In a Pennsylvania products liability case, an expert witness report and testimony has been disallowed by the judge because the expert failed to cite proper scientific authority to support his conclusions. According to law360.com, plaintiff Anne Snizavich hired expert Dr. Thomas Milby to show that exposure to air condition units gave her husband fatal brain cancer. Critical to a products liability claim is the proof that connects a defective product to the injury suffered, and Dr. Milby was tasked with demonstrating that Mr. Snizavich contracted terminal cancer because of his work with the air conditioning units.
Although Dr. Milby cited a report that demonstrated a statistically higher occurrence of brain cancer among employees of the facility where Mr. Snizavich worked, there was not sufficient evidence of a link between the chemicals in the air condition units and the illness. Despite the report, Dr. Milby concluded that Mr. Snizavich’s cancer was caused by working in close proximity to the air condition units; however, the Pennsylvania Court was unconvinced. Stating that Dr. Milby had failed to provide scientific data and analysis that directly linked the chemicals to brain cancer, the court ruled that the expert witness report was inadmissible during trial. The case, which will go through a round of appeals before finally settling the matter, demonstrates the importance of expert witnesses supporting their conclusions with scientific study or data analysis.