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McCarty v. Arch Wood Protection, Inc., et al.

Area of Law:

Granted.

Grounds:

Defendants moved to exclude testimony of experts Drs. Saggar and Stark regarding the cause of plaintiff’s pulmonary nodular lymphoid hyperplasia (“PNLH”) based on unreliable methodology and testimony of experts Drs. Lantz and Costa regarding general causation based on lack of sufficient data in support.

Outcome:

Granted.

Analysis:

The analysis of experts Drs. Saggar and Stark did not meet the differential diagnosis test under Best v. Lowe’s Home Centers, 563 F.3d 171 (6th Cir. 2009), which required using standard techniques to rule out alternate causes. Although the experts need not rule out all possible causes, they must consider and exclude obvious ones. Here, although plaintiff’s experts considered and ruled out other diseases, they could not rule out an idiopathic cause, which accounted for essentially every known case of PNLH. The experts admitted that their conclusion linking arsenic exposure to PNLH was not supported by literature.

The analysis of experts Drs. Lantz and Costa attempted to demonstrate a plausible link between arsenic and PNLH, but failed to bridge the gap between knowing arsenic can cause lymphocytic proliferation or a compromised immune system and the conclusion that it can also cause PNLH. The experts offered no support from medical literature or other evidence.