September 8, 2010
Eleventh Circuit affirms exclusion of Plaintiff expert under Daubert in Chondrolysis case
The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed a district court's Daubert ruling favoring the defense in one of the cases alleging that a bupivacaine shoulder pain pump caused chondrolysis (a breakdown of the cartilage in the shoulder joint). The U.S. District Court (S.D. Florida) rejected a general causation opinion proffered by Dr. Poehling, a “an accomplished Board Certified orthopedic surgeon, author, professor, teacher, and lecturer” under Daubert. The District Court also rejected his specific causation opinion. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed.
The Eleventh Circuit opinion begins:
This is a negligence and products liability action involving the use of a pain pump manufactured by Breg, Inc. for use during and after surgery. The Plaintiff, Douglas Kilpatrick, claiming to have been injured by one of Breg's pumps, proffered a single expert witness on the issue of causation â€” Dr. Gary Poehling, M.D. The district court determined that the methodology used by Dr. Poehling to reach his conclusions was unreliable and, therefore, his testimony was inadmissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993). Without the testimony of Dr. Poehling, the district court further determined that Kilpatrick could not establish the causation element in any of his claims, and final summary judgment was granted in favor of Breg. Kilpatrick appeals the exclusion of Dr. Poehling's testimony. Upon a review of the record and this Circuit's precedent establishing a highly deferential standard of review applicable to evidentiary determinations, we find that the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding Dr. Poehling's testimony.
We therefore affirm.
A copy of the Eleventh Circuit opinion, Kilpatrick v. Breg, Inc., No. 09-13813 (11th Cir. Aug. 12, 2010) can be found here