

Published by:
Peter A. Lynch, Esq.
of Cozen O'Connor
palynch@cozen.com
http://www.cozen.com

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:      This weekly newsletter covers:

  1. Eighth Circuit Discusses Daubert And The Process Of Elimination


(1) EIGHTH CIRCUIT DISCUSSES DAUBERT AND THE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION

In 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.

Mr. Lynch can be reached at Cozen and O'Connor, 501 West Broadway, Suite 1610, San Diego, California 92101, 800-782-3366 (voice), 619-234-7831 (fax), palynch@cozen.com (e-mail), http://www.cozen.com. Follow us on Twitter at @firesandrain.

Please direct comments, suggestions, stories, and other items to the author by e-mail at palynch@cozen.com

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