Saturday, June 03, 2006

More result oriented and haphazard Daubert jurisprudence from the Nebraska Supreme Court; Court reverses Lancaster County district Court judge Witthof's decision to exclude "expert" opinion stating auto accident caused fibromyalgia symptomsEpp v. Lauby, 271 Neb. 640 Filed June 2, 2006. No. S-04-990. This time the Supremes hand one to the very worthy trial lawyers and their hypochondriac clients by reversing Judge Witthof's decision to exclude testimony from professional plaintiffs experts that Plaintiff Epp suffered total disability from an automobile accident that caused her fibromyalgia symptoms. Earlier researchers have described fibromyalgia as a psychosomatic disorder. Although the Supreme Court recognized that many medical researchers find the trauma-fibromyalgia connection to be junk science, it was an "abuse of discretion" for the trial court to agree with those researchers, because the medical expert testifying in favor of the fibro sufferer did a good job of eliminating other causes for the fibro symptoms. Daubert on the web notes other circuit cases from the 5th and 2nd Circuits denying plaintiff friendly fibromyalgia opinions:

Vargas v. Lee, 317 F.3d 498 (5th Cir. 2003). In suit against truck driver and trucking company, plaintiff offers Dr. Edward M. Gaber, who opines that plaintiff's fibromyalgia was caused by trauma sustained in accident. District court admits testimony and jury awards damages to plaintiff. Admissibility reversed.

Washburn v. Merck & Co., No. 99-9121 (2d Cir. May 1, 2000) (unpublished). Woman develops arthropathy, chronic pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia after receiving rubella vaccination. In suit against vaccine manufacturer, woman offers three physicians who opine that vaccination caused symptoms. District court excludes testimony from all three and awards summary judgment. Exclusion affirmed.

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