United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
IN RE TAXOTERE (DOCETAXEL) PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION This document relates to Barbara Earnest, 16-17144
ORDER AND REASONS
TRICHE MILAZZO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Exclude Expert
Testimony that Relies Upon Defendants' Employee Dr.
Michael Kopreski (Doc. 6160). The Court heard oral argument
on July 25, 2019. For the following reasons, the Motion is
in this multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) are
suing several pharmaceutical companies that manufactured
and/or distributed a chemotherapy drug, Taxotere or
docetaxel,  that Plaintiffs were administered for the
treatment of breast cancer and other forms of 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.
first bellwether trial of Plaintiff Barbara Earnest
(“Plaintiff”) is set to begin September 16, 2019.
In the instant Motion, Plaintiff moves to exclude expert
testimony that relies on a certain analysis conducted by Dr.
Michael Kopreski. Dr. Kopreski is a former employee of Sanofi
who provided deposition testimony as Sanofi's 30(b)(6)
witness. Defendants have not proffered Dr. Kopreski himself
as an expert, but several of Sanofi's designated experts
rely on Dr. Kopreski's post hoc analysis of alopecia
adverse events in the Taxotere clinical study, TAX 316.
was a 1997 Sanofi clinical trial testing the efficacy of
Taxotere in the treatment of adjuvant breast cancer. As part
of the trial, participants were followed for 10 years after
their treatment. During this period, researchers tracked
ongoing adverse events, including alopecia. The study, as
reported to the FDA, concluded that roughly 4 percent of the
participants experienced “ongoing alopecia.”
conjunction with this litigation and in response to a
30(b)(6) deposition notice, Dr. Kopreski performed a
re-analysis of the TAX 316 data as it relates to ongoing
alopecia. His updated analysis reports that less than 1
percent of patients experienced “persistent
alopecia.” Three of Defendants' experts-Dr. John
Glaspy, Dr. Janet Arrowsmith, and Mr. Justin Victoria-rely on
the findings of Dr. Kopreski in the expert opinions they
intend to render at trial.
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