The City of Chicago brought an enforcement action against two e-cigarette companies for 700+ illegal sales to minors. Though the Court entered judgment against the companies for the violations, it declined to hold the owner personally liable as an alter ego. It found use of age-verification systems did not constitute an unfair practice under the consumer fraud law. However, the Court denied the companies’ motion to exclude a marketing expert retained by the City, finding her opinions relevant to evaluating if their social media marketing unfairly targeted youth.Read More →
In a lawsuit against Vitamin Shoppe, a man alleged its vitamin supplements containing arsenic and lead caused his peripheral neuropathy. He relied on his treating neurologist and a pharmacist to provide expert opinions on causation. The court excluded both experts, finding their methodologies failed to reliably account for the dosage of toxins consumed. Without admissible expert testimony on causation, the man could not withstand Vitamin Shoppe’s motion for summary judgment. The court granted judgment in Vitamin Shoppe’s favor on all claims.Read More →
The plaintiffs challenged the defense experts on multiple fronts. They moved to preclude certain testimony of James J. Keough, Jr. regarding the RV design and accident, arguing his opinions lacked sufficient basis and methodology. But the court found Keough relied on extensive materials and technical experience, applying a reliable methodology. It emphasized vigorous cross-examination, not exclusion, was the way to address shaky expert opinions. Additionally, the plaintiffs moved to preclude opinions on medical expenses by the defense’s expert Henry Miller. Here the court partially agreed, barring testimony comparing hospital rates for unrelated conditions as insufficiently relevant and reliable. But it otherwise denied the motion, allowing Miller’s testimony on factors influencing reasonable medical expenses.
The defendants, on the other hand, sought to limit testimony on fire cause and origin by Plaintiff’s expert, Mark Sutherland. But again the court ruled that disagreements over an expert’s conclusions did not warrant exclusion if the methodology was fundamentally sound. It denied the motion, finding Sutherland properly relied on accident facts using established fire investigation techniques.Read More →
In this class action, the court excluded expert testimony alleging Laird Superfood mislabeled serving sizes on its products. The court found the expert’s consumer-perspective testing methodology lacked scientific reliability controls and details. His opinions were also irrelevant to whether Laird followed FDA labeling rules. Without the expert testimony, the plaintiff could not prove Laird violated labeling regulations. This resulted in dismissal, underscoring the importance of admissible expert evidence in such cases.Read More →
In Stone v. Harley Marine, the court denied Harley’s attempt to exclude Plaintiff’s expert, finding his long experience preparing neighborhood analyses qualified him to opine on land use and deed restrictions. The court held that the expert employed a reliable methodology involving site inspection and document review. While Harley could make specific objections at trial, the court found the expert’s experience analyzing neighborhoods as a real estate appraiser qualified him to serve as a rebuttal witness despite lacking formal credentials as a land planner. The court also declined to limit Plaintiff’s testimony about her property value since she agreed to comply with the Texas Property Owner Rule.Read More →
The upcoming fraud trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried recently faced a major development regarding expert witnesses. Federal prosecutors filed motions to completely exclude all seven expert witnesses noticed by Bankman-Fried’s defense team. The Government argues the testimony of experts including a barrister, professors, and industry professionals would be irrelevant, unreliable, confusing, or prejudicial. Specifically, prosecutors say the witnesses improperly intend to offer legal conclusions that are the court’s purview, speculate about Bankman-Fried’s intent, provide unnecessary background, or discuss industry practices unrelated to the allegations. Authorities also contend some experts lack qualifications to opine on cryptocurrency and FTX, while others failed to adequately disclose their opinions and analysis as required. The prosecution’s motions aim to block expert testimony that they say either usurps the roles of the judge and jury, lacks a scientific basis, or seeks to distract from the core issues of alleged fraud, misappropriation, and false statements. The court has not yet ruled on whether to exclude the defense experts. Jury selection for Bankman-Fried’s New York trial on charges tied to FTX’s collapse begins October 2.Read More →
The Court rejected the Plaintiff’s argument to exclude the Defense expert’s opinion that high mitotic rates correlate with poor prognosis. While the Plaintiff insisted this equated to an unreliable, unsupported “prediction” of causation, the court found the dispute merely semantic. The expert never explicitly opined mitotic rates “predict” malignancy. Rather, he suggested an “association” or “correlation” based on his experience and medical literature. The court held this methodology provides a reliable basis for the expert’s opinions relevant to delayed diagnosis issues. Defendants satisfied Rule 702 standards. Despite semantics, the expert can offer his correlation opinion at trial, subject to Plaintiff’s cross-examination. The court weighed the reliable basis over wording disputes in denying the motion to strike.
#rule702 #expertwitness #experttestimony
Recent Expert Challenges
Expert Challenges, Fire Investigation Expert Witness
Expert Fire Investigator’s testimony determining the point of origin and cause of the fire found reliable
September 29, 2023
Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness, Expert Challenges
Court limits expert testimony on crash reconstruction and its contributing factors
September 28, 2023