Exclusion of two medical expert witnesses (internal medicine and diabetes) and a biostatistician under Daubert and Federal Rule of Evidence 702.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment against all plaintiffs in the Lipitor MDL case, http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinions/171140.P.pdf.  The opinion includes extensive and useful discussions of Daubert/Rule 702 challenges; of the scientific, mathematical, and statistical principles involved in the Daubert analysis in this particular case; and of the circumstances in which is it proper for an MDL court to grant summary judgment, rather than returning the cases to their original courts for individual adjudication.  Background:  More than 3000 women sued Pfizer, claiming that they developed diabetes as a result of taking Lipitor.  The cases were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for South Carolina.  The court and the parties agreed on four bellwether cases. The bellwether plaintiffs designated a biostatistics expert witness and two medical experts witnesses: an internist with training in epidemiology as a general causation expert, and an endocrinologist specializing in diabetes as a specific causation expert.  At the close of discovery, Pfizer moved to exclude the testimony of the plaintiffs’ experts under Daubert and Federal Rule of Evidence 702.  The motion was substantially granted, leaving the bellwether plaintiffs with essentially no expert testimony.  Pfizer then moved for summary judgment against all plaintiffs, which was granted.

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