Is medical expert opinion that minimal exposure to asbestos constituted a substantial factor contributing to the risk of developing mesothelioma in one who contracted the disease admissible?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Davis v. Honeywell International Inc. (filed 3/3/16, B256793), the admissibility of evidence going to the  burden on a plaintiff in an asbestos-related cancer case to prove legal cause, as was addressed by the California Supreme Court in Rutherford v. Owen-Illinois, Inc.(1997) 16 Ca.4th 953, is clarified in light of the trial court’s “gatekeeper” role […]

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Is the full amount billed for medical care admissible at personal injury trial to prove past medical, future medical or general damages?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The recent appellate opinion in Corenbaum v. Lampkin (filed 4/30/13) 2013 DJDAR 5591 answers “no” on all counts. The California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three, determined that only the actual amount paid for past medical care (here, as is typical, the discount rate paid by the medical insurer) is relevant and admissible. […]

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Can product-design-defect strict liability apply to implanted medical devices? When can expert declaration be excluded on MSJ?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The above two questions are presented in Garrett v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp. (filed 3/6/2013) B238304. Plaintiff Garrett was treated for cancer in his left femur by an orthopedic surgeon who implanted a prosthetic device, designed and manufactured by defendants, the surgeon had selected to replace the middle portion of the femur. When plaintiff complained about […]

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“Lost profits” expert evidence concerning projected upstart dental implant manufacturer too speculative.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The California Supreme Court in Sargon Enterprises, Inc. v. University of Southern California (filed November 26, 2012, S191550) starts its reasoning concerning a trial court’s discretion in excluding expert testimony with the following advice of Federal Judge Friendly written 50 years ago: “[A court] must be exceeding careful not to set the threshold too high. […]

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The difficult question of when a disabling psychiatric condition is employment related: don’t bank on unrefuted expert evidence

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

This issue more often arises in the workers’ compensation context. In Valero v. Board of Retirement (filed May 1, 2012) 2012 DJDAR 5698, plaintiff contended in a petition for writ of mandate that the Board of Retirement of the Tulare County Employees erroneously denied him disability retirement benefits under California Government Code section 31720. Under […]

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Foundational proof in red-light-camera cases must be based on personal knowledge

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Municipal governments in California face many challenges. Two of these are to improve traffic safety and to raise revenues. The advent of red-light-camera enforcement proposed to assist these divergent objectives. But a simple problem of meeting evidentiary requirements may be derailing this campaign. In People v. Borzakian (filed January 23, 2012, certified for publication February […]

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