Seventh Circuit Upholds Expert Exclusion in Textron Vinyl Chloride Groundwater Contamination Case

Seventh Circuit Upholds Expert Exclusion in Textron Vinyl Chloride Groundwater Contamination Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld summary judgment in favor of  Textron, Inc. in a case alleging that groundwater contaminated with vinyl chloride from a Textron plant caused health problems in children.  In an interesting Daubert analysis, the Seventh Circuit upheld the exclusion of plaintiffs’ causation experts, finding that they improperly employed differential etiology and failed to extrapolate existing studies on the effects of vinyl chloride to the facts (young children, low dosage) at issue.  Because of the experts’ exclusion, the court upheld summary judgment on the grounds that there was no evidence of causation to present to a jury, but differed from the trial court – and made clear for future cases – that differential etiology could, in appropriate cases, be used to establish both general and specific causation in toxic tort cases. [8/27/15]

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