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In re Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

August 5, 2019

IN RE TAXOTERE (DOCETAXEL) PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION This document relates to Barbara Earnest, 16-17144

         SECTION: “H” (5)

          ORDER AND REASONS

          JANE TRICHE MILAZZO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is the Sanofi Defendants' Motion to Exclude Expert Testimony of Dr. Linda Bosserman (Doc. 6130). The Court heard oral argument on May 22, 2019. For the following reasons, the Motion is GRANTED IN PART.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs in this multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) are suing several pharmaceutical companies that manufactured and/or distributed a chemotherapy drug, Taxotere or docetaxel, [1] that Plaintiffs were administered for the treatment of breast cancer. Plaintiffs allege that the drug caused permanent alopecia-in other words, permanent hair loss. Plaintiffs bring claims of failure to warn, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation, and more.

         The first bellwether trial of Plaintiff, Barbara Earnest, is set to begin September 16, 2019. At trial, Plaintiff intends to introduce the expert testimony of Dr. Linda Bosserman. Dr. Bosserman is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine and oncology.[2] She has worked with hundreds if not thousands of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.[3] The Sanofi Defendants have filed the instant Motion seeking to exclude Dr. Bosserman's opinion on how the medical community's informed consent standards apply to the facts of Earnest's case.[4]

         LEGAL STANDARD

         The admissibility of expert testimony is governed by Federal Rule of Evidence 702, which provides as follows:

         A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:

(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.[5]

         The current version of Rule 702 reflects the Supreme Court's decisions in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc.[6] and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael.[7] The threshold inquiry in determining whether an individual may offer expert testimony under Rule 702 is whether the individual has the requisite qualifications.[8] After defining the permissible scope of the expert's testimony, a court next assesses whether the opinions are reliable and relevant.[9] As ...


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