Don’t Always Follow Your Nose: Ninth Circuit Needs Specific Causation for Zicam case

Don’t Always Follow Your Nose: Ninth Circuit Needs Specific Causation for Zicam case

The Ninth Circuit upheld the exclusion of two expert witnesses who purportedly relied on differential diagnoses to conclude that a plaintiff’s loss of smell was the result of using Zicam, a homeopathic nasal product.  Although agreeing that differential diagnosis is a recognizable scientific technique, the court concluded that the experts had not used a reliable method for ruling in Zicam as a possible cause of the smell loss, or for ruling out such alternative causes as age or the cold virus.  The opinion underscores the need for specific causation testimony that is supportable and reliable. [2/24/15]

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