NEW YORK — A pair of New York juries will not hear from four medical causation expert witnesses in two upcoming Mirena IUD trials.
U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel ruled last month that the experts’ opinions had not been properly vetted by their peers.
Judge Seibel also declared one plaintiff’s expert “was given a conclusion by lawyers and worked backwards to hypothesize a mechanism by which it might occur.”
The court also ordered that a regulatory expert limit her testimony to a general overview of how the Food and Drug Administration works, as opposed to Bayer’s specific activities and the history of its warning labels.
The court approved all seven of Bayer’s experts, prompting the device maker to haughtily observe that “plaintiffs are left with no scientific opinion –- either from their own paid experts or in the medical community at large –- to support their claims against Bayer.”
Judge Seibel is presiding over about 1,200 defective medical device cases in a Mirena IUD multi-district litigation forum.
Some jurisdictions require expert witnesses in defective products cases, but in most instances, persons with special knowledge about a particular subject or device are essentially necessary luxuries: they help the jury understand intricate and unfamiliar concepts while refuting the parade of defense experts who all assert that the dangerous device or drug is as safe as mother’s milk.
To evaluate experts, some jurisdictions, including New York, use the standard in Frye v. United States (1923). To testify, the expert’s opinion must be “generally accepted” by a sizeable segment of the specific scientific community. A Frye evaluation often means that the judge must review applicable scientific and technical literature to see if the proposed theory is indeed “accepted;” if the theory is new, the plaintiff must normally present a slate of experts, as opposed to just one.
Most jurisdictions have abandoned the Frye standard in favor of the one articulated in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993). Under this standard, an expert is evaluated based on whether the theory is:
- Empirically tested,
- Subject to objective standards and controls,
- Peer reviewed, and
- Generally accepted by the scientific community.
A good expert must not only possess the requisite qualifications, but also be able to provide compelling testimony.
Our Defective Mirena IUD Lawyers Can Help
Our defective medical device attorneys can help if you or someone you care about was injured during or after a Mirena IUD implant procedure. Lawsuits have been filed against the device makers by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by the defective medical device. You may be entitled to a settlement.
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