Category Archives: Expert Witness

New Jersey Rules No Scientific Connection Between Talc and Ovarian Cancer

This year, an emerging legal and scientific battle is brewing across the country as to whether use of talc products by women in the perineal area can lead to ovarian cancer. While the FDA has stated there is no established casual connection and those products remain on the market, two St. Louis courts permitted plaintiffs’ experts to testify as to a causal connection, which resulted in juries awarded $72 million and $55 million against Johnson and Johnson. Those verdicts have led to a spike in…

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Hedonic Damages Expert Not Worth Plaintiff’s Money

A recent Hudson County Superior Court decision affirmed a prior New Jersey rulings that an expert testifying to hedonic damages should be barred.  In Johnson v. Redd, the plaintiffs sought to introduce expert testimony from Stanley V. Smith, Ph.D., to support their claims for loss of the pleasure of life ( i.e., hedonic damages).  The defendants filed a motion in limine to bar the testimony, arguing that it was not proper under New Jersey law. The court held an admissibility hearing and reviewed not…

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To Call (Two) or Not To Call (Any) Experts: That Is No Longer a Question

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently handed down two decisions that give trial lawyers greater freedom to try their cases when it comes to the selection and presentation of expert testimony. In McLean v. Liberty Health System, A-1793-11, a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff retained two emergency room medical experts to opine that the plaintiff’s ER treatment deviated from the standard of care. The trial court granted the defense counsel’s unwritten and off-the-record request that each side be limited to one expert per specialty.…

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Necessarily Unhelpful: If Expert Opinion Is ‘Unnecessary’ for the Plaintiff to Prove a Warning Case, Can the Defendant Seek to Exclude It as ‘Unhelpful?’

A recent trial court opinion granting a defendant’s motion to strike an expert’s “net opinion” on the sufficiency of a warning, but then denying summary judgment on the grounds that expert testimony is not necessary in an otherwise straightforward failure-to-warn case, raises an interesting question: If expert testimony is not necessary to prove a failure-to-warn claim in the first instance, then shouldn’t defendants be moving to strike the expert testimony more often on the grounds that such testimony is “unhelpful” to the jury? Vazquez v.

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