Brit dad sues Nokia for up to £1million claiming using his mobile phone caused his brain tumour
Neil Whitfield, 60, says he developed an acoustic neuroma tumour due to heavy phone use for his job in the late 1990s.
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Link to the article: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/brit-dad-sues-nokia-up-12523446
For more about Italy:
Articles from a law firm:
Mobile Phones and Cancer – the Next Asbestos?
Mobile Phones and Cancer http://www.kottgunn.com.au/news/mobile-phones-cancer-part-two/
Motorola versus Murray:
In total, 29 cases on the subject matter were brought before the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.
The court did acknowledge isolated strands of scientific data that suggest a possible causal connection between cellphone use and brain cancer. But the court ultimately ruled that based on the research to date, there was inadequate data for any scientist to opine on a causal connection between cellphone use and cancer to any degree of scientific certainty.
In spite of this, the plaintiffs offered their own expert testimony to the contrary, arguing that the jury should determine the validity of the testimony.
The importance of expert testimony
The AMA, with an interest in deterring abusive lawsuits, voiced agreement with the defendants through an amicus brief that was submitted by the Litigation Center, through the AMA and the Medical Society of the District of Columbia. In its brief, the AMA cited a prior court ruling—Girardot v. United States—that maintained that “in the past three decades, the use of expert witnesses has skyrocketed” causing “some commentators [to] claim that the American judicial hearing is becoming trial by expert.”
The brief adds that “purported expert testimony often is the necessary linchpin for tort claims seeking sizable monetary damages.”
The Superior Court for the District of Columbia had been operating under a precedent set in Frye v. United States, a case tried in 1923. Under the Frye standard, testimony would be admissible if the expert employed a method that would be deemed acceptable in the relevant scientific community and the expert would not unduly prejudice the jury.
The defendants objected, stating that the testimony was invalid under more modern court standards adopted elsewhere.
The standards the defendants cited were Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. Under the latter decision, the court is to allow reasonably reliable expert testimony. The petitioners contended the plaintiffs’ expert testimony should be excluded due to a lack of necessary scientific data.
The D.C. appeals court agreed, citing that there should be predictable guidance as to what kind of expert testimony could be admitted, in a ruling in late 2016. With that, the appellate court remanded the case to apply the stricter expert standard to the specific witnesses and facts of this case. Since the decision was handed down in October, the plaintiffs have been compiling new expert reports that will be scrutinized by the court and the defense under the newly adopted evidentiary standard. https://wire.ama-assn.org/practice-management/procedural-ruling-sets-higher-bar-expert-witness-testimony